Addiction Treatment

Addiction to Household Items and Inhalants

Written By:

Becky Babb

tightlipped woman against a grey background thinking about addiction to household items and inhalants

Addiction is not something that only happens with drugs and alcohol. People can also suffer from an addiction to household items like inhalants. Doctors may diagnose an addiction when a person cannot manage his or her use of inhalants despite knowing the damage they cause. Even if you have an overwhelming desire to stop using these products, you may be unable to quit alone. They are readily available, which makes it harder to stop. Our addiction treatment center can help.

Understanding an Addiction to Household Items

Inhalants are volatile substances that evaporate at room temperature. When a person breathes them in, he or she may experience a brief, mind-altering effect like people feel when they drink alcohol. There are a wide range of chemicals and anesthetics that people use to get high this way. Those who abuse them may refer to the substances as laughing gas, huff, whippets, or hippie crack.

Individuals abuse substances by inhaling in several different ways. The most common method is huffing. This involves applying a liquid inhalant to a rag and holding it near the mouth and nose to breathe in the vapors. Some choose to inhale the chemical from the container directly. Inhaling a substance from a paper or plastic bag is another way people can abuse it. Heating the substance before inhaling it can intensify the effects.

Intoxication from inhalants is like inebriation from alcohol because it causes similar effects like motor function problems and impaired judgment. Inhalant intoxication is different, though, because it can also cause a person to reach a hallucinatory state. Also, the effects of these substances generally last for only a few minutes while drunkenness lasts much longer. Additional effects of inhalant use include euphoria, excitement, and lightheadedness along with blacking out and limited reflexes.

The Damage a Household Item Addiction Can Cause

Inhalant abuse includes misusing household solvents, anesthetics, and gases. Household solvents may include anything from gasoline to cleaning products while anesthetics are gases that the medical community uses to decrease pain, such as nitrous oxide or chloroform. Nitrous oxide occurs in whipped cream cans, which is how most inhalant abusers gain access to it. To get high, abusers may inhale paint thinners, lighter fluid, glue, or dry-cleaning fluids. Gases they may abuse include propane, Freon, and butane.

Any type of inhalant use is abuse because it can cause serious damage to the body. When people abuse these substances, they can depress the central nervous system. Breathing these chemicals in deeply may cause a fatal overdose. People using them will usually lose touch with reality. They are likely to feel nauseated or vomit and lose consciousness. When a fatal overdose occurs, it is typically from heart failure, asphyxiation, or respiratory arrest. There are also long-term effects of inhaling dangerous chemicals. These include hearing loss, brain damage, and delayed behavioral development.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment options can help those who suffer from an addiction to inhaled substances. Residential treatment is highly effective.

Getting Help for an Addiction to Household Items

The scary thing about this sort of addiction is that it can cause permanent brain damage. Most people who become addicted to inhaling chemicals need professional treatment. Don’t let addiction determine how you live your life. A good drug rehab facility like our addiction treatment center can help you overcome it. Give us a call today, and we’ll direct you toward recovery.

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