Knoxville Inhalant Addiction Treatment
Join Our Family at Tennessee Wellness Center
Tennessee Wellness Center takes a family-oriented approach to treating all types of addictions, including addiction to inhalants. Our team is here to remind you that you’re not alone in your struggle – more than 22.9 million Americans have experimented with inhalants at some point in their lives.
Taking the time to admit you need help is a big step, and it’s important that you take it sooner rather than later, as inhalants can be potentially toxic and sometimes lethal. Committing to sobriety isn’t easy, especially when inhalants are legal and easy to acquire, but through your hard work and our guidance and resources, a better future is within reach. Give us a call today to learn more about our intensive outpatient program and partial hospitalization program.
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What Are Inhalants?
Though there are a variety of drugs that can be consumed by inhaling, inhalants refer to a class of substances that can only be inhaled. Inhalants are any substance that produces chemical vapors, from hairsprays to paint thinners. Though they’re primarily used for purposes like cooking or painting, people have been known to inhale the vapors to obtain a quick high.
There are different kinds of inhalants, but most produce similar highs to anesthetics. Inhalants are typically inhaled by snorting, sniffing, or “huffing” the substance. When the chemicals from the vapors are absorbed into the bloodstream after traveling through the lungs, they act on the brain to slow down your body and give you feelings of euphoria, as well as dizziness, slurred speech, and lack of coordination. The high typically lasts a few minutes, which is why people commonly inhale their substance of choice multiple times in a session.
Inhalants are classified under four distinct categories depending on their forms. The main types of inhalants that are commonly abused include:
- Aerosols: These inhalants are household sprays that typically contain solvents and propellants. Common aerosols include hairsprays, vegetable oil sprays, fabric protector sprays, spray paints, computer cleaning products, and deodorant sprays.
- Gases: Gas is a broad term that refers to both gases used in household/commercial products and medical anesthetics. Common types of household and commercial gases include refrigerants, butane lighters, and propane tanks. Whipped cream aerosols also count as a gas and are referred to as “whippets.” Medical anesthetics commonly abused include nitrous oxide—aka “laughing gas”—ether, and chloroform.
- Nitrites: While most inhalants act on the central nervous system to produce side effects, nitrites are a special class that relaxes the muscles and dilates your blood vessels. Some types of nitrites include isobutyl nitrite, isoamyl nitrite, and cyclohexyl nitrite. Though they’re now prohibited, some can still be found in the form of leather cleaners and video head cleaners, sold in small brown bottles.
- Volatile solvents: These inhalants are typically household and industrial products in the form of liquids like dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline, markers, paint thinners and removers, and glues. They can be found and purchased everywhere, from offices to art supply stores.
It’s worth noting that adolescents are far more likely to abuse inhalants than adults because inhalants are legal and extremely accessible. Many teens can find inhalants in their own homes, from the markers they use to the cleaning fluids their parents keep underneath the sink.
Can A Person Overdose On Inhalants?
While many people assume inhalant addiction isn’t serious thanks to the accessibility of these substances, the reality is that long-term abuse can have a serious impact on your health. Some common long-term effects associated with inhalant addiction include hearing loss, liver and kidney damage, and even bone marrow damage. Because inhalants act on your brain and cut off oxygen flow, brain damage and delayed behavioral development are also possibilities.
People with addictions can also overdose on inhalants. An overdose refers to a person taking too much of a drug and experiencing dangerous symptoms as a reaction, which can lead to death if left untreated. An inhalant overdose usually involves seizures and comas. People can also die as a result of “sudden sniffing death,” which refers to sniffing an inhalant that almost immediately causes the heart to stop. Individuals can also suffocate when they use inhalants with a bag.
Signs of Inhalant Abuse
If you suspect someone you know of abusing inhalants, keep an eye out for these common signs:
- Chemical smell on breath or clothing
- Paint or other stains on fingers, clothing, or face
- Painting fingernails with markers or correctional fluid
- Possessing multiple butane lighters even if the person don’t smoke
- Constant red or runny nose
- Reduced appetite
- Dazed appearance
- Sores around the mouth
- Multiple empty aerosol cans
- Dilated pupils
- Difficulty focusing
- Fatigue or changes in sleep patterns
You may notice changes in personality or mood swings related to inhalant abuse that are out of the ordinary. Substance abuse may also lead someone to withdraw from social situations, develop troubles with interpersonal relationships, or lose interest in activities they may have once enjoyed. A decline in school or work performance may also be an indicator of an underlying substance abuse problem.
How We Can Help
Though inhalant addiction is uncommon, it can develop slowly and lead to long-term health problems and affect a person’s life, from their work to their relationships with family and friends. Addiction can also involve negative and painful withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to quit cold turkey, from sweating and loss of appetite to nausea and insomnia.
Our facility offers a whole-person approach to drug addiction treatment that involves therapy, counseling, and group sessions. Through our programs, you can gain the tools you need to ease into recovery and face your triggers head-on.
If you’re struggling with your mental health or addiction, don’t hesitate to call Tennessee Wellness Center today at (865) 205-2770. Our Knoxville inhalant addiction treatment programs can be tailored to your needs.