Inhalant Abuse

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You know what you or your brother used to do to pass the time when you were younger and bored, but your child is honest with you and is against drugs. This is not so true if you consider that the reason they like to spend so much of their time in the garage is that they like the feeling they get when they sniff the rubber cement. If they do not lose interest soon and stopping inhaling random products they are finding around the house, they will need the expert assistance of an inhalant abuse and treatment center soon. Even as an adult, you may not consider that they are at risk of having a substance use disorder (SUD) if they are only sniffing inhalants, but these chemicals are just as dangerous as most illicit street drugs. It can not only lead to the use of more addictive drugs, but inhalants also cause longstanding health issues, in addition to the possibility of coma and death. Getting your son or daughter treatment before their inhalant abuse causes chronic illness or even the loss of their life can be found at an inhalant abuse and treatment center.  

What are inhalants?

Inhalants are unpredictable and easily evaporated chemical substances whose vapors are inhaled to produce a euphoric effect. Classifying inhalants is difficult because many chemical substances can be inhaled; however, inhalants describe those that are rarely taken by any other method than inhalation. This group is comprised of hundreds of different products and is listed in four different general categories:

Inhalants are extremely unstable and can lead to SSDS (Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome) with even just one use. This occurs when the chemical causes unusual cardiac activity and they have a sudden increase in their heart rate, such as when they are suddenly caught by their parents. This combination causes them to collapse and die. Proving their status as a dangerous drug, the most damaging side effects of using inhalants include:

Who abuses inhalants?

Research indicates that 68.4% of people aged 12 or older who had used inhalants were under 18. Inhalants are generally the easiest and first substances that can be abused by young children. It is most seen being used by 12 to 17-year-olds, with a peak at age 14 but can extend into adulthood. Lungs are one of the quickest ways to have the body absorb anything, and inhaled chemicals rapidly enter the bloodstream. They are then distributed to the brain and other organs. This is called huffing. It activates the brain to release dopamine, which is part of the reward system. It takes effect within seconds, causing alcohol-like effects — including slurred speech, uncoordinated movements, dizziness, and euphoria, as well as the possibility of lightheadedness, delusions, and hallucinations. This fast-acting, short-lasting form of intoxication only lasts a few minutes, so individuals who abuse it repeatedly inhale over the course of a few hours to keep getting high. This is a dangerous behavior which can result in loss of consciousness and even death.

What are the signs that someone is abusing inhalants and needs treatment?

With the majority of users being children and adolescents, it is important to teach them the dangers of all drugs and not just the ones commonly found in the media, like alcohol, marijuana, and heroin. So, what signs should you be alert to, indicating that your child may be using inhalants and need the intervention of an abuse and addiction treatment facility?

How do I choose an inhalant abuse and treatment facility?

With teens being the biggest group that abuses inhalants, or has a huffing addiction, there are a variety of teen-specific programs. Teens often abuse drugs to deal with anxiety and other emotional pain, fit in with a group of peers, and to let go of their inhibitions and have fun. They may simply need to learn coping mechanisms to help deal with their raging hormones and pain or they may have the involvement of a mental issue, which is called a dual diagnosis. Choosing the program that fits best with either your loved one is essential to their path of recovery. If they do not feel comfortable in the setting that is chosen, they will not progress well and end up relapsing. They may relapse anyway in the long run, because it takes practice to relearn how to live without the stimulation that was given to their brain whenever they huffed. The following questions should be asked to determine what the facility’s process includes:

The way that an abused chemical substance changes the brain can be immediate and life threatening. It can result in an addict thinking that they cannot feel pleasure or even function normally without the use of their drug of choice. Those who choose to face their problems in an unhealthy manner with the use of inhalants can grab back the reins of their future with a treatment center geared toward huffing addictions. The right program is accustomed to having teens admitted by their parents and not of their own volition. They know how to handle these volatile situations, which represents approximately 60% of patients found in the typical facility. Inpatient programs may be the best option in these situation so as to keep teens away from the peer group that could trigger them to use. It also provides them with the intense therapy they may need to push themselves and their actions in a direction that benefits their future and their life. Whether it is you, a friend, or a loved one who is finding that they fit the signs of inhalant abuse, and you know that there must be a way to intervene, inhalant treatment programs are the perfect way to help them return to the happy, fun-loving person that they used to be.