Inhalants are household products such as spray paints or cleaning supplies that can make someone high when they are sniffed or huffed. These products are not meant to be used as drugs, and therefore can be easily purchased in grocery stores, pharmacy or home improvement stores. Inhalant drugs should not be confused with respiratory inhalant medications used to treat conditions such as asthma. As a drug, inhalants are broken down into four categories. Volatile Solvents include paint thinners or removers, gasoline, glue, and the fluid in felt tip markers. Aerosols include spray paints, computer keyboard cleaning products, spray deodorants and hairsprays. Gases include propane, butane, whipped cream dispensers, and medical anesthetics such as ether and chloroform. Nitrites include room deodorizers and liquid aromas.
SIGNS OF ABUSE
Signs that someone might be using inhalants include having sores and burns around their mouth, red eyes, runny nose, bad breath, heightened anxiety, having paint on face or clothing and even appearing drunk. Getting high on inhalants can have both short-term effects including slurred speech, lack or coordination, euphoria, and long-term effects such as liver and kidney damage, nerve damage, delayed behavioral development and brain damage.
Since inhalants are sold as household products, identifying paraphernalia can be difficult. However, depending on the extent of someone’s addiction to inhalants, there might be an excess of empty containers of items such as spray paint or hairspray cans in the trash, recycling or around the home, or an unusually robust supply or “stash” of such items.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Withdrawal from inhalants can cause mood swings, irritability, anger, and agitation. When withdrawing from inhalants you may also lack of energy and show symptoms of extreme anxiety and paranoia. Insomnia is also common when withdrawing from inhalants.