Huffing & Inhalant Addiction Rehab

Many teenagers joke about doing whippets or sniffing markers or glue, completely unaware that inhalants can be both physically addictive and psychologically addictive. According to recent studies, the average ages for someone to try an inhalant are just 12- or 13-years old.

Inhalant abuse is most prevalent among teenagers and seems to occur more frequently in less densely populated areas of the country. What may seem like a harmless way to pass the time and have some fun can become deadly in an instant.

Huffing and inhaling addiction treatment

What are Inhalants?

Inhalants are substances that are volatile, and often flammable, such as paints or cleaners and even some types of medications such as nitrates. They vaporize at room temperature and produce effects similar to alcohol – although the effects are short-lived and require multiple doses in order to maintain a “high.”  

There are a variety of substances that can be inhaled, and some have more common names such as whippets or huff. Inhalants can be cleaning products, anesthetics, or even gasoline. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is commonly used in dentists offices, but it is also used in cans of whipped cream and known as whippets.

There are four different classes of inhalants: solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrates.

Solvents include:

  • Gasoline
  • Lighter fluid
  • Paint thinners
  • Nail polish
  • Glue

Aerosols include:

  • Hair spray
  • Spray paint
  • Deodorant spray
  • Dust-Off

Gases include:

  • Propane tanks
  • Butane lighters
  • Whipped cream cans and other sources of nitrous oxide
  • Chloroform
  • Freon

Nitrates include:

  • Room sprays and other liquid fragrances
  • some cleaners such as a leather cleaner or electronics cleaner

How Are Inhalants Used?

Inhalants, like their name suggests, must be inhaled in order to feel their effects. They can be used in several different ways with the most common being “huffing” or “bagging.” This is often done by soaking a rag in the liquid and inhaling the vapors through the nose and/or mouth, or by filling a bag or balloon with the liquid and inhaling the fumes. Sometimes the substance is inhaled directly from the container. 

What are the Physical Effects of Inhalants?

The effects of inhalants have a rapid onset and are said to be similar to the effects of alcohol, although the effects are short-lived lasting only a few minutes. Many users inhale multiple doses during a session.  

A person under the influence of inhalants may appear to be under the influence of alcohol. Inhalants deprive the body of oxygen and cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, forcing the heart to work harder than normal.

Physical effects include:

  • Euphoria
  • Excitability
  • Loss of coordination
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Blacking out

It’s possible to die from using inhalants, and death can occur the very first time that an inhalant is used. Inhalants are considered central nervous system depressants, so it is imperative that they are never combined with alcohol or other types of depressants like tranquilizers. A high dose can also cause death. Signs of an overdose are nausea or vomiting, and unconsciousness. Death is often the result of heart failure or respiratory failure.  

Long-term use of inhalants can also have negative and sometimes irreversible effects including:

  • Nerve damage
  • Spasms
  • Liver or kidney damage
  • Brain damage
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Hearing loss or loss of the sense of smell

Signs of Abuse

Any use of inhalants is considered abuse. They can be physically or psychologically addictive and dependence can happen after just a few uses. 

Signs of dependence include:

  • Continued use of inhalants despite knowing or experiencing negative consequences
  • Wanting to stop but being unable to
  • Stealing in order to acquire inhalants
  • Neglecting responsibilities in order to use inhalants
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Trouble with personal relationships
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in activities previously enjoyed

Withdrawal Symptoms

Depending on the length of use, withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be severe. Medically supervised treatment detox is always recommended and helps to lessen the likelihood of relapse before treatment detox is complete.

Users who have used inhalants over the period of just a few days report withdrawal symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions

Help for Inhalant Abuse

For those that are abusing inhalants, it is imperative to seek help. Medically supervised treatment detox is crucial in dealing with the many withdrawal symptoms and for preventing relapse. If you are ready to stop using inhalants call Daybreak Treatment Solutions today and let us show you how we can help get you on the road to recovery.  

Immediate treatment can help to restore physical and mental health and prevent the serious effects that can occur with inhalant abuse. You can do this, and Daybreak Treatment Solutions will be with every step of the way. We offer inpatient drug and alcohol treatment detox in which our professionals will help to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and make sure that you are safe and as comfortable as possible.

Treatment can be Partial Hospitalization Treatment or Intensive Outpatient Treatment, both of which are individually tailored to your needs.  Both treatment options include individual and group therapy, gender-specific therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention planning.  We also offer sober living aftercare upon completion of your program which will help you transition back into society while remaining sober. Remember, it’s not too late to seek help.  Contact us today.