People abuse inhalants for the alcohol-like effects these household chemicals produce. Teens are the most likely people to “huff,” as many call the practice of inhaling fumes of paint or other chemical products. However, these easy-to-access chemicals bring much more danger than most realize. Quitting use is also difficult after inhalant addiction, making entering rehab an important part of achieving recovery.
About Inhalant Addiction
Addiction to inhalants is one of the least common of behavioral problems. But those who abuse these substances suffer life-changing damage. You can also develop a physical and psychological dependence on the substance, making it hard to walk away from huffing. Knowing these risks and consequences yet not making changes in your drug use provides a clear sign of inhalant addiction.
Making things even more difficult, you find plenty of potential highs in aisles of grocery markets, drug stores, discount retailers and hardware stores. Many of these items are sold to people of any age, while some controls on paint products keep young people from buying those for illicit purposes. Still, with some of these items found in most American home garages, getting high is easier than you think.
Inhalants Used in Huffing
Inhalants have highly flammable qualities and vaporize and room temperature. Cleaning products, whipped cream, paints, paint thinners, gases, anesthetics, and other chemicals fall under this category of “drugs.” Each of these produce quick acting, mind altering effects like drinking alcohol. Other names for inhalants include whippets, huff, hippie crack, and laughing gas.
Nitrous oxide and chloroform are two of the most widely known anesthetic inhalants. Dentists use nitrous oxide in their offices, while canned whipped cream also gains its whipped, fluffy properties from nitrous oxide.
Muscle relaxer nitrites and amyl nitrite used for patients with heart disease also fall into the inhalant category. However, these work as muscle relaxants when inhaled, different to other types of inhalants.
For example, common products leading to inhalant addiction include:
- Paint thinner and lighter fluid
- Gasoline and butane
- Freon, ether and chloroform
- Nail polish and polish remover
- Computer duster spray
- Nitrous oxide
Signs of Inhalant Abuse
Inhalant abuse takes place several ways. The most common method involves soaking a rag in the fluid inhalant and holding that rag to your mouth, taking deep breaths to inhale the vapors. Others inhale the vapor directly from the can, bottle or other containers. Others use a paper bag or balloon to inhale the trapped vapors.
Inhalants cause impaired judgment and motor functioning. But these products often cause hallucinations, unlike alcohol. The high only lasts for several minutes but includes excitability, hallucinations, euphoria, lost self-control, lightheadedness, dizziness and weakness. Most people who abuse inhalants fall into the teen category through age 21, when alcohol consumption takes the place of huffing.
Inhalant abuse causes depression of the central nervous system, with fatal overdose very possible. During huffing, you lose touch with reality and suffer nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness. For some, this vomiting during unconsciousness leads to aspiration. Other fatal overdose causes heart failure or stopped respiration.
People using paint products to huff show the telltale sign of a paint ring around their mouth, nose or both. Others experience chemical burns on these areas or elsewhere.
Treatment for Inhalant Addiction
Any amount of inhalant abuse indicates the need for addiction counseling and education. The root causes of these behaviors require treatment, for the behaviors to end. Huffing often leads to continued substance abuse in adulthood, leading to alcohol dependence or drug addiction.
Treatment at Silver Pines Treatment Center in Hazleton, PA provides help for huffing or other substance abuse and addictions. This treatment includes:
- Individual and group therapy
- Addiction education and family therapy
- Yoga, physical fitness, nutrition, and work therapy
- Trauma therapy
If you suffer from addiction, call Silver Pines Treatment Center now at 866-345-2147. You can live a better life without inhalant addiction, so call now.