Inhalants have an effect that may mirror the use of alcohol, and teenagers are the most common users. Household products are easily used as inhalants.
Cut off areas are mostly where inhalant abuse takes place, it is the least common type of drug abuse. Nevertheless, inhalants have addictive qualities. The fact that addiction to inhalants is not as prevalent as others does not mean that the risk should be ignored.
People who are said to be addicted to inhalants are those who continue to use them even with the knowledge that the inhalant has ill effects on their health. To stop abusing inhalants those with an overwhelming desire to drop the habit find it near to impossible.
The ease of access to inhalants both at home and in shops creates a challenge for those who wish to stop using them.
Those who use inhalants over a prolonged period of time can end up having physical and psychological dependence to it.
Inhalants are volatile and flammable substances which dispel at room temperature. The effects of an inhalant are not very long and aren't too different from those produced by alcohol.
Inhalants are part of a broad range of chemicals as well as anaesthetics which are grouped together due to a common mode of administration; inhalation. Whippets, laughing gas, huff or hippie crack are the common name for this substance.
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Examples Of Inhalants
Abuse of inhalants may consist the use of household solvents, gases as well as anaesthetics. Be it a washing product or gasoline; anything can serve as a home inhalant.
Anaesthetics are medical gases used to minimize pain sensitivity. Chloroform and Nitrous oxide are some common anaesthetics. Nitrous oxide is popularly referred to as "laughing gas" and is often used by dentists. Most of these addicted users get inhalant gas from cans of whipped cream, where this gas is often used.
Blood flow is easily boosted in the body system of heart patients using Amyl nitrite, which is a common inhalant. Since their key function is to relax muscles, nitrites have a different effect in comparison to other inhalants in the same class.
Inhalants that are commonly abused are
- Lighter fluid
- Spray paint
- Lighter fluid
- Nitrous Oxide, laughing gas
- Nail polish and nail polish remover
Inhalant Effects And Abuse
The most common method of taking inhalants is by huffing although other methods are also used. The act of inhaling vapours from an inhalant fluid soaked rag involves positioning the rag up to the mouth and breathing in, this is known as "Huffing". In some cases, direct inhalation through the mouth or nose right from the container is also done.
The other methods involves inhaling the substance out of a balloon, paper or plastic bag. To boost the effect of inhalant, some users apparently heat the substance before using them.
Inhalation intoxication could be compared to alcohol intoxication due to the similarity of the resultant side effects; for instance impaired judgment as well as motor incoordination. Inhalants however defer slightly from alcohol as they can cause the user to hallucinate temporarily. Moreover the inhalant side effects last for only a few minutes. Inhalants may cause
- Leading to volatility or irresolute behaviours
- Lack of self-control
- Slower reflexes
The largest demographic of inhalant abusers is teenagers. In 2012, the average age among first-time users were about 17 years of age.
Due to the dangers that inhalants can cause, any kind of use is classified as abuse. Higher doses or deep breathing of these solvents can result in a fatal overdose because inhalants act as a central nervous system depressant.
This is often heralded by the user losing touch of reality and experiencing squeamishness and vomiting and eventual unconsciousness. The drug can cause the user to stop breathing on their own or a fatal overdose can generally result to heart failure and asphyxiation.
The Treatment Of An Addiction To Inhalants
There is need to undergo treatment for addiction to inhalants under medical care due the rarity of the problem. People suffering from an addiction to inhalants have both inpatient and outpatient treatment options available for them.
Compared to other drugs, Inhalants can cause significantly severe damage to the body of the user. Provide or get help by finding treatment on 0800 772 3971 if you or someone you know has an inhalant addiction.