When you think of drug abuse, few drugs that may come to mind immediately might include heroin, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, or various hallucinogens. Many people even inhale chemicals without knowing their dangerous effects, and this is another form of inhalant addiction. Called bagging, or huffing, this practice of inhaling chemicals can even become life threatening.
Common Household Inhalants
Inhalant addiction may also include various household products such as gasoline, glues, paint thinners, compressed air, and hair sprays. Some of these are quite popular with kids because they are easily available. Parents are still not aware that many common products can also be used as stimulants.
Most of these products are available in stores or homes, and in most of the cases they are seen as innocuous. Any studies have shown that even users are still not aware of the dangers of sniffing these chemicals. They may provide a “brief’ high, but their negative effects can be fatal.
How Do These Inhalants Work?
When users inhale these chemicals into their lungs, they are moved through bloodstream to different organs, including the heart and the brain. Kids may even suffer cardiac arrest due to this inhalant addiction even the first time they use these substances. Some of them even go blind, and others may permanently lose their motor skills. Inhalants can also decrease the oxygen intake in the body to a point the person may suffocate to death.
The fumes from inhalants provoke the feeling of intoxication which is quite different from a drunken state. However, this sensation wears off within a short time, and the abuser may continue huffing thereby increasing the risk of lethargy, headaches, body pain, and fatigue.
Continuous absorption of various toxic chemicals can severely damage your central nervous system, and decrease the oxygen levels in your body. In some cases, inhalant addiction may even lead to death. There have been thousands of cases where people have died when they knowingly inhaled toxic substances. In most of the cases, oxygen is cut-off from the body, and the user ultimately dies due to suffocation.
Some warning signs that your loved one may be using inhalants:
- Sores around the mouth
- Red or irritated nose
- Watery eyes
- Stained hands or faces
- Intense mood swings
- Chemical odors on the breath or clothing
- Slurred speech
What is Recommended for Inhalant Addiction?
In most of the cases, comprehensive treatment in drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is often recommended for inhalant addiction. As toxins can remain in body for weeks, the user needs a medically safe environment to detox properly and safely. Aside from that, as most of the inhalants are easily available, so it is best to use a secure environment where the user has no access to such inhalants, as this is the most effective way to ensure effective recovery.