The news is filled with reports about the opioid epidemic, but there is another epidemic that claims almost as many people every year. The prevalence of addiction to common household substances is almost as high as the rate of opiate addiction. Inhalants are close at hand, easy to get and their abuse is easy to hide. Getting high on household substances is just as dangerous as opiate abuse. In fact, it may be worse in terms of its medical and psychological effects.
If you’re concerned that a loved one or family member is abusing household substances, your first step should be to learn the facts about inhalant abuse. If you suspect that your loved one might have a problem, it’s helpful to know that addiction treatment centers can help.
Young People are Abusing Household Substances
Over 22 million people in the U.S. have used common household substances as a way to get high. Inhalants have become a popular way to get intoxicated among teenagers and young adults because they create an effect similar to being drunk. The primary substances that get abused in this way are inhalants.
Some of the more commonly abused inhalants include:
- Aerosol cans
- Spray-on monitor cleaner
- Whipped cream canisters
- Felt-tip markers
- Lighter fluid
- Paint thinner
What are the Dangers of Using Household Inhalants?
In the short term, inhalant abuse produces symptoms similar to those of heavy drinking. Users become uncoordinated, dizzy and start slurring their speech. Over the long term, inhalant abuse can lead to serious medical problems and other dangers.
- Suffocation or asphyxiation: Inhalant abuse causes the lungs to fill up with toxic smoke that displaces oxygen in the lungs.
- Coma: Over time, inhalant abuse leads the body to shut down in response to the high rate of toxins in the brain.
- Seizures: Inhalants cause brain injuries that can result in convulsions.
- Injuries and accidents: Driving while under the influence of inhalants causes serious and fatal accidents.
Signs of Inhalant Addiction
- Users need several hits a day to maintain their high. For that reason, buying and stockpiling large amounts of substances with inhalants is a clear signal that their might be abuse going on.
- The effects of inhalant abuse mimic those of being drunk, so you’ll see slurred speech, dizziness and lack of coordination.
- Finding hidden stashes of rags, paper bags and empty aerosol cans is a clear warning of abuse.
- Lingering chemical smells on the person’s clothes or breath usually mean inhalant abuse.
- Users will frequently be drowsy and appear to need excessive sleep.
- Constant headaches are another sign. Inhalants eventually cause brain damage and frequent headaches are an early sign.
How an Inpatient Treatment Center Can Help
The good news about addiction to household substances is that treatment is available. An inpatient rehabilitation center is the preferred setting for treating this addiction as it is for treating addictions to opiates, alcohol and other substances.
There are some key differences in the treatment of people with inhalant addiction.
- Detox from inhalants and household substances takes longer than detox from opiates or alcohol. These substances penetrate the body’s cells more deeply and it takes them longer to leave.
- Many inhalant abusers also have severe medical problems such as kidney or liver problems.
- It’s estimated that half of inhalant abusers also have a mental illness, so the treatment facility should be prepared to treat that in addition to the addiction.
We Can Free You from Inhalant Addiction
If your loved one is suffering from an addiction to household substances, or if you are, our inpatient rehab facility can help. We have programs specifically designed to address the special needs of inhalant addiction. We provide a safe, supportive environment where addicts can heal in mind, body and spirit.
We begin with medically supervised detox so that you don’t have to suffer the discomfort of withdrawal. We offer personalized plans designed by experts in addiction that include individual therapy, group activities and a clean, healthy environment.
If you’re ready to free yourself from the nightmare of addiction, call us anytime. Our counselors are here 24-7 to answer your questions and advise you on your next steps. Call us now at 844-639-8371.