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What are Inhalants?

man learns about inhalant abuse

While many parents find themselves worried about their teen or young adult child using alcohol or marijuana, there is another, more insidious, substance abuse threat to be wary of.  Inhalants—often found in household items such as glue, paint thinner, and nail polish remover—can be used to induce a high by breathing in toxic fumes. It is difficult to prevent inhalant use because these items are legal and easy to acquire.  Using inhalants can lead to many harmful side effects, as well as an increased risk of subsequent addictions, injury, and death. Inhalants are most commonly used by teenagers and may produce signs and symptoms that are easy to miss at first.  The “high” associated with inhalants is usually very short-lived, but you may notice signs such as blood-shot eyes, nosebleeds, and the smell of chemicals on your loved one if they are using inhalants.  Over time, inhalant abuse can cause issues with sleep, headaches, vision changes, and memory problems. People who abuse inhalants are at an increased risk of injury, especially if they choose to drive while high.  They are also more likely to use alcohol and other drugs at the same time, or in the future.  

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Some of the most frightening aspects of inhalant abuse are the damaging effects it can cause to the heart and brain.  Abusing inhalants can lead to an irregular heartbeat, or even sudden death. Because inhalants block blood flow to the brain, they often cause the user to lose consciousness.  Quitting inhalants may require substance abuse counselling and professional rehabilitation. Inhalant use may be a sign of underlying mental health issues, and should be treated as a serious wakeup call to take a hard look at the emotional wellbeing of your loved one. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  We use an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.