Inhalant Addiction
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 Inhalant Addiction

High as a kite

Many inhalant abusers are adolescents who abuse inhalants out of boredom and curiosity, and usually at the urging of friends that they are hang out with.

Inhalants are substances that produce chemical vapours that, when inhaled in excessive amounts, gets the person on a high. Commonly used inhalants include solvents (e.g. paint thinners and glues), gases (e.g. hair sprays and deodorants) and nitrites (e.g. room odorisers).

Inhalant users inhale the vapours or gases using plastic bags held over the mouth or by breathing from an open container of solvents, such as gasoline or paint thinner.

Common Long-Term Effects

As depressants, inhalant abuse causes drowsiness, impaired judgment, confusion, delirium, and can even lead to loss of consciousness. Sniffing highly-concentrated inhalants for long periods may cause irregular heartbeat that may lead to heart failure and deaths within minutes, a syndrome known as Sudden Sniffing Death (SSD).

Common long-term effects of inhalant use include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
  • Memory impairment, diminished intelligence
  • Loss of body control
  • Hearing loss 
  • Deaths from heart failure or asphyxiation (loss of oxygen)

Signs of Inhalant Addiction

  • The smell of chemicals on your child's clothing or breath?

 

  • Your child looking drunk, dazed or slurred in his speech?
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