What Is An Inhalant?
Inhalants are substances that one can inhale to reach a euphoric state. This is typically called a “high.” They are mind-altering and can induce chemicals in the brain to produce these reactions. They are considered an easy way to get high.
Household objects can often be used to reach a cheap high — things like nail polish remover or lighter fluid. Even hair spray or cleaning supplies can be used. There are quite a few different methods of use for inhalants.
Different Methods Of Use:
- Bagging fumes are sprayed into a paper or plastic bag. Then this bag is placed over your head to cover the face, nose, and mouth. Then the fumes are breathed in.
- Huffing – a rag, sock, or roll of toilet paper is soaked in an inhalant. Then the rag is pressed placed into the mouth to breathe in and reach a “high”.
- Inhaling – a balloon is inhaled. A balloon is usually filled with nitrous oxide. Often used in whipped cream cans.
- Sniffing – fumes are sprayed right into the nose or mouth to be breathed in.
Inhalants are cheap and easy to access. Because of this, the highs are generally short-lived and only last a few seconds or minutes. People who use inhalants will usually do it over and over again over a few hours.
There are many different physical effects of the use of inhalants. Just because they are easy to get to doesn’t mean they are safe to use. In fact, they can be even more toxic with accidental overuse.
Side Effects Of Inhalant Use:
- Nausea or Dizziness
- Slurred Speech
Those are all short term effects. Continued use of inhalants can lead to many long term physical side effects. These side effects are harmful to the health of the user.
Some Long Term Side Effects Are:
- Muscle Weakness
- Compulsive Use
- Weight Loss
- Lack Of Coordination
- Mild Withdrawal Symptoms
It is also important to note that there are serious health risks. As with any drug use over time, it can negatively affect the body. Substance abuse is dangerous for anyone.
Serious Health Risks Are:
- Brain Damage
- Hearing Loss
- Liver Damage
- Muscle Atrophy
Treatment For Inhalant Abuse: It Isn’t Any Different
Getting treatment for any substance abuse is essential. Even though inhalants can be treated as one of those less harmful drugs, it isn’t. All drugs are dangerous. Seeking help for addiction is important. Continued use can lead to brain damage or death.
Treatment for inhalant abuse isn’t too different from normal rehab. There aren’t really inhalant specific treatment centers, but that’s okay. The medical staff is trained to help people in all walks of life — no matter what substance they abuse.
Physical issues relating to inhalants will need to be addressed. A patient will have to be isolated from all substances that can be abused. That may be difficult after recovery in a day to day life. This is because many ordinary household objects can be used as inhalants.
Recovery is a complicated process, especially if the substance is facing you everywhere you turn. But it’s possible. Getting help is the first step into bettering your life. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, you are not alone.
Remember that there are others out there who suffer just as you have and who have changed. You can change too, and treatment is the right path to take.