Author: Gary Jackson

Inhalant Abuse: Short- and Long-Term Effects of Inhalants

MentalHelp may receive marketing compensation from these companies should you choose to use their services. We may receive advertising fees if you follow links to promoted online therapy websites. It may be hard to determine if an addiction to Inhalants exists. However, there are criteria established that are used to diagnose this addiction. Two or more of the 11 symptoms of a substance use disorder as outlined by the DSM must be present in order to diagnose the condition. Someone addicted to Inhalants will continue to use them in spite of their damaging health effects.

inhalant abuse symptoms

These symptoms may last for up to five days, but many people do not experience any withdrawal at all. Psychological withdrawal is marked by irritability and the inability to feel normal without the substance, while physical withdrawal effects generally consist of headaches and fatigue. Repeated Inhalant abuse can have serious consequences on a person’s long-term physical and mental health. These effects are quite serious and can be life-threatening because of the way the chemicals in Inhalants can build up in the fatty tissue of major vital organs.

Immediate and Short-Term Effects of Inhalants

Our programs offer treatment options ranging from detox to aftercare—and everything in between. Contact our admissions navigators, who are available 24/7 to answer your questions and help support you as you take your first steps toward recovery. Medical anesthetics include chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Nitrous oxide is the most abused of these gases and can be found in whipped cream dispensers and propellant canisters (often referred to as “whippets”).

inhalant abuse symptoms

Behavioral therapy is often used in addiction treatment to help a person understand why they took inhalants and the dangers of doing so. It will also aim to address any underlying causes of drug use, such as mental health conditions and interpersonal challenges. Brain damage is the primary effect because inhalants quickly penetrate the blood-brain barrier (a protective ‘shield’ around the brain). Teens who have more severe inhalant abuse may best be treated in a residential treatment program.

Inhalant Addiction Treatment and Aftercare

Amyl nitrite is used in certain diagnostic procedures and was prescribed in the past to treat some patients for heart pain. Nitrites now are prohibited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission but can still be found, sold in small bottles labeled as “video head cleaner,” “room odorizer,” “leather cleaner,” or “liquid aroma.” Volatile solvents are liquids that vaporize at room temperature. They are found in a multitude of inexpensive, easily available products used for common household and industrial purposes. These include paint thinners and removers, dry-cleaning fluids, degreasers, gasoline, glues, correction fluids, and felt-tip markers.

Emergency treatment of an inhalant overdose involves treating the life-threatening event that occurs as the result of the overdose – such as stopping the seizure or restarting the heart. There are no specific treatments available to reverse the effects of inhalant intoxication. Rates are also higher in people of lower income, the mentally ill, those living in rural communities and those in communities with high unemployment rates. As advocates of mental health and wellness, we take great pride in educating our readers on the various online therapy providers available. MentalHelp has partnered with several thought leaders in the mental health and wellness space, so we can help you make informed decisions on your wellness journey.

The Dangers Of Inhalants

Join the thousands of people that have called a treatment provider for rehab information. If you or a loved one is struggling with inhalant use, American Addiction Centers has several treatment facilities across the United States that can help. Contact our admissions navigators 24/7 to take your first step. Being physically present for your loved one in withdrawal is probably the best support you can provide. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), even intermittent use, or a single episode of use can produce severe, negative effects.

  • Chronic abuse of inhalants can result in irreversible side effects, such as coma and even death.
  • It may be hard to determine if an addiction to Inhalants exists.
  • If a person is found unconscious after using substances, call immediately.

As with many drugs of abuse, the duration and intensity with which someone has been using inhalants determines the level of severity of inhalant withdrawal. Many people don’t realize there are substances virtually everywhere that can be abused, from paint thinner to keyboard air duster. There is also a smaller chance of being caught while intoxicated because the effects of Inhalants are so brief. The ease of hiding Inhalant abuse is one likely reason why these substances are commonly abused by teenagers.

The short-lived effects of Inhalants may lead people to incorrectly assume that these substances aren’t that dangerous. Many individuals also feel Inhalants aren’t that dangerous because they can be easily found around the house. However, Inhalants are actually just as dangerous as many hard drugs. Inhalants can cause heart failure and respiratory distress, which could result in a fatal overdose even with the first use.