There are many substances that people become dependent on, substances that you may not even think to consider. That includes inhalants. But, many people seem to be in the dark about the long-term and short-term dangers of inhalant addiction. Even those addicted to inhalants are sometimes unaware of the risks.
Despite the general lack of knowledge pertaining to inhalants and substance use disorder (SUD), treatment is available. West Coast Recovery Centers utilizes a range of clinical interventions to treat SUD, even dependency on inhalants. Whether you are searching for outpatient treatment or have been recently discharged from an inpatient facility, we can help. Call or visit our website to learn more about starting your healing journey with West Coast today.
How Do People Become Addicted to Inhalants?
When someone is addicted to inhalants, they are dependent on getting high off of every day, chemical household products. That might include a bottle of hairspray or a magic marker.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) describes inhalants as “invisible, volatile substances found in common household products that produce chemical vapors.” These products are typically inhaled because they induce a psychoactive effect. They indicate that over 1,000 products are dangerous when inhaled. Some of those products include:
- Typewriter correction fluid
- Air conditioning refrigerant
- Felt tip markers
- Spray paint
- Air freshener
- Cooking spray
- Rubber cement
- Keyboard cleaner
- Gasoline and kerosene
Substances such as these are “breathed in through the nose or the mouth in a variety of ways.” That typically includes sniffing or snorting. But bagging and huffing are also common. That is when someone deposits a substance into a bag and inhales the fumes or soaks a rag in an inhalant and inhales it through the mouth.
Signs of Inhalant Addiction
People may begin experimenting with inhalants for a number of reasons. For adults, that may include managing symptoms of a mental health condition. But inhalants are a common problem among kids, and there are many reasons why. In either case, people get hooked on the effects. The first step toward treatment is recognizing the signs.
Some signs that you or a loved one is addicted to inhalants include:
- Profound chemical odors on breath or clothes
- Stains on hands, fingers, or clothes
- Lack of hygiene and grooming habits
- Changes in behavior and lack of interest in activities or people
- Exhaustion, consistent nosebleeds, and potential nose and mouth irritation
Individuals addicted to inhalants may also appear more anxious or depressed than usual. And it is not unheard of for people with mental health conditions to experience addiction. However, dependency is not the only danger of being addicted to inhalants. It also poses a significant threat to mental health and physical well-being.
Why Are Inhalants Dangerous?
Inhalants can cause severe damage to the brain. This can impair your ability to think or cause cognitive irregularities. The results can be mild or cause severe dementia.
These substances can also wreak havoc on the body. Absorbing inhalants through the lungs also causes them to enter the bloodstream, the brain, and other organs. These products work like an anesthetic, and there are more significant risks the longer someone uses them. Inhalants can cause weight loss, muscle weakness, depression, and damage to the nervous system.
Some damage may not be permanent. But other effects have long-term consequences. For example, long-term inhalant use can lead to intense heart problems, liver and kidney disease, and nerve or brain damage. It can even lead to heart failure and death. These physical conditions and the dangers of dependency are why treatment is critical.
Why Should You Consider Outpatient Treatment?
The first step when treating an inhalant addiction is typically detox. That requires entering an inpatient rehabilitation center or utilizing other professional detox services. Withdrawal symptoms can be intense, which is why detoxing alone is dangerous. Professional detox services help with these symptoms through several interventions, like medication-assisted treatment (MAT). However, once these steps are complete, outpatient treatment can be effective.
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) allows clients the freedom to continue recovering while working or caring for a family while in recovery. The programs come in many forms and levels of intensity. That includes many services like counseling and peer network support.
The top reasons to consider outpatient treatment are:
- Flexibility to work around your schedule while recovering
- Opportunities to spend time with family and receive encouragement from loved ones
- Affordability as clients can live at home and avoid lodging costs
Does Recovery Look Different for Those Addicted to Inhalants?
Though many do not know about the dangers of inhalants, it impacts millions — even children. Inhalant recovery may look different than a drug or alcohol addiction. But the principles of recovery remain the same. If you or someone you love is addicted to inhalants, we want you to know there is a way to recover and improve your quality of life. Call or visit our website to learn more about inhalant addiction and our IOP at West Coast Recovery Centers today.
People addicted to inhalants experience unique challenges because avoiding addictive substances requires them to avoid daily household items they may use to clean or simply do their hair in the morning. These substances not only lead to dependence, but they can also cause adverse consequences on your mental health and physical well-being, even leading to death. That is why seeking treatment is absolutely vital. You can recover through an intensive outpatient program (IOP), which can help you manage and cope with the temptation to use inhalants. West Cost Recovery Centers can help and get you on the path toward recovery today. Visit our website or call us at (760) 492-6509 for more information.