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Why Inhalants are so Dangerous
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an inhalant is any chemical that is inhaled in order to get high. Inhalants are usually household chemicals. These chemicals are found in regular grocery stores and drug stores. Most inhalants are under the sink, in someone’s garage, and in most houses around the country. They are an inexpensive way for people to get high and are often used by high school students for this purpose.
Types of Inhalants
There are four main types of inhalants that people use to get high. All three of these types have similar effects and properties. These three types are:
- Gases – these are gaseous products that most people keep around the house such as: Butane, Whippets, Refrigerants, Ether, Anesthesia, and Nitrous oxide.
- Aerosols – these are solvents and propellants such as: Hair spray, Spray paint, and Vegetable sprays.
- Volatile chemicals – these are liquids that are gaseous at room temperature such as: Paint thinner, Lacquer thinner, Gasoline, Glues, Office supplies, and Electronics cleaners.
- Nitrites – special chemical combinations used to enhance sexual experience such as: Video head cleaner, and Room oxidizer.
There are many more in each of these categories. These products are just a small sample of the inhalants in each of the categories.
Effects of Inhalants
The effects of inhalants depends on the inhalant or category of inhalant. They range from short term euphoria to enhanced sexual feelings. Most people experience lightheadedness and dizziness. This is why people use them. It is a short term high and this prompts people to use inhalants again and again. This repeated use deprives the brain of oxygen and causes brain damage and possible death.
Long Term Effects of Inhalants
The long term effects of inhalants are extremely dangerous. Inhalants kill brain cells and damages the nervous system. These are two systems that do not repair themselves quickly. The nerve damage causes difficulties with motor and sensory functions such as:
Once this nerve damage is done, it is often irreversible. Most people who suffer from nerve damage due to inhalants do not notice it until it is too late. Most of these issues are correctable if the inhalants are stopped before the damage is done.
The brain damage done by inhalants is often devastating. Most people who suffer brain damage from inhalants do so because of the oxygen deprivation to the brain. This causes cognitive impairment, sensory and motor impairment, impaired reasoning, and other such issues. Repeated use of inhalants also effects memory and speech. Someone who uses inhalants regularly has a hard time remembering anything, carrying on conversations, and learning new skills.
For more information on inhalant addiction or if you need treatment for inhalant addiction call us at 800-721-8114. We can help you find the treatment center that you need to break the inhalant addiction before it is too late.