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How to Help an Someone Addicted to Inhalants

Get help with inhalants. Find out rehabilitation and recovery options for inhalant abuse and inhalant addictions

Everything you need to know about inhalants:

Inhalants refer to a group of substances including solvents which release vapours, and cause intoxication when inhaled. People who misuse inhalants intentionally absorb the vapours. This can be done in several ways: directly from a container, from a bag in which the inhalant is in, or even from a cloth which is saturated with the substance and subsequently put over the nose or mouth.

The intoxication which occurs with inhalants happens quickly but is short-lasting. Also referred to as “huffing”, the abuse of inhalants is widespread. It is estimated that 58% of users report their first experience by ninth grade and it has been reported that teenagers who began using inhalants prior to the age of 15 increased their likelihood of developing dependence by six times compared to peers who started later.

The symptoms of intoxication from inhalants closely resemble that to alcohol intoxication including:

In addition to this, inhalant intoxication may also cause temperature and chemical burns, withdrawal, severe mental illness, and sudden death. Long-term side effects related to inhalant use include nerve and brain damage as well as kidney, heart and liver failure.


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Individual counselling for drug addictions has proven to be one of the most effective ways to combat addictions and for clients to sustain their lasting sobriety and meaningful personal growth. Many people think that substances are the core of the addiction problem. However, substances are very often a temporary solution or coping mechanism used by the person to cope with deeper issues that exist in their emotional wellbeing. These emotional layers form over time and may need to be addressed through more focused talk therapy or addiction counselling.