Commonly Abused Inhalants

Common household cleaners. Beauty products. Art supplies.

They are easily accessible on store shelves or online, and many are stored under the sink and in cabinets around the house. You may think nothing of it, but in the hands of some people, these common products can turn into drugs of abuse – deadly substances that enable an ongoing addiction and often lead to sudden death.

If someone you care about is abusing inhalants for the purposes of getting high, you can assist him in regaining control of his life by connecting him with detox and addiction treatment services today. Call now for more information.

Commonly Abused Inhalants

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are four classes of inhalants that are commonly abused and found around the house. They include:

  1. Aerosols
  2. Gases
  3. Nitrites
  4. Solvents

Each class of inhalants includes a range of products that produce fumes that can create a buzz or a high and also kill brain cells, cause instant brain damage, or sudden death. Many people who abuse these substances ultimately develop an addiction that grows to include other substances if they survive the abuse of the inhalants.

Methods of Use

What exactly are inhalant abusers doing with the products they find around the house? Aerosols are often sprayed into balloons, paper bags, or plastic bags before the person places the opening over his mouth and “huffs” (e.g., breathing hard in and out) to breathe in the fumes. Gases are often inhaled in the same way. Often, this method of ingestion leaves marks of the product on the person’s mouth and nose, a telltale sign of inhalant abuse.

Solvents are often poured on cotton balls, rags, or even shirt sleeves before the person holds the fabric to his face and inhales the fumes. The smell of these chemicals is very strong, and even if the person gets rid of the solvent-soaked item, the toxic smell can linger on the skin, fingertips and hair.

Nitrites are not household products. They are often called “poppers” or “rush,” and they are usually used by adults in the club scene. The liquid is often sold in small bottles marked as a common household product, like lighter fluid.

Household Products

Not sure what household products can be abused for the purposes of getting high? Some of the most commonly abused inhalants found around the house include:

  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Hairspray or other beauty products in aerosol cans
  • Lighter fluid
  • Propane
  • Nitrous bullets used in reusable whipping cream containers
  • Paint thinner
  • Paint remover
  • Gasoline
  • Cleaning products
  • Spray paint

Signs of Inhalant Abuse

It may not always be clear that someone is abusing inhalants. It can be an unexpected choice. While there may be clues that something is wrong, you may not recognize the problem if you are unfamiliar with the signs.

Some signs of inhalant abuse include:

  • Odd chemical smell
  • Receipts or empty boxes for large amounts of household products that can be used to get high with no other purpose
  • Clothes that smell of chemicals
  • Marks of paint or marker around the mouth or nose
  • The person acts like he is drunk

In 2010, almost 800,000 people abused inhalants for the first time in the year prior to the survey. This is a common problem, and if it’s an issue for someone you love, treatment can help him or her start a new healthy life in recovery. Contact us today.

Further Reading About Commonly Abused Inhalants

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