Huffing, Bagging, And Other Forms Of Inhalant Use

How are Inhalants Used?

Inhalants are types of everyday products which create a drug-like effect when breathed into the body. There are four main categories of inhalants: aerosols, gases, nitrites, and volatile solvents. Most inhalants are everyday items found in the home, although some are used among businesses and in medical facilities. Paint thinner, hair spray, propane tank gases, leather cleaner, glue, and nitrous oxide are all examples of inhalants.

When an object is contained in a spray bottle, it may be sprayed directly into the nose or sprayed into a bag which is then placed over the mouth and inhaled (called “bagging”). Another method which is often used with liquids is called “huffing”. During “huffing”, the liquid is absorbed into a piece of fabric which is then placed over then mouth and breathed in. Inhaling these chemicals can lead to very dangerous results. In order to prevent serious consequences from taking place, seek out drug treatment at a drug rehab facility today.

Effects of Inhalants

When inhalants are continually used over a long period of time, severe damage to the organs of the body (and potentially death) often occurs. Typically however, unless the chemicals that are breathed in are highly concentrated and repeatedly consumed, death does not often result from one instance of inhalant abuse. These rare deaths are called “sudden sniffing deaths”. Specific effects of inhalants may include:

  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Liver damage
  • Asphyxiation (lack of oxygen)
  • Narcosis
  • Drop in weight
  • Kidney damage
  • Frostbite
  • Largyngospasm (spasm of vocal cords, making it impossible to breathe in oxygen)
  • Brain damage
  • Behavior alterations
  • Loss of hearing
  • Coma
  • Imbalance of electrolytes
  • Hepatitis
  • Reduction of blood oxygen
  • Lung damage

In serious cases of inhalant addiction, drug treatment is a necessary step. Unfortunately, drug treatment centers do not often offer drug rehab for those addicted to inhalants, possibly because of neurological problems that are often present. Also, relapse is very common among inhalant abusers and thus treatment for drug abuse should be continued for a long period of time.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms have been known to take place in many cases of inhalant use. Unfortunately, in cases of long-term inhalant abuse, brain damage and other serious complications often arise. Symptoms of withdrawal from inhalants include:

  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Overall weakness
  • Mood swings
  • Shaking
  • Cramping in the muscles
  • Dizziness
  • No desire to eat
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating
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