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Questions and Answers About Inhalants Abuse

Q & A: Inhalants Abuse and Their Dangers

Inhalants abuse is prevalent in our country. These drugs are among the most dangerous drugs in the world. Still, people continue to use them every day.

You may be someone who is abusing inhalants, or perhaps you know someone who is. Either way, you may have a lot of questions about these powerful drugs. We’d like to take a moment and answer your questions.

What are Inhalant Drugs?

What type of drug is an inhalant? This is a great question. People often wonder: 

  • Are inhalants depressants?
  • Are inhalants stimulants?
  • Are inhalents hallucinogenic drugs?
  • Are inhalants legal drugs?
  • Are inhalants natural or synthetic drugs? 

These drugs are chemicals that produce vapors that can be inhaled, sniffed or huffed. When they are, they produce a mind-altering effect. These drugs are rarely taken in any other way besides sniffing them and inhaling them. 

Usually, inhalents are synthetic and legal. They are definitely hallucinogenic in nature. Some may function more as stimulants, while others function more as depressants.


What are Some Inhalant Drug Examples?

As you can imagine by the inhalant’s description, there are several different types of these drugs. These include:

  • Aerosol sprays (spray paint, deodorant, perfume, etc.)
  • Gases (nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform, etc.)
  • Butane lighters
  • Propane tanks
  • Nitrites
  • Automobile gas

What are Some Common Inhalent Street Names, Slang Names and Phrases?

There are several different slang names and street names for inhalants. For example, nitrous is something that can be obtained from whipped cream cans. Because of this, huffing it has earned it the name, “Whippets.” While it seems relatively benign, the Whippet drug can be very dangerous. The same is true for other forms of inhalant drugs. 

Other slang terms for inhalants include: 

  • Air blast
  • Bagging
  • Bang
  • Buzz Bomb
  • Hippie Crack
  • Honey Oil
  • Laughing Gas
  • Poppers
  • Texas Shoe Shine
  • Toilet Water

How are Inhalants Made and Where do Inhalent Drugs Come From?

This is a difficult question to answer because these drugs are all so different. Many of them are made in factories, and marketed to American consumers. This makes it easy for young people to get a hold of them for abuse purposes. Others may be made for use in hospital settings.

You can find inhalant drugs in stores all over the country. They’re often perfectly legal to purchase, regardless of your age.

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What do Poppers Look Like?

Inhalants look like common, everyday household items. Most people wouldn’t even think of them as being drugs. The fact that most people have them in their homes makes inhalants seem safe. Of course, they’re not at all safe to use to get high.

Examples of Poppers include:

  • Regular, everyday cleaning fluid
  • Paint solvent
  • Shoe polish
  • Glue
  • Lighter fluid

Where are Inhalants Found?

Inhalants are found in just about every store, and in every home across the United States. It is not hard to find these products. Most people have several of them lurking under their kitchen cabinets.

How are These Dangerous Drugs Used?

People often wonder, what are inhalants used for?, and how are inhalents taken?. These drugs are used to produce a hallucinogenic high, and they’re usually taken by huffing or inhaling.

Sometimes a process called bagging is used. This involves putting some of the substance in a paper bag and inhaling the fumes. In rare cases, inhalant drugs will be injected, but again, this is not at all common.

An addiction to inhalant drugs such as laughing gas and gasoline is not common. However, that’s not to say that it cannot happen. People can end up becoming addicted to inhalants, even if the addiction is only psychological.

If you have been using these drugs for any period of time, you may be addicted too. An inhalants addiction can result with repeated use of them.

How do You Know You’re an Inhalant Addict?

You can tell that you are addicted to inhalant drugs if you: 

  • Have health problems that are related to your drug use
  • Have personal problems with others that stem from your use of inhalants
  • Are not able to meet your responsibilities at home, at work, or at school
  • Experience cravings to use inhalant drugs
  • Go through withdrawal when you are unable to use these substances 

Do you still have questions about inhalant drugs? If you do, try taking an addiction quiz to determine if you are an inhalant addict.

Are There Any Medical Uses for Inhalents?

You may have noticed that there are some medical inhalants on the above list. Medical inhalants may be used for a number of different reasons.

For example, nitrous is commonly used by dentists during painful procedures. Chloroform and ether were once used as anesthetics during surgery. Like other drugs, inhalants do have their place in the medical community. However, when they are misused, the results can be disastrous.

Inhalants’ Effects on the Brain and Body of Humans

Inhaling these dangerous drugs for fun is never safe. Inhalants drugs’ effects can be serious, and even lead to significant medical complications. 

Inhalants short-term effects include: 

  • A quick high that is much like alcohol intoxication
  • A sensation of feeling excited
  • A long period of drowsiness
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Becoming agitated
  • The possibility of eventual unconsciousness 

The long-term effects of inhalant drugs include: 

  • Hallucinations and delirium
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • An increased heart rate
  • The possibility of heart problems
  • Dilated blood vessels 

Of course, the social effects of inhalants should also not be ignored. People are likely to experience: 

  • The breaking of important relationships
  • Belligerent behaviors
  • Social isolation
  • The use of additional drugs
  • Destroying key parts of their lives

Are There Any Legal Consequences of Inhalants?

Every state is different, as far as its legal consequences for inhalant use. There are those states that impose fines upon people for using inhalants inappropriately. Other states may require treatment if someone is found to be under the influence of these drugs. Some states may even invoke prison sentences for inhalant abuse. 

There are so many consequences for using poppers, nitrous and other inhalant drugs. The legal consequences are only a part of them. Still, misusing inhalants is illegal, and this should always be taken into consideration.

Are There Inhalant Withdrawal Symptoms When People Stop Huffing Them?

Most drugs will produce withdrawal symptoms when they are stopped. Inhalants are no different. Inhalent withdrawal occurs when your body becomes used to having these drugs. When you withdraw from inhalants, your body reacts in many different ways. You may suffer from: 

  • Profound hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pains and headaches
  • Bouts of psychosis
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors in your hands

What is Inhalant Treatment Like?

Many people shake their heads and roll their eyes at the thought of inhalant treatment. For them, huffing is just something they do for fun. It never even enters their minds that they might form addictions to these substances. 

That might be something you’re also experiencing right now. You may know you have a problem with huffing, but you don’t think you need help to stop.

Inhalant treatment is available to assist you with stopping the use of these chemicals. What you probably don’t realize is how strong the pull is to use them. When you go to an inhalant rehab program, they can help you with the cravings you have. 

What’s probably more important is the fact that you will get help with the reason for your addiction. If you are an inhalant addict, there is a certain reason why you feel the need to use them. You’ll be able to find out what that reason is, and heal from the root cause of your inhalant dependence.

Other Interesting Facts About Huffing and Sniffing

Bagging, huffing and sniffing are all very interesting, even if they are dangerous. It’s possible that you are new to inhalants, and you’d like even more information. We’ve put together some additional facts about inhalants that can help you.

2017 Inhalant Statistics and Facts in the United States

Current inhalant statistics tell us that: 

  • More than 2.6 million children between 12 and 17 use inhalants every year.
  • About 1 in 4 students have used some type of common household product to get high. This occurs before they reach the 8th
  • Children are more apt to try inhalants than adults.
  • Huffing or sniffing can start at the age of 10, or even younger, in some cases.
  • By the age of 12, almost 60% of children are aware that their friends are huffing.
  • After alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, inhalants are the fourth most abused substance. 

Do you find these sniffing and huffing statistics to be surprising? This is a very real problem that is often overlooked in our country. It’s so important to change this and raise awareness about the dangers of inhalants.

5 Myths About Inhalants

People frequently believe things about laughing gas and other inhalants that simply aren’t true. It’s possible that you have believed some of this information yourself. Some common myths about inhalants include: 

  • You have to use inhalants for a long time before they do any damage.
  • It’s OK to use inhalants as long as you don’t use them chronically.
  • Teens and children are not old enough to become inhalant addicts.
  • There are no risks involved with using inhalants.
  • Inhalants really don’t have any serious long-term effects for children. 

If you have many of these myths, you need to know the truth. These drugs are dangerous. The fact that they are thought to be safe makes them even more hazardous.

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Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome Statistics

Sudden sniffing death syndrome is something that can occur in those who use inhalants. It’s not something that requires long-term inhalant use. This condition can develop immediately, and even after one use of these harmful chemicals. 

In the United States, sudden sniffing death syndrome statistics tell us that: 

  • More than 22.9 million Americans have tried inhalants at least one time.
  • Inhalant abuse has been linked to at least 15% of cases of death because of suffocation and inhaling fluid.
  • 22% of inhalant abusers who died of SSDS had no history of prior inhalant use at all.
  • In the year 2002, 40 deaths were linked to inhalant abuse.
  • 55% of deaths linked to inhalant abuse were caused by SSDS. 

If you ask us, this amounts to way too many inhalant death stories. These chemicals should be avoided at all costs. Also, anyone who believes that they’re addicted should seek out immediate help and inhalant treatment.

How to Find Inhalant Treatment for Recovery

The history of inhalants is one that stretches back many years. In fact, the timeline of inhalants indicates that this is a problem that isn’t going to go away on its own. It seems that children, teens and even adults are always looking to find new ways to get high. For many of them, inhalants prove to be a cheap and easy way to achieve that. 

You may be facing a situation right now where you are addicted to inhalants. You never meant to become addicted to them, but it happened.

At Northpoint Seattle, we want you to know that we understand. We know how addiction works, and most people use these types of substances just for fun. What they don’t count on is the aftermath of their substance abuse. 

Fortunately, free and low cost rehab is available for you, right near your home. No matter what, please don’t stop using inhalants abruptly. This could be very dangerous for you. When at all possible, avoiding difficult to manage inhalant withdrawal symptoms is important. This will help you to recover successfully, and make your recovery so much more comfortable as well. 

You may want to know more about inhalants. Do you have additional questions that you would like to ask? If you do, we’d love to assist you with getting the information you need. Please contact us right away.

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