“Inhalants” is a term used about products and substances that produce an intoxicating chemical vapor when concentrated and inhaled. Many harmful chemicals are ingested when a product is used as an inhalant, including nitrous oxide, ethyl chloride, butane, propane, and acetone. In the majority of cases, inhalants will be used by adolescents and young adults, because they are far easier to obtain than illicit substances.
Some products that are commonly used as inhalants include whipped cream (in cans), cooking spray, deodorant spray, and spray paint. It is important to note that there are numerous types of inhalants beyond aerosol – minors will often inhale (or “huff”) chemical substances like gasoline, model glue, nail polish remover, certain cleaning fluids and solutions and correction fluid (White Out).
There are many dangers involved in using inhalants. One of the most significant and long-term dangers of inhalant abuse is permanent brain damage. Those who abuse this type of drug regularly will often appear confused, slow to react, and generally “out of it.” Brain damage can occur quickly. The high that inhalants produce is short-lived, and users will often take more of the drug immediately after the initial high wears off. Not only does this speed up the negative effects associated with inhalant abuse, it quickly leads to substance dependency.
Inhalant Abuse – A Deadly Habit?
Many underaged individuals will abuse inhalants because they feel that using a substance that is not illegal is “safer” than using an illegal substance (and, as mentioned before, inhalants are far easier to obtain than most other drugs). This is very far from the truth. Inhalants are extremely dangerous, and they can be life-threatening when used excessively. Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, or SSDS, is a dire and not entirely uncommon result of excessive inhalant abuse.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that a staggering 21 million American citizens over the age of 12 have abused inhalant drugs at least once in their lifetime. Sadly, 22 percent of the men and women who have passed away because of Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome had never used inhalants prior. While the majority of individuals who lost their lives to Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome had used inhalants beforehand, roughly one-fourth were first-time users.
How does Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome occur? In short, the chemicals that are released into the bloodstream overpower the central nervous system, and the heart stops beating. Those who use inhalants have had their lives cut short by this sad and fatal syndrome on many occasions. Parents have lost their children, children have lost their parents…still, lives are continuously lost to inhalant abuse because of a lack of information and resources.
Fortunately, we at Recreate Life Counseling provide men and women of all ages with the intensive therapeutic care they need to overcome inhalant abuse and addiction once and for all. Seeking professional help is essential when inhalant abuse is involved because it can be instantaneously deadly.
Recreate Life Counseling and Inhalant Abuse
At Recreate Life Counseling, we understand the dangers involved in substance abuse and we understand the urgency of seeking and receiving professional care as quickly as possible. Our individualized and comprehensive recovery program caters to those who are grappling with addictive disorders of all kinds. We take a therapeutic and holistic approach to clinical care, offering a truly unmatched level of integrated recovery services.
If you or someone close to you has been suffering from inhalant abuse or addiction, there is no time to seek treatment like the present. For more information, give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you get started on the lifelong road of addiction recovery.