Signs That A Loved One Needs to Seek Addiction Treatment for Inhalant Abuse

Signs That A Loved One Needs to Seek Addiction Treatment for Inhalant Abuse 

A 2006 article published on Yahoo! Voices chronicles the horrifying abuse of inhalants among poverty-stricken youth in the Philippines.

The article documents a teenage boy whose addiction to sniffing glue has left him with tuberculosis, and poorly functioning kidneys and liver. A physician predicts that he will soon be in a coma, or dead, if he fails to seek addiction treatment in a drug rehab centre.

Due to its widespread availability, inhalants are dangerous drugs. Children and young adults, because they are less likely to be financially independent, more often abuse inhalants because they can find them for free within the family home. That is not to say that adults do not also abuse these household substances; with an economy that is worsening on a global scale, a cheap, or in some cases free, high may be the only high.

If you suspect that a loved one is abusing inhalants, below are signs to look for before considering addiction treatment.

Missing household items

If your window cleaner has gone missing, or been emptied much faster than usual, it might be possible that a loved one is hoarding these household items for substance abuse.

Chemical residue

The most surefire sign of abuse is smell; inhalants possess strong smells, something that attracts an abuser to them in the first place, so if a loved one’s clothing or body smells like a chemical inhalant, it may be abuse. Look also for stains on their hands, face, or clothes. Physical residue, unlike smell, will not fade as quickly.

Alcohol-like effects

The body absorbs inhaled chemicals rapidly, so the effects can be intense. Similar to the effects of alcohol consumption, symptoms of inhalant abuse include slurred speech, dizziness, headache, and problems with coordination. Abusers may also have difficulty concentrating, and experience sudden changes in mood.

It may look like a cold

Because inhalants are absorbed through the nose, the abuse of these substances can cause cold-like symptoms, such as frequent sniffling and sneezing, red eyes and nose, and sores around the nose and mouth.

An inhalant abuser’s desired effects, the reasons why they seek out these substances, last for a brief time. This fact makes chemical inhalants especially dangerous because abusers will inhale multiple times in one sitting, chasing after effects that seem fleeting until they become seriously ill. It is important to note if a loved one exhibits any of the above signs, and to seek addiction treatment immediately.