Addiction to Inhalants
While less common, inhalant abuse does occur because of the addictive qualities. Most cases occur in more isolated regions. Individuals who use inhalants on a regular can develop a physical and psychological dependence on the substance over time.
Inhalants are volatile, often flammable substances that vaporize at room temperature. Inhalants produce short-lived, mind-altering effects that can be similar to alcohol’s effects.
Inhalants encompass a wide variety of chemicals and anesthetics categorized together based on their method of administration: inhalation. Household solvents, gases, and anesthetics are among the common substances that are abused. Other common inhalants include:
- Paint thinner
- Spray paint
- Lighter fluid
- Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”)
- Computer duster spray
- Nail polish and nail polish remover
These substances are often referred to as whippets, laughing gas, huff or hippie crack.[/col_inner] [/row_inner]
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Inhalant Effects and Abuse
Inhalants can be abused using several different methods. The most common method of inhalation is huffing. Huffing is soaking a rag with a liquid inhalant, holding the rag up to one’s mouth, and then inhaling the vapors. Some may inhale the substance directly from its container through their mouth or nose. The substance can also be inhaled out of a plastic or paper bag or heated. Heating the substance intensifies the effects.
The effects of inhalants include:
- Loss of self-control
- Limited reflexes
Treating an Inhalant Addiction
Inhalant addiction is a rare form of substance dependence, highlighting the need for professional treatment. There are both inpatient and outpatient treatment options available for people suffering with an addiction to inhalants.
Inhalants are one of the most detrimental substances of abuse to a person’s health. If you or someone you know has an inhalant addiction, get help finding treatment.