Inhalants are substances that are used to get high by inhaling the fumes. These drugs can be found in many household items, such as aerosol sprays, glue, paint thinner, gasoline, and nitrous oxide. Unfortunately, these drugs can be extremely dangerous and even deadly if abused. Let’s take a closer look at inhalants and why they are dangerous. Please visit EMRGENT Addiction for more info.

What Do Inhalants Do?

Inhalants cause a quick but powerful high that is very short-lived. This means that users often need to use more of the drug in order to maintain the desired effect. This can lead to addiction or even death due to overdose.


In addition to the short-term effects of inhalant abuse, there are also long-term effects. Chronic inhalant abusers can suffer from a number of physical and mental health problems, including permanent brain damage, kidney failure, difficulty breathing, hearing loss, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, heart palpitations, and even death. Even those who do not become addicted may still suffer from lasting physical damage caused by their use of inhalants.

What are the Side Effects of Inhalant Abuse?

Inhalant abuse has a variety of short-term and long-term side effects. The immediate side effects of inhalant abuse can include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, delusions, hallucinations, slurred speech, lack of coordination, headaches and irregular heart rate. Long-term use of inhalants can lead to damage to vital organs such as the liver, kidney, and heart. 

What Are Inhalants and Why

Inhalant abuse can also lead to damage in the brain and nervous system resulting in difficulty with memory, motor skills, coordination, judgment as well as difficulty with learning and concentration. Long-term use of inhalants can cause permanent physical or psychological damage including sudden sniffing death syndrome (SSDS). SSDS is the result of an irregular heartbeat caused by inhalant abuse and can be fatal.

Inhalant abuse can also cause depression, anxiety, aggression, personality changes, paranoia and suicidal thoughts or actions. 


Abusing inhalants over a long period of time can lead to addiction or dependence and withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped abruptly. Symptoms of withdrawal may include nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, shaking and fatigue.  Long-term use of inhalants can also lead to respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Inhalant abuse can also cause damage to the liver, kidney, lungs and heart.  Additionally, long-term inhalant abuse can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer and other medical conditions.

How Can We Help Prevent Inhalant Abuse?

The best way to prevent inhalant abuse is through education. It is important for parents and other adults to talk openly with children about why using inhalants is dangerous. If a child shows signs of using inhalants or any other substance abuse problem, it is important for them to get professional help as soon as possible in order to prevent long term damage or death due to overdose or addiction.


It is also important for adults who work with young people—such as teachers or coaches—to be aware of the signs of inhalant use so they can intervene before it becomes an issue.

How do you Treat Inhalant Addiction?

Treating inhalant addiction typically begins with a comprehensive evaluation that includes an assessment of the individual’s mental and physical health. The evaluation allows providers to determine the best course of treatment and create a plan tailored to the individual patient.


Once the initial evaluation is complete, the treatment team will likely recommend a combination of therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, and medications. CBT focuses on identifying and changing thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addictive behavior. 


Psychotherapy may include family therapy and/or group counseling sessions to help individuals gain insight into their addiction and learn healthy ways of coping with stress, triggers, and cravings for inhalants.

In addition, medications may be used to help reduce and manage cravings. Depending on the situation, this treatment plan may also incorporate other therapies such as art therapy or holistic remedies like yoga and mindfulness. Finally, relapse prevention strategies will be developed to help individuals learn how to cope with triggers and prevent future substance use.


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