Effects of Inhalant Abuse

Abuse of inhalants may seem to be a minor problem if a parent comes across evidence of this practice in a young person. Inhalant abuse is most likely to be found in young teens or even pre-teens - average age of initial use is 13. A parent may reprimand the young person and leave it at that. What that parent may not realize is that the effects of inhalant abuse include severe organ damage, blindness, coma and death. One in three deaths that result from inhalants occur the first time the person abused this substance.

Looking for the Effects of Inhalant Abuse

The immediate effects of this type of substance abuse include a residual chemical smell on a person’s body, breath, clothes, rags or other items left behind. An inhalant user usually has a poor appetite and loses weight. His (or her) skin may be pale, even bluish. His eyes will be dilated and glassy. He will talk slowly and unclearly, slurring parts of words. He will move in an uncoordinated fashion, appearing to be drunk.

At the same time, the consumption of these gasses foreign to the body can be damaging the liver, kidneys, eyes, lungs, heart and even bone marrow.

One of the effects of heavy inhalant use is cardiac arrest. A person can also suffocate when foreign gasses like butane, nitrous oxide or solvents replace all the air in one’s lungs.

The young are the primary abusers of these substances. They are not really drugs, but are toxic chemicals that create euphoria that some people find addicting. Another desired effect of inhalant abuse is the feeling that one does not have to deal with life’s problems. The escape from responsibilities can be an enticing effect for a person who does not know how to address difficulties in his (or her) life.

Prolonged abuse of inhalants can lead to effects similar to those of multiple sclerosis. Some damaging effects can be very lasting, even permanent.

Inhalant Addiction Drives People to Destructive Actions

Huffing Gas

Just like with any addictive drug, an effect of inhalant abuse is to drive a person to irresponsible, dangerous and life-threatening behavior. In 2010, ABC News carried a story of a seventh grade student in Indianapolis who hung out in his garage after school, inhaling gasoline for hours. He had gotten started inhaling computer cleaner at a friend’s house. Despite passing out the first time he did it, he liked it. The high was so brief that he sought ways to inhale some available substance over and over to maintain the high. He chose gasoline stored in his family’s garage. Finally, his mother found him blacked out in the garage. She thought he was going to die.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration pointed out that twelve-year old children are more likely to use inhalants found around the house than they are to smoke cigarettes or marijuana.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse notes than more than 22 million Americans have abused an inhalant at least once. And not one of them needs a drug dealer to get high.

Ridding Oneself of the Effects of Inhalants

The Narconon drug rehabilitation program is a way that a person can come back after inhalant abuse. One phase of the program, the Narconon New Life Detoxification, enables a person to flush out toxins that these substances leave behind. When a drug or inhalant is abused, not all the toxins are able to be flushed out at the time of the abuse. This deep detoxification action guides each person through a regimen of sauna time, moderate daily exercise and nutritional supplementation. This combination enables to body to start eliminating toxins buried deep in fatty tissues. As these toxins are eliminated, one’s outlook brightens and thinking becomes clearer again.

The best effect of this action is that cravings for drugs or inhalants reduces - some people even say the cravings are gone.

What remains is for a person to recover mentally and emotionally from the addiction and to learn the life skills that are needed to stay sober. This is the focus of the remainder of this innovative program.

In eight to ten weeks for most people, it is possible to recover one’s personal integrity that was lost during addiction, learn how to leave dangerous associates behind, and restore one’s sense of personal responsibility. Knowing how to repair the damage to relationships is another essential component of recovery, and this is learned by each person on the Narconon program. Then the life skills are utilized to build the foundation for a new, sober life.

The goal of the program is a drug-free individual.

Learn more about this program that has helped tens of thousands of people find sobriety. Since 1966, this program has been helping people recover from addictions to drugs like heroin, cocaine, alcohol and inhalants.

See also Signs and Symptoms of Inhalants Abuse


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