A broad range of products whose volatile vapors are taken in via the nose and trachea are known as inhalants. They are taken by vitalization; this does not include drugs that are inhaled after burning or heating. Toluene (used in nail polish, gasoline and paint thinners) and amyl nitrite, for example, are considered inhalants. Marijuana, tobacco, and crack are not considered to be in this classification. Some inhalant drugs such as nitrous oxide, which is a dental anesthetic, are used for medical purposes. These substances are inhaled because of the intoxicating or euphoric effects that are felt instantly.
Easily Obtained and Highly Dangerous
The popularity of inhalants is due in part to easy availability. Most homes have these products in the garage or under the kitchen sink. Also, anyone of any age can purchase the products in the grocery store or hardware store. Since these products are relatively inexpensive, young homeless people have the most serious inhalant abuse problems.
They often inhale aerosol propellant gases or vapor by using a plastic bag held over their mouth or by breathing through a solvent-soaked rag or an open container. The effects of these practices are similar to alcohol intoxication ranging from euphoria to vivid hallucinations, depending on the substance and the dosage. Due to the harmful effects of these gases or solvents and the other chemicals that are used in the products, some inhalant users are seriously injured.
As with any recreational drug, the user’s dangerous actions while they are intoxicated can cause injury. Some occur while driving under the influence and in many cases, users have died from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), cardiac failure, pneumonia, or aspiration of vomit. Some inhalant users inhale vapors from gasoline or from paint thinner and once these gases are inhaled, the extensive capillary surface of the lungs rapidly absorbs the gas, and blood levels peak very rapidly.
Some signs to look for to determine possible inhalant abuse, include:
- Empty spray paint containers or other chemical containers,
- Rags that have chemical odor,
- Paint stains on skin or clothing,
- Disoriented behavior,
- Slurred speech,
- and/or loss of appetite.
Most parents can’t imagine that their teen would participate in such risky behavior, but the number of young kids that are suffering permanent health problems or dying from abusing these products continues to rise.
If You or a Love One Are Addicted to Inhalants, Please Call Us for Help.
Rehab Help is here to direct those in need to a drug rehabilitation program that will best suit their needs and preferences. Our counselors will ask you questions about your situation and take time to learn about what is important to you, then use this information to connect you with a rehabilitation program that will offer you the best options for a lasting recovery.
Call today to begin the recovery you deserve. An addiction to inhalants is a life-threatening and life-consuming problem, but it can be overcame with the right help.