What is an Inhalant?
Inhalants are substances that are inhaled to get high. There are many different types of inhalants, making it difficult to classify them. The most common types of inhalants are found in household, medical or industrial products. Because inhalants are relatively easy to obtain, they are often the first choice of young people experimenting with drugs.
Solvents such as paint thinner, lighter fluid, glue, gasoline and permanent markers are all common types of inhalants. Spray paint is another type of inhalant that is often abused. Nitrous oxide, ether and chloroform can be found in commercial products. Nitrites are inhalants known as “poppers,” and they are sold as room deodorizers. They work by dilating the blood vessels and cause muscle relaxation.
Inhalant Abuse Hotline
If you are, or a loved one is, abusing inhalants, call our inhalant abuse hotline at for more information. Addiction treatment advisors are available to provide assistance 24 hours a day.
Risks of Inhalant Abuse
Inhalants are inexpensive and easy to obtain. Inhalant addiction is a very serious issue because inhalants are popular with young people. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 70 percent of people who use inhalants are under 18 years old. There are many risks associated with inhalants. These include:
- Permanent brain damage
- Loss of muscle control
- Damage to internal organs
- Impaired vision
- Cardiac arrest
Many inhalants have the effect of speeding up the heart and making it beat irregularly. This can lead to permanent damage to the heart, and even to death. People have died after using inhalants for the first time. This phenomenon is also known as “sudden sniffing death,” as it occurs during the use of inhalants or immediately after. Children as young as 11 years old have died as a result of inhalant abuse. If you have questions about huffing, call our inhalant abuse hotline at .
Did You Know?
There are between 100 and 200 fatalities attributable to inhalant abuse each year. These fatalities are due to asphyxiation, suffocation, choking, convulsions or seizures, or fatal accidents caused by being under the influence of toxic chemicals.
Signs of Inhalant Abuse
It is common for children still in grade school or junior high to abuse inhalants. Both boys and girls from all backgrounds are equally likely to use inhalants. An inhalant abuse helpline can help by advising you what to look for if you suspect that your child or teen has been huffing. Some common signs of addiction to inhalants are:
- Chemical fumes on clothing or bedding
- A strange breath odor
- Any signs of intoxication
- Paint residue on the face or fingers
- Irritated eyes or a runny nose
- Signs of irritation or sores around the mouth or nose
“It is common for children still in grade school or junior high to abuse inhalants. Both boys and girls from all backgrounds are equally likely to use inhalants.”People who abuse inhalants might exhibit all or some of these signs. They may continually sniff at the cuffs of their shirts or hold markers close to their faces. Old rags or empty containers of household products may be found among their things as well. There are numerous ways to abuse inhalants, so it is necessary to be constantly vigilant if you suspect a loved one of engaging in this deadly behavior.
If you find any indication that your child has been huffing, call the inhalant abuse hotline at without delay. Every time your loved one huffs, his or her life is at risk.
The single most important thing that any parent can do to protect his or her child from the abuse of inhalants and other drugs or alcohol is talk about the risks. Many people assume that because inhalants are common household products, they are safe. Make sure your loved ones are aware of the risks.
Always be aware of where your children are and what they are doing. This may be easier said than done, but kids who know their parents check on them and verify their whereabouts are less likely to use drugs. Knowing the signs of inhalant abuse can help parents be aware of a potential problem as early as possible. If you would like to know more, contact our inhalant abuse hotline at .
Did You Know?
Young people who use inhalants are more likely to use other types of drugs later in life. They also have a greater likelihood of developing substance abuse problems at an early age.
Inhalant Abuse Treatment
Because the chemicals in inhalants are stored in the body’s fat, detoxification is a complicated process that can last several weeks. Symptoms associated with inhalant use may still be present during detox. A quality drug treatment facility is equipped to deal with the complex problems caused by inhalant abuse. The effects to the body and brain can be permanent, so it is critical to act immediately and call an inhalant abuse helpline to get into treatment.
If you suspect your loved one of inhaling dangerous chemicals, call our inhalant abuse hotline at to speak with a treatment advisor today and learn more about rehab options on this type of addiction.