Inhalants Abuse

February 2, 2012

What are Inhalants?

Some of us have this question so let’s get it answered.  Inhalants are vapors from toxic substances what are inhaled to reach a quick high.  Our children may be doing this in our homes so it is best we know what these are.  We can look at 1000 households and other common products that could be abused as inhalants are shoe polish, glue, Toluene a colorless liquid used as a solvent and a fuel.  You will also find gasoline, lighter fluid, nitrous oxide, or “whippets,” spray paint, correction fluid, cleaning fluids, locker room deodorizers and lacquer thinner or other paint solvents.  Wow I don’t know about you but I have most of these in my home.  The way they get high is because the chemicals are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream and quickly reaches the brain and other organs.  Sometimes this can cause irreversible physical and mental damage.

Users inhale the chemical vapors directly from the open containers.  They breathe the fumes from rags soaked in chemicals, this is called “huffing” Some are known to spray the substance directly into the nose or mouth.  They sometimes pour it into their collar, sleeves or cuffs and then sniff them periodically.  They may do “bagging” putting the fumes inside a bag and inhale it from time to time.  This way may increase the chances of suffocation.

The effects of inhalants are very much like those of alcohol.  The person will have slurred speech, lack of coordination, euphoria, and dizziness.  Now you know what to look for in your children.  They may get lightheadedness, hallucinations and delusions.  The more they use inhalants they feel less inhibited and less in control.  If they do certain inhalants it may cause them to be confused, nauseated and vomit.

Inhalants deprived the body of oxygen by displacing air in the lungs and this is called hypoxia.  Hypoxia can damage cells throughout the body especially the brain cells.  Someone who uses inhalants often may lose the ability to learn new things or may have a hard time carrying a simple conversation.  Long term users can get muscle spasms and tremors or even permanent difficulty with basic actions like walking, bending and talking.  While these inhalants may look good to young people if they don’t have the education of what they can do to them they will be in plenty of trouble in years to come and some of them may start to get physically impaired quicker.

Need help with inhalant abuse?  Call our hotline: 1-877-340-3602.

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