Inhalants are chemicals found in household products, medical supplies and medications, and industrial cleaners, solvents and fuels. They are extremely dangerous and the effects are profound and require medical addiction treatment. Inhalant abuse can be fatal and should be taken very seriously.

You can stop inhalant abuse before it destroys your body and your mind. Recovery Connection coordinators can find an appropriate treatment program, answer your questions and ease your fears. Call 24/7 at 866.812.8231. All calls are confidential and free of charge.

What Is Huffing (Inhalant Abuse)?

Inhalant abuse is commonly referred to as huffing. Huffing involves inhaling a chemical and then exhaling rapidly, repeating the process to achieve the maximum air flow through the lungs. Huffing increases the amount of chemical that enters the blood through the lungs.

Huffing can cause permanent damage, seriously affecting emotional, cognitive and physical abilities. Children and adolescents are extremely vulnerable because their brains are still developing. Inhalants can also present a serious risk of death known as "sudden sniffing death syndrome" caused by acute cardiac and/or pulmonary effects.

Common Inhalants Used in Huffing Are:

  • Adhesives: Model airplane glue, rubber cement, household glue
  • Anesthetics: Nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform
  • Cleaning: Dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, and degreaser
  • Food: Vegetable cooking spray, "whippets" (nitrous oxide)
  • Gases: Nitrous oxide, butane, propane, helium
  • Solvents: Nail polish remover, paint thinner, correction fluid and thinner, toxic markers, pure toluene, cigar lighter fluid, gasoline
  • Aerosols: Spray paint, hair spray, air freshener, deodorant, fabric protector

Chemicals used in these products are not meant to be ingested or inhaled into the human body. The same mechanism for abuse that occurs with other drugs and alcohol occurs with inhalants. Inhalant use most often begins in late childhood or early adolescence. As with many other drugs, the high only lasts a few moments and is sought again and again in rapid sequence. An abuse pattern can develop quickly.

Signs and Symptoms of Inhalant Abuse

Chronic inhalant abuse can produce other symptoms that damage the body: Both physical and psychological. Initial effects of inhalants resemble alcohol intoxication, although hallucinations do accompany chronic inhalant abuse. Long-term effects of inhalant abuse for adolescents can be severe.

The Signs and Symptoms of Inhalant Abuse Are:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Loss of senses
  • Irregular gait
  • Lack of coordination
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of concentration
  • Spots or sores around the mouth
  • Red or runny eyes and nose
  • Chemical odor on the breath
  • Drunken or dazed appearance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excitability and/or irritability, anxiety
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Behavioral problems
  • Tremors
  • Psychological problems

Inhalants are dangerous and can cause serious brain damage. You want to stop but don't know how to overcome the addiction. Recovery Connection can help find the best treatment program for your needs. Call 866.812.8231 and let our specially trained coordinators answer your questions, assist you in getting help and alleviate your fears. Hope is at hand. Call now.

Health Complications from Inhalant Addiction

The overall impact of inhalants upon the body can be devastating. Addiction to inhalants has a profound influence upon the health of all major systems  and brain function.

Health Effects of Inhalant Use:

  • Damage to the peripheral nervous system
  • Inability of cells to relay sound to the brain
  • Leukemia
  • Lung damage
  • Liver damage
  • Lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Kidney trouble
  • Degeneration of muscle tone and strength
  • Inflammation of the lungs

Death from an overdose of inhalants is common. Some inhalants can produce acute cardiotoxicity in young, otherwise healthy users.

Inhalant Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Hand tremors
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pains
  • Psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression

The treatment of inhalant intoxication and withdrawal is largely supportive, with a focus on neurological, cardiac, respiratory, renal and hepatic systems. These patients may require artificial ventilation or other types of intensive medical support. Sedatives are commonly used for those who are experiencing psychosis, irritability, insomnia or aggression.

Inhalant Abuse Treatment

If you or your loved one, especially if a young person, is using any type of inhalant, there is addiction treatment available that can specifically address your needs. It is critical that you seek treatment immediately. Inhalants are extremely toxic and can cause dangerous immediate and long-term effects. Inhalant addiction treatment should be done in an inpatient rehab setting that has medically trained staff to provide the care required and to address all underlying issues related to the addiction and its development.

Looking For Treatment?

For help in locating an inhalant addiction treatment center, call Recovery Connection at 866.812.8231 for a confidential referral.

24/7 all conversations are confidential.