Is Inhalant Addiction Common?

While inhalants can be under the radar as opposed to other substances, inhalants can be addictive. Inhalant addiction is not quite a common addiction as others. Inhalants are still harmful and can lead to fatal consequences. Inhalants are usually household cleaning and hazardous liquids such as gasoline. The dangers of inhalants are prevalent in the brain cells and your overall wellbeing. No matter what addiction someone may have, it will take everything from if you do not seek the proper help.

However, with treatment, you will learn to live a life that is addiction free. We work with drug and alcohol recovery programs that help those struggling with their addiction in the state of Utah. In a rehab treatment program, it allows the addict to come to terms with their addiction, learn to recognize and stay away from triggers that lead a person to use, and eventually start a new life in recovery. Now is the time. So make that call to us today at 385-327-7418.


What are inhalants? Are they dangerous? Can someone I love become addicted? We will help you answer all of these questions and more below. Start by clicking a link to jump to that section and start reading about how to help someone with inhalant addiction. If you require additional assistance please reach out to our specialists today.

Is Inhalant Addiction Common?

Are Inhalants Dangerous?

Inhalants are substances that people inhale (breath in) to get high. There are other substances that people might inhale, such as alcohol. These are substances that you can misuse only by inhaling them.
Using inhalants to try to get high, even once, can be very harmful to your brain and body. It can even lead to death.

Inhalants are accessible can be purchased at any chain retail store across and can be found at home or in the workplace. Adolescents and college-age teens are the most common inhalant abusers. A 2008 National Institute on Drug Abuse study found that over 15 percent of eighth-graders had used an inhalant in his or her lifetime. This could be because many of these products are cheap and can be purchased legally or are readily available at home. Users of inhalants absorb the fumes using their nose or mouth.

Furthermore, the terms used for the actual action of an inhaling depends on what substance as well. The typical sang for a person inhaling include snorting, huffing, and sniffing. A user can experience a high or sensation that gives off a sense of euphoria. People will hallucinate and even get paranoid while high off inhalants. When a person repeatedly uses, they can lose control of themselves and lead to potential long-term damage to the brain and body. Common street names for huffing, for instance, can include:

  • Poppers
  • Whippets
  • Laughing gas
  • Snappers

These substances possess dangerous mind-altering attributes when a person inhales them.

 Types of Inhalants:

  • Solvents – These particular liquids turn into gas when at room temperature. For example, substances such as nail polish remover, gasoline, and paint thinner are the main substances used.
  • Aerosol sprays – For instance, some common sprays are deodorant spray and spray paint
  • Gases – For example, gas from lighters, whipped cream cans, and laughing gas from the dentist.
  • Nitrites – These include medications, for instance, for chest pain. It can also increase sexual pleasures.

Are Inhalants Addictive?

When someone is addicted to a substance, it compromises their physical and mental state. The addict becomes a different person in the process of addiction. Addicts work diligently to hide their addiction at all costs. The dangers of inhalants can be apparent in a person’s appearance once they get addicted.

This addiction is under the radar as opposed to others. Kids and teens are the more prominent users because they can get these substances right from home. When the signs are there, people should act swiftly and diligently. The warning signs of someone using can depend on the person’s frequency and intensity of inhaling the substances.

Signs of Someone Using Inhalants

Is there someone in your life you suspect to be using inhalants? Well then here are the most common signs you should be aware of: 

  • Chemical odors on clothes and breath
  • Running nose, nosebleeds, and red eyes
  • Slurred speech and appearance like they are drunk
  • Hidden containers
  • Stained towels and clothing
  • Slurred speech
  • No appetite
  • Depression
  • Red marks and smudges around the nose and face

Are There Consequences with Inhalant Addiction?

Yes, there are. Inhalants can induce physical and psychological effects on a person. The frequency of this addiction is uncommon. The frequency of use can range from minor to severe. Like any addiction, things start rather casually and morph into compulsive behavior. Using inhalants can be considered almost like a gateway way drug. Solvents are addictive, and over time a person can build a tolerance.

However, this situation puts a person in the position of needing more to experience the high. In the case of some inhalants, especially solvents, a user may develop a tolerance, and the need for a psychological dependence of inhalants is very likely. The consequences of an inhalant addiction have short-term and long-term effects on the body that can lead to fatal implications. The more chronic of a user the person is, then the more it can affect the body.

Health Effects of Inhalant Addiction

When you abuse any substance, the body pays the piper one way or another. While this addiction is not fully understood, there is research that explores the effects it does on the human body. The danger of inhalants comes with the first initial high that can lead to an overdose. A person can have seizures and potentially make the heart stop. The main effects on the body are the central nervous system of the body and slow down the brain. As far as the symptoms go, a person can have restlessness, irritability, excitability, and anxiety.

The short-term and long-term effects can wreak havoc on the body as well as the mind. The typical duration of a high lasts about 15 minutes. The short-term health effects are similar to a person drunk off of alcohol. Inhalants can elevate the heart rate up, disrupt the rhythm of the heart rate, and rob the body of the necessary oxygen. With every inhale a person is their killing brain cells each breath. Since inhalants are highly flammable, the potential for an accident is possible. 

 Short-term Health Effects

There are many common short-term side effects of inhalant addiction. For example, one might experience: 

  • Slurred or distorted speech 
  • Lack of coordination
  • Euphoria 
  • Dizziness
  • Blackouts
  • Nausea
  • Coughing fits

  Long-term Health Effects

There are many common long-term side effects of inhalant addiction. For example, one might experience: 

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Lack of coordination
  • Leg spasms 
  • Delayed behavioral development
  • Brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Reduced muscle tone
  • Lung damage
  • Memory loss

Moreover, people can misuse nitrites in the bedroom as far as the sexual atmosphere is concerned. The comprised capacity of a person’s brain can lead a person to have unsafe sex. While also including themselves in other dangerous activities. 

Can an Inhalant Addiction Be Treated?

While there have been no studies done on the prevalence of inhalant abuse, however, it is treatable. Treatment can help with abuse and dependence. There needs to be a devotion to abstinence from the substances. However, the withdrawal symptoms of inhalants can be infrequent. When a person does need to withdraw from inhalant addiction, it needs to happen in a controlled environment. Withdrawal symptoms of inhalants are like withdrawing from benzodiazepines or alcohol.

For example, the typical symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sleep issues
  • Delusions

However, in more severe cases, there may be migraines, hallucinations, abdominal pains, or shaking. Frequent users coming off inhalants suffer withdrawal symptoms. For example, these can include:

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

Medications for Inhalant Addiction

However, as of this moment, there are no agents, in particular, that can reverse the process of a solvent intoxication. Also, there are no medications that have benefits for people withdrawing from an inhalant addiction. The typical length of withdrawal is about a month, though relapses are very likely within the process.  In looking to treating someone for an inhalant addiction, an intense inpatient program is something to be considered. 

Relapse rates are high for people that struggle with inhalant addiction. However, this is a therapy for inhalant addiction that is successful as they serve the reward function of the brain positively. The cognitive-behavioral therapy approach assists people with ways to foresee the traps, avoid and learn better-coping methods if the urge to huff occurs.

While more research is required to figure what is the most effective way to treat an inhalant, one tactic includes motivational incentives. When a person stays drug-free, there are monetary rewards and other perks sometimes used in treatment. Aftercare is especially beneficial for accountability purposes and sustaining sobriety.12-step programs and support groups can help with staying clean. When fighting an addiction having a core support group of family, friends, and others in recovery is beneficial to help you stay sober.

Your Addiction Can Be Treated

Nobody should turn a blind eye to inhalant addiction. The dangers of inhalants range from minor to severe based on how frequent the person uses. There is not much hard evidence on how addictive inhalants are, but it is still a problem. The most that at risk is the younger generation of teens that have easy access to inhalants. Education and awareness are essential for parents, mainly to prevent their children and others from experimenting.

 Like addressing any addiction, time is of the essence. If the signs are there, then there is likely a problem. Inhalant addiction is a serious matter because there it is unpredictable. It is a matter that is life and death, especially for the younger generation as they have their whole lives to live.

Finding the Right Resources

In conclusion, there are resources for people in the state of Utah, struggling with any form of addiction. Inpatient rehab is the most effective in a person overcoming an inhalant addiction. There are also options for outpatient rehabilitation and residential treatment. Press the reset button, and do not look back but move forward. With a plan of action, addiction does not stand a chance. 

The longer a person is in their addiction, the further it will take them down the path. No matter what stage of addiction someone is in, anyone can beat it with a little bit of help. There are recovery counselors ready to help people take the first steps. Now is the time. Call us at 385-327-7418 today.

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