Inhalants, as the name suggest, are a group of drugs that are inhaled by user to achieve a high. These drugs are capable of doing tremendous damage to the brain and body, the effects of which can be far worse than many “hard” drugs. The fact that these drugs are legal to buy make greatly increases their potential for abuse, especially by younger drug-seekers. Inhalants are composed of four main types: solvents, volatile gases, aerosols, and nitrites. Inhalants provide a strong but brief high, causing a user to take the drug more frequently and often in dangerous amounts, which can easily lead to loss of consciousness and death. The short-term effects of inhalants are similar to alcohol and include dizziness, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and euphoria. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “People may also feel light-headed or have hallucinations (images/sensations that seem real but aren’t) or delusions (false beliefs). With repeated inhalations, many people feel less self-conscious and less in control. Some may start vomiting, feel drowsy for several hours, or have a headache that lasts a while.” One of the greatest dangers of inhalants is their unpredictability in causing major health complications or death. Sudden Sniffing Death is possible in any otherwise healthy individual, and occurs when the toxic ingredients in solvents and aerosols are highly concentrated and overwhelm the brain and body, causing the heart to stop beating within minutes. The National Inhalant Prevent Coalition explains, “The chemicals abused by inhalant users affect different parts of the brain, producing a variety of sensory and psychological disorders. Many inhalants are thought to dissolve the protective myelin sheath that surrounds neurons – brain cells – resulting in cell death.” The damage to the brain caused by inhalants can create personality changes, memory problems, hallucinations, learning disabilities, tremors, vision problems, and permanent problems with balance and coordination. Additionally, inhalants are capable of causing major damage to organs, such as the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, muscles, and bone marrow. Because inhalant overdose is very likely and can lead to seizures or cause the heart to stop, it is extremely important to immediately seek medical attention.
Major health complications do not have to be a part of your story. You can choose to seek help now for addiction and begin the journey toward a happy and joyous life in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to providing you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777