What are Inhalants?

The inhalants definition, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is: “various products easily bought and found in the home or workplace such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids and they contain dangerous substances that have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties when inhaled.”

Inhalants were not originally produced to get high, but many people have turned these everyday household items into recreational drugs by “huffing” their toxic fumes. For a drug to be classified as an inhalant, they must be consumed exclusively by inhaling. For example, if a drug can be consumed by inhaling it, but it can also be consumed by eating it, it is not classified as an inhalant.

Inhalants are also known as Huff, Rush, Spray, Moon Gas, Whippets, or Gluey, and they can be extremely dangerous for an individuals short-term and long-term mental and physical health.

What are Examples of Inhalants?

Inhalants are common household items, such as:

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Gasoline
  • Solvents
  • Rubber cement
  • Spray paint
  • Ammonia inhalants
  • Lighter fluid
  • Nitrates
  • Cooking sprays
  • Various gases
  • Shoe polish
  • Glue
  • Paint thinner

How do Inhalants Affect the Brain?

Inhalants are consumed by a process called “huffing,” which is the method of inhaling the toxic fumes from the produce to achieve a high. Huffing can be done by soaking a rag in the substance, holding it up to the face or mouth, and inhaling the fumes. This practice is very harmful to the body since the toxins are absorbed through the lungs, into the bloodstream, then spread to the brain very quickly.

Depending on the product itself and the amount of it inhaled into the body, the high can be mild to severe. The toxins slow down brain activity, resulting in short-term side effects such as slurred speech, dizziness, hallucinations, lack of coordination, headaches, or lack of self-control.

The long-term effects of inhalants on the brain can cause liver damage, hearing loss, muscle spasms, kidney problems, extreme depression and anxiety, heart problems, or severe brain damage. The younger the individual using inhalants is, the more of a risk they have for delayed development.

Can You Become Addicted to Inhalants?

People may form a psychological addiction or a substance use disorder (SUD) too inhalants, meaning that they keep using the drug to feel its effects. An individual will know if they have an addiction or use disorder to inhalants if they experience withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the drug, such as nausea, sweating, or mood swings. Inhalant addiction can lead to more serious long-term effects down the road.

How Can You Get Help for Inhalant Addiction?

If you suspect that you have an inhalant addiction, it is important to search for treatment options right away. Some effective forms of treatment for inhalant addiction include:

  • Counseling — individual counseling and family counseling can lead to very positive results in the addict’s life. Openly communicating with other people about their feelings can relieve stress and solve problems. Counseling helps individuals learn how to manage their addiction and the problems that come with it.
  • Group therapy — or being involved in support groups let people suffering from addiction know that they are not alone. Group therapy consists of a group of people sharing their triumphs, failures, and hopes for the future when dealing with their addiction.
  • Healing the Whole Person — By improving the health of the individual’s mind, body, and soul, people will be more equipped to handle what life throws at them in the future. Exercise classes, mindfulness activities, and spirituality can help individuals learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce their chances of relapse in the future.
  • Spirituality — Faith-based approaches to recovery can help individuals suffering from addiction by having them turn to Jesus and Christianity’s teachings. Spirituality can fill the void that drugs once filled and can teach people how to live a fulfilled life.
  • Inpatient facilities — By being admitted into an inpatient facility, individuals will be removed from their typical environment to avoid triggers. These facilities can help them learn what healthy relationships with other people looks like, assist them to come up with a healthy daily routine, and teach them the importance of staying drug-free.

If you or someone you know is addicted to inhalants, get help right away. Call A Forever Recovery at our toll-free number to learn about the different forms of treatment they have to offer people who are suffering from addiction. Call today to get started on your journey to long-term sobriety!