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Article Summary

About Inhalants

Drugs that are commonly referred to as inhalants release chemical vapors and gases that effectively produce a "high" when a person uses them. Items that are commonly used on an everyday basis at home or at work for legitimate purposes are the most popular types of inhalants; these can include products such as gasoline, cleaning solvents and aerosols, just to name a select few. Inhalants are easy to access, cheap, and legal; unfortunately, these types of addictive substances are reported to have an extremely high potential for abuse-especially in teenagers.

The majority of parents and teachers are commonly in the dark about how popular inhalant use has become in the U.S. In the meantime, their teenagers are quickly discovering that using common household products that are cheap and easy to access are one of the simplest ways to get high. According to some of the recent national surveys of high school students in the U.S., inhalants are one of the most popular things that high school aged students are currently using to get high; according to many of these young people, inhalants are as popular as marijuana. It was also determined that in the United States, by the time an adolescent is in the 8th grade, over 20% of them have used inhalants; this is especially disturbing, as the use of inhalants can cause a number of health problems, including damage to the user's lungs, kidney, hear, bones, and brain. Is some instances, the damage from inhalants can heal when the individuals stops abusing them, but in many cases, the damage could be permanent.

Many manufacturers throughout the United States have gone as far as tainting their products in an attempt to make their products less appealing to individuals who abuse inhalants; unfortunately, this has not curtailed or prevented the use of many of these various types of inhalant. Because these aerosol products and solvents are sold openly on store shelves and are commonly in garages and kitchen cabinets across America, they are not generally thought of as being dangerous by most individuals. Some of the street names that are used for these various different types of inhalers are Rush, Snappers, Poppers, Locker room, Bolt, and Climax.

When various different types of toxic inhalants are used for the purpose of getting high, they can be inhaled right from the container which is commonly referred to as "sniffing." Another way that individuals abuse solvents in order to get high is to soak the chemicals in a rag and hold it to their face, which is usually referred to as "huffing" and has become one of the most popular ways for users toabuse inhalants.

List of the Most Common Inhalants

Volatile solvents-These particular chemicals are reported to be the most common types of inhalants that are currently being used in the U.S.; some examples of these types of chemicals include acetone, xylene, naptha hexane, and benzene. Products that include paint thinners, correction fluid, gasoline, cleaning fluids, glue, and felt-tip markers are reported to be the most common volatile solvents that are abused.

Aerosol spray cans-Products that are included in this particular category of inhalants may include but are not limited to: carburetor cleaner, octane booster, spray paint, cooking sprays, hair sprays, fabric protectors, and computer keyboard cleaners. This category of inhalants also includes various different other types of aerosol products, which contain solvents and various types of pressurized gases or liquids, such as butane and fluorocarbon.

Nitrites-There are several different types of nitrites, including butyl nitrite, amyl nitrite and cyclohexyl nitrite, which is commonly known as "poppers"; these inhalants are not the same as many of many of the various other types of inhalants that are commonly used in terms of their effects. Nitrites are most commonly marketed in head shops across the United States as "room deodorizers" or as "video head cleaner".

Gases- The various different types of inhalants that are most commonly include in this group include, chloroform, halothane, ether, and nitrous oxide, which is commonly referred to as "laughing gas."

Inhalant Detox and Withdrawal

Individuals who have abused inhalants for a very long period of time in high amounts can require up to six weeks or more to detox from these toxic chemicals; the often debilitating withdrawal signs that accompany this process may include, but are not limited to: hand tremors, muscle cramps, severe headaches, profuse sweating, chills, hallucinations and delirium tremors. Because many of these symptoms could potentially be life-threatening, a person should only undergo the inhalant detoxification process under the watchful eye of drug treatment professionals in the context of a complete and comprehensive drug rehab program.

Inhalant Overdose

A person can experience an inhalant overdose when they use more of these types of toxic products than their body can process; because inhalants are not drugs, but are instead poisonous toxins, there is an extremely high rate of overdose. When an individual suspects that a person that has abused inhalants is in crisis, they should provide immediate medical assistance. Because a person who has been huffing may become extremely agitated, the person that is assisting them should go to great lengths to remain calm, as this state of agitation could cause the person to react violently. A person that is in crisis because of inhalant use could begin to experience hallucinations or could have heart problems which could cause Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. If you discover a person that is in crisis due to huffing it is important be sure that the room that they are in is well ventilated, while you are waiting for the emergency medical team (EMT) to arrive; additionally, if the individual does not appear to be breathing, it is important to provide CPR as soon as possible.

Inhalant Treatment

Although drug treatment facilities that treat individuals for inhalant use are somewhat more difficult to find, drug rehab centers across the United States are finding more and more ways to begin to help individuals who have become addicted to inhalants. Loved ones who suspect inhalant use should look for a quality drug rehab that has a history of a high treatment success rate in helping individuals who have developed this type of a substance abuse problem.

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