WHAT ARE INHALANTS?
There is a strong likelihood that you don’t keep prescription pills on the workbench inside your garage. Just as well, you probably don’t keep medications under your kitchen sink. It’s more likely these are in your bathroom’s medicine cabinet, or locked in an above-counter storage space in the kitchen.
If this is the case, good. Because there’s probably more than enough chemicals in your kitchen or your garage to cause a person – particularly a young person, an addiction to inhalants.
All they need is a plastic bag or a rag, and the inhalant itself, and with that, a high is born.
Inhalants are substances that produce vapors, which are inhaled to produce psychoactive effects that in some cases can be mind-altering.
This term describes substances found inside a variety of products that are used for common household chores, such as cleaning, or other tasks like surface stripping and painting.
Even gasoline, which can be found inside cans stowed for lawn mowers or generators – or automobiles, can become an inhalant.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Beauty products can also be used as inhalants, as well as some cooking oils and lighter fluids.
In short, every household has some sort of inhalant available to an addict. What’s worse is, many of these are common household products. And as to their addictive nature, much of that depends upon the user’s skill with these chemicals, as well as the user’s tolerance.
HOW CAN INHALANT REHAB HELP?
While going through your recovery, a solid support group and a high quality rehabilitation center can be a great help.
Not only is the rehab experience available to help end your huffing, it will make you aware of trigger scenarios that can relapse you back to your prior inhalant use. Once you know your trigger scenarios, you’ll be able to lean on your support group to help keep you on the path to recovery.
Yes, inhalant use is a tough habit to give up. But with a good amount of work, dedication and an overriding desire to quit abusing inhalants, a drug-free life is entirely possible. All you have to do is take that first step.
INHALANT INPATIENT REHAB
Inpatient rehab occurs when a patient’s addiction is too severe for them to detox and rehab by themselves. Inhalants for the most part are in outpatient recovery.
However, there can be scenarios in which inhalants have been gateway drugs that have opened the door to other abuses. If this is the case with you, a friend or a loved one, it is best that you (collectively) consider inpatient treatment.
Visiting a loved one during inpatient recovery can be helpful for the person in receiving treatment. When you visit someone in rehab, you let them know they are not alone and you still care about them.
That said, there will be times in the rehab process when visitation will be restricted. More likely than not, visitations will not be allowed in the very initial stages of one’s recovery, such as during inhalants detox because this is such a critical step toward a person’s rehabilitation.
Make careful note of how your loved one is doing in rehabilitation. When the person in recovery is positive and doing well, a visit is more likely to be allowed.
Conversely, if your loved one is having a rough time during their rehab, you might want to postpone your visit until things get better for them. Always check with the healthcare professional helping your loved one through their inhalants recovery before showing up for a visit.
INHALANT OUTPATIENT REHAB
Inhalants don’t have the power that certain other drugs possess. Therefore, it’s not that common for someone detoxing and recovering from inhalants, to be told they can rehab at home.
While outpatient care isn’t as prestigious among those in the rehabilitation industry, it can be a great option for patients who aren’t likely to cause harm to themselves during detox.
Part of what makes outpatient care a good option is that it’s often more affordable.
THE PROCESS FOR INHALANT REHAB
Because inhalants addiction is so common, having a program and process custom made for your particular addiction is a fairly straightforward process.
First, we analyze how much and for how long you have been using inhalants, then through a combination of therapy, one-on-one and group counseling sessions, we drill down to find the root of your dependency.
Our counseling sessions also examine what can be a potential trigger or triggers that can endanger your sobriety. With inhalants, we investigate the circumstances that can cause a person to fall from the wagon. Those circumstances are often events that involve people gathering together like birthdays and holidays. We help you find ways to navigate these situations without letting your sobriety slip.
In addition to counseling, our rehabilitation process also focuses on your physical wellbeing. We’ll help you start a low-impact exercise program, which includes activities like stretching and yoga. Getting into better physical shape will help you resist using inhalants when the inevitable cravings strike.
For the fact is, any addiction can ravish much more than your mental and emotional state. Addiction can also physically damage you through weight gain (or loss) as well as a host of other ailments and in some cases, injuries.
THE LENGTH OF INHALANT ABUSE TREATMENT
Treatment for inhalants is more than just detox. Along with getting clean, you still need to address your emotional, mental, and physical health. Improving your overall health can sometimes require extended counseling sessions.
With each person’s case and emotional triggers being different, the patient’s treatment length will vary greatly. One person may require treatment for a month or more, but the next person may only require a few days. It all depends on the severity of the case.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE COMMON INHALANTS?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), inhalants are divided into four groups. Those are volatile solvents, aerosols, gases and nitrates. NIDA describes those inhalants as follows:
Volatile solvents vaporize at room temperature. Their presence can be found in many inexpensive and easily available products at local grocery stores or hardware stores.
Used for household and industrial purposes, substances that fall under this category of inhalants include paint thinners and removers, dry-cleaning fluids, degreasers, gasoline, glues, correction fluids, and felt-tip markers.
Aerosols contain propellants and solvents. They are produced in spray form.
Aerosols can include spray paints, deodorant and hair sprays, vegetable oil sprays for cooking, and fabric protector sprays.
Long durations of exposure, for example, to spray paints, can produce a dizzy-like high that lasts as long as the chemical is abused. Increasing exposure of these chemicals are needed as a person’s tolerance level increases.
If you have a can of whipped cream in your fridge, then you also have a nice convenient can of laughing gas. In fact, nitrous oxide, as laughing gas is medically called, is the most abused of the medical anesthetic gasses that can be found inside a home.
These gases include chloroform, ether, halothane and the above-mentioned nitrous oxide.
If you happen to have an older high performance automobile or dedicated track car in your garage, you probably have a case of octane booster to help supplement the octane levels of pump gas; i.e., this keeps the engine from detonating, which can cause serious damage.
Octane boost can also cause a serious high to one who inhales the chemical.
Other gasses to consider are butane lighters, propane tanks and refrigerants.
Octane boost, butane and propane flammables are extremely dangerous if mishandled. For all intents and purposes, any of these three volatiles have literally exploded in some cases of user abuse.
Nitrites aren’t abused as are other inhalants. This is because while volatile solvents, aerosols and gases are used to alter one’s mood, nitrites are used to enhance a person’s sexual performance.
Inhalants act directly on the central nervous system, while nitrites primarily dilate blood vessels and relax muscles, which some believe acts as an additive to sexual performance.
Nitrites include cyclohexyl nitrite, isoamyl (amyl) nitrite, and isobutyl (butyl) nitrite. They are commonly known as “poppers” or “snappers.”
Amyl nitrate is a popular type of popper. The chemical is usually found in a household where a member has heart pain from either a preexisting condition or a past heart attack.
Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission prohibited the sale of nitrates, the drug can still be found in electronic stores where it is sold as a video head cleaner, or in grocery, hardware or auto accessory stores, where the drug is sold in room deodorizers, leather cleaners or liquid aromas.
WHAT TYPE OF PERSON “INHALES?”
Usually it is a younger demographic that inhales the chemicals described above. In most cases, abusers inhale any substance they can get their hands on.
However, as effects from these chemicals can vary, some users will invariably have a favorite substance to inhale, and with that, will go out of their way to obtain that favorite inhalant.
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF INHALERS IN THE U.S.?
Studies conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and NIDA, found that as of 2013:
- Over 2.6 million children aged 12 – 17 use an inhalant each year to get high.
- 1 in 4 eight-grade students in America has intentionally abused a common household product to get high.
- Inhalants tend to be the drug that is tried first by children.
- This type of abuse can begin at age 10 or younger.
- 59% of children are aware of friends huffing at age 12.
- Inhalants are the fourth most-abused substance after alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.
- The number of lives claimed by inhalant abuse each year is unknown because these deaths often are attributed to other causes.
HOW ARE INHALANTS ABUSED?
“Huffing” is a term used among many who partake in inhalants. This is when one inhales the fumes from the substances they abuse.
For the inhalant abuser to achieve maximum effect from their substance of choice, the abuser pours the substance into a plastic bag or soaks it into a rag. The rag or bag is then placed very near the nose and mouth, where it is inhaled.
Inhalant abuse leads to intense short-term effects, which include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Coordination problems
- Cognitive distortion
- Disorientation and confusion
The effects from inhalant abuse only take a few seconds after huffing, and fade afterward within a matter of minutes. Chronic huffing can result in long-term harm such as:
- Brain damage
- Liver and kidney damage
- Memory loss
- Seizures and spasms
- Vision and hearing damage
Other medical conditions can include:
Asphyxiation, which can occur once the chemical inhaled displaces the availability of oxygen in the lungs.
Suffocation, which can occur when oxygen is blocked from the lungs by the chemical that is being inhaled.
Convulsions or seizures that can occur from abnormal discharges from the brain.
Coma, which occurs after long-term abuse, which can potentially cause the brain to shut down all but its most vital functions.
Choking, which occurs from vomit that can be the cause of nausea linked directly to the inhalant.
HOW CAN INHALANT ABUSE BE RECOGNIZED?
There are several ways to recognize inhalant abuse in a person. In the case of young people, the earlier it is noticed by parents, educators, family doctors, etc., the better. Simply put, the abuse has to be stopped before it causes long-term damage.
Be alert to the following signs if you or a concerned family member suspects inhalant abuse by a young person:
- Chemical odors on breath or clothing
- Paint or other stains on face, hands, or clothes
- Hidden empty spray paint or solvent containers, and chemical-soaked rags or clothing
- Drunk or disoriented appearance
- Slurred speech
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Inattentiveness, lack of coordination, irritability, and depression
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If young people live in your house, steering them completely away from inhalants can be challenging.
You might have nail polish remover on your dresser, whipped cream in the dairy portion of your refrigerator, and most definitely gasoline in your car which can easily be siphoned out and dabbed into a rag by a would-be huffer.
The first best action you can take is to contain your inhalants, and put them under lock and key. If dressers have the potential to be locked, materials such as nail polish and nail polish remover should go inside the locking portion.
And small padlocks are available for under-the-counter cabinets where household cleaning or refinishing products can be stowed.
The second best tactic is to have a strong and open conversation with your young ones about the dangers of inhalants.
This can include model glue and paint, or if your child is older, school items such as correction fluid and marking pens.
Be vigilant and communicative with your young ones about the dangers of inhalants. And be frank about the consequences of their long-term use which can lead to permanent physical damage as well as experimentation and use of other more powerful drugs.
Your Patient Health Information (PHI) will always remain safe and secure with our sobriety specialists.
While you focus on your recovery, you can take peace of mind in knowing your PHI will remain confidential. That’s why we make sure your visits, PHI, and all other relevant health care information remains private.
HOW ARE PAYMENTS HANDLED
If you stay with us for longer than 30 days, we will bill on a bi-weekly basis, otherwise it will be on a monthly basis.
Just in how we keep your Patient Health Information safe and secure, we do the same for your payment information. For this reason, we don’t keep your credit card nor insurance records on file.
GOING AWAY FOR TREATMENT
No matter where you live, we have a treatment facility for your needs.
Convenience doesn’t always mean close to home. Leaving town for treatment can often give you a clean slate that can be helpful in the recovery process. In completely new surroundings you can focus on yourself without any distractions.
Redefining your life of sobriety in a new environment can set you up for long-term success.
All the inhalants detox and rehabilitation in the world won’t help unless you have a substantial network of people to whom you can turn for consultation and/or help.
These relationships are usually made while one is in rehab. Patients are encouraged to maintain these relationships after leaving the recovery center. This support group can also come in handy when staying sober becomes difficult.
The knowledge that you are not alone in living a sober life away from inhalants will go a long way to keep you on the path of sobriety.
If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.