Inhalant Addiction

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Inhalants are common household items that can become dangerous when misused. When people use these products in ways they're not supposed to, it becomes a health risk.

Inhalant addiction is often linked with mental health troubles. It's important to understand and recognize the signs of inhalant addiction, especially when it's tied to mental challenges.

What is Inhalant Addiction?

Inhalants are everyday items found in our homes, like glue or spray paint. When misused, they give off fumes, which are breathed in to feel a "high."

Doing this often can lead to inhalant addiction. That means a person might feel like they can't live without breathing in these fumes, even if they know it's bad for them.

Inhalant addiction isn't just about wanting a quick high. Over time, the brain starts to think it needs these fumes to feel okay. Once the brain is hooked, quitting can be a major challenge.

That challenge becomes even greater when someone already has a preexisting mental health condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Inhalant Addiction

How can you tell if someone might be misusing inhalants? There are some signs to watch out for.

Physical Signs

You may notice a strange smell on their breath or clothes. Their face might look red or irritated. They could also have sores around their mouth or nose.

Behavioral Signs

They may seem like they’re under the influence, even if they haven't had any alcohol. You might see them spacing out, slurring their words, or having trouble standing up straight.

Mood Changes

People misusing inhalants often feel really happy and excited for a short time. Then, they can become moody or sad within a short period of time. This up-and-down of emotion can be a big clue.

If someone is using inhalants on a frequent basis, it can also affect their mental health. They might feel more anxious or down than usual.

Impact and Effects of Inhalant Addiction

Inhalants might seem harmless, but they can have damaging effects on both the body and mind.

  • Brain Trouble: Inhalants can harm the brain. The memory gets fuzzy. Learning becomes difficult. Some people feel dizzy or have headaches.
  • Heart Problems: The heart can beat faster and more unevenly than normal. This can be scary and dangerous.
  • Lungs and Breathing: Inhalants can also damage the lungs. Breathing might become difficult, and severe lung conditions can develop.
  • Mood Swings: Feelings and emotions can change frequently. Someone may be happy one moment and sad or angry the next.

Over time, using inhalants can change a person's life in negative ways. Friendships can suffer. Grades can drop. Health can fade.

The Connection Between Mental Health Conditions and Inhalant Addiction

Inhalants and the mind are closely tied together. Some people use inhalants to escape deep feelings of depression. Over time, inhalants can make those feelings even worse and create additional mental health issues that affect other aspects of life.

Using inhalants can also lead to more worry, stress, and even anxiety. It's a cycle that becomes bigger and bigger when these substances are used. The more a person uses inhalants, the more anxious they might feel.

When someone has both an inhalant addiction and a mental health condition, it’s known as a dual diagnosis. It's like facing two battles at once, and it takes a specialized level of care to treat.

Treatment for Inhalant Addiction

Treating inhalant addiction paired with a mental health condition is possible. It’s more effective when you address both mental health and addiction at the same time. These are some of the most common treatments:

  • Counseling: Talking with a therapist can help. They understand and can guide people towards recovery.
  • Medication: Sometimes, doctors prescribe medicine as a supplement to other forms of help. This can help with withdrawal symptoms or mental health challenges.
  • Support Groups: Sharing feelings with others who understand can be comforting. Support groups are safe places to share and learn.

Get Help with Inhalant Addiction Today

Nobody should face inhalant addiction alone. If you or someone you know is struggling, there's help available. Hospitals that treat both addiction and mental health issues are ready to assist you.

Get in touch with Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute and see all the ways we can support you through the recovery process.