Inhalants are a dangerous category of drugs that can cause serious health problems. Inhalant addiction is a much wider ranging problem than most people realize. It is particularly common among teenagers. In fact, according to statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 2 million Americans have used inhalants at some point in their lifetimes.
Shockingly, more than eight percent of eighth graders have tried using inhalants in the past year. These numbers mean that many people need to seek treatment for inhalant addictions. If you or someone you love suffer from an addiction to inhalants, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about this scary class of drugs and how people can recover from them.
The Definition of Inhalants
Most people are unaware of just how many things fall under the category of inhalants. Put simply, inhalants are chemical vapors or gases that will cause mind-altering (psychoactive) effects when they are breathed in. The psychoactive effects of inhalants are what draw users in. There are many categories of inhalants that abusers make use of. The many different kinds of inhalants include the following:
- Solvents, including things like gas, kerosene, paint thinner, markers, correction fluids, household cleaners and paint
- Gases and propellants, including propellant gases used in products like spray deodorants, lighters, propane, spray paint, refrigerants, room deodorizers and hairsprays
- Medical gases like nitrous oxide (also used as a form of propellant in whipped cream cans), ether, halothane and chloroform
- Volatile Nitrites
- Aliphatic Nitrites, which includes things like room fragrance products and liquid incense
Treating Inhalant Addiction
With so many different types of inhalants easily available to abusers, it is little wonder that so many people get addicted to them. Because inhalants are found everywhere users turn, it is nearly impossible for people addicted to inhalants to get clean on their own. The temptation is simply too great when all they have to do is open up a drawer in their house to find something to get their fix. Therefore, the best way for someone with an inhalant addiction to get clean is to enter into an inpatient recovery program.
A Race Against Time
When it comes to seeking help for inhalant addiction, time is of the essence. This is because of the severe physical damage that occurs in inhalant users. The short-term effects of inhalant use include slurred speech, cognitive distortion, loss of coordination, disorientation, confusion, lightheadedness, nausea and dizziness.
While these short-term effects are unpleasant, it is the long-term effects of inhalant abuse that are truly terrifying. Inhalant addicts who abuse these substances over the course of years can suffer severe damage to major organs in their bodies. This damage includes liver damage, kidney damage and brain damage. Inhalant addicts can suffer from seizures, spasms, memory loss, hearing damage and vision problems. The key to avoiding these serious health problems is for inhalant abusers to get into treatment as soon as possible. There are many benefits to an inpatient treatment program that will give inhalant addicts the best chance of beating their addictions.
One of the best things about getting into an inpatient treatment program for inhalant addiction is that it gives abusers a supportive environment to help them get clean. There is nothing more powerful in recovery than being surrounded by people who suffer from the same affliction and know how difficult it is to beat it. Feeling the warmth and support of fellow sufferers is an invaluable asset in the fight to recover from inhalant addiction.
Another benefit of entering into an inpatient treatment program for an addiction to inhalants is the counseling that patients will receive. Not only will they receive counseling in a group setting with their fellow addicts, but they will also receive the assistance of a professional drug abuse counselor. The support of an expert in drug abuse is a huge advantage when trying to beat an inhalant addiction. Being able to turn to others for counseling is a great comfort, and it can help inhalant addicts fight through the bad days when the urge to abuse inhalants can feel overwhelming.
If you or someone you know suffer from an inhalant addiction, there is help available. Trying to beat an addiction of this type on your own will prove nearly impossible for the vast majority of abusers. The key to beating an addiction to inhalants is to seek the help of an inpatient recovery program. Entering into this warm, supportive environment will give abusers all the tools they need to beat their addictions and stay clean.