Inhalants are common household products that contain volatile aerosols or solvents. When the vapors from these products are inhaled they provide a quick high, but with very dangerous health consequences. Some of the most common are glue, nail polish, spray paint, whip cream canisters, cleaning fluids, hair spray, deodorant, lighter fluid, gasoline, and ice glassier. Inhalants are often the first drugs young children abuse. An NIDA survey indicated the 30 percent of children had experimented with inhalants, solvents, gas or aerosols by the time they had reached the fourth grade.
The effects of inhalants vary, so users will often use the particular type that creates the desired effect. For example, Testers plastic glue has a high concentration of the chemical toluene which makes it popular with inhalant abusers. Early identification and intervention are the best ways to stop inhalant abuse. Some of the warning signs that indicate abuse include, paint or glue stains on clothes hands or face, chemical odors on breath or clothing, chemical soaked rags and hidden solvent or paint containers, slurred speech, disoriented behavior, inattentiveness and irritability. Inhalants are used in a variety of ways; sniffing the fumes from the containers, or Bagging, sniffing the fumes of the chemicals or substances that have been placed inside a paper or plastic bag. Huffing means to place an inhalant soaked rag into the mouth, or, as in the case of nitrous oxide to place the substance in a balloon and inhale.
Inhaled chemicals pass through the lungs and are absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream, then distributed to the brain and other organs. Intoxication occurs within seconds of inhalation. Users experience hallucinations, delusions, and dizziness. They exhibit slurred speech, impaired coordination, drunken like behavior. These effects last only a few minutes so abusers in an attempt to prolong the high continuously inhale sometimes for hours. This is a particularly dangerous practice and can result in blacking out due to lack of oxygen and even death.
The medical consequences of chronic inhalant abuse are devastating. But even a single use of an inhalant by an otherwise healthy person can cause “sudden sniffing death syndrome.” SSDS is particularly associated with butane, propane and chemicals found in aerosols. Inhalants are highly toxic substances and chronic use causes significant damage to heart lungs liver and kidneys, as well as irreversible nervous system damage if use is continued and prolonged. Nitrates, which include amyl nitrate (poppers), butyl nitrate, video head cleaner, are often abused by adolescents and young adults. These inhalants are used primarily to enhance sexual intensity; and their use can result in cardiac arrest and sudden sniffing death syndrome.
At ONE80CENTER , we recognize the extreme danger of an addiction to inhalants, and we know how to provide the help needed to leave this threatening addiction behind.
The danger posed by Inhalants is not to be SNIFFED AT!