Inhalant Addiction Treatment in New Jersey - Garden State Treatment Center

Inhalant addiction is often regarded as a new form of addiction. However, it has been around for a long time with new abused substances added to its list occasionally.

The problem with this inhalant use is that it’s not easy to detect and uses common household items. Yet, its long-term effects are as concerning and devastating as other forms of drug use.

If you or someone you love is struggling with inhalant addiction, this guide will help you find out more about the condition, including its dynamics, forms, dangers, and best treatment methods.

An Overview of Inhalant Addiction

Inhalant abuse, commonly known as “huffing”, is a unique type of substance abuse that involves breathing in fumes and vapors from various products on purpose to reach a quick high.

The concerning aspect of this type of addiction is that it typically uses commonly and readily available household products, such as solvent cleaners, glues, or art supplies.

Like other forms of substance use disorder, it can affect people of all ages. However, inhalant addiction is usually more common among teenagers and young people in general.

While the list of inhalants is continuously expanding as young adults experiment with new products continuously, most products have similar mind-altering effects with varying levels of potency.

This makes them easier to conceal, especially in the initial stages, where they’re typically inhaled directly from the source. In later stages, the inhalants are usually concentrated in plastic bags to intensify their effect.

Inhalant abuse is extremely dangerous and can cause a wide range of serious health conditions and side effects, including:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Respiratory irritation, suffocation, and shortness of breath.
  • Seizures
  • Heart and blood vessel problems, including heart failure
  • Lightheadedness and impaired coordination, which can lead to dangerous accidents.
  • Multiple organ damage and failure since it can affect the liver, kidneys, and lungs.
  • Severe weight loss
  • Increases the risk of sudden death

How Addictive Are Inhalants?

As previously mentioned, inhalants is an umbrella term that includes a huge variety of products and items. That’s why the exact level of physical dependence they cause can vary from one inhalant to another.

That being said, inhalant addiction usually develops following the same pattern as other forms of drug abuse, which goes as follows:

  • After inhalant use, the vapors quickly reach the bloodstream and access the central nervous system, causing their effects.
  • The short-lived high can be quite pleasurable, so the brain reinforces the behavior of inhalant use to continue experiencing these effects.
  • Over time, the body builds a tolerance to the inhalant, requiring more of the substance to reach the same high achieved the first time.
  • In most cases, regular inhalant use leads to dependence, where the body experiences withdrawal symptoms upon ceasing to use the inhalant.
  • The continuous cycle of tolerance, dose increase, and dependence causes addiction and aggravates its intensity.

Inhalant Addiction in New Jersey

Although inhalants aren’t as common as other drugs in New Jersey, that doesn’t make them any less concerning.

According to a survey published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 830,000 individuals over the age of 12 reported using the drug in late 2022.

Other studies also show the remarkably high relapse potential of these drugs, which is reported to be over 57.1%.

What Are the Causes of Inhalant Addiction?

Addiction in general is a complex condition that involves a wide range of causes, so no two cases are alike.

That being said, some patterns and risk factors are more common among individuals struggling with this type of addiction, such as:

  • Experiencing abuse or neglect, especially at a young age.
  • Suffering from emotional trauma and a desire to escape reality.
  • Coping with underlying mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
  • Difficulty managing stress.
  • Peer pressure or exposure to a culture of substance abuse, especially among adolescents with low self-esteem.
  • Easy access to inhalants, which are often available as household items or easy to obtain without special precautions.
  • Continuous exposure to inhalants and downplaying their effects, especially through work.

A Brief Breakdown of the Different Types of Abused Inhalants

In the following section, we’ll take a brief look at some of the most widely abused types of inhalants.

Nitrites

Commonly known as “poppers”, these are various chemicals that include nitrate salts, which are mainly a chest and circulation medication.

However, they’re typically abused for their psychoactive properties, including butyl nitrite and amyl nitrite.

Aerosols

These include all forms of aerosol sprays that contain propellants to suspend particles in the air, such as deodorants, spray paint, and hairsprays.

Volatile Solvents

These typically exist as liquid, but they continuously evaporate at room temperature, producing vapors with intoxicating effects and excitability when inhaled.

They induce the most intense cravings among the items on this list with varying levels of intensity.

Examples can also vary significantly, including paint thinners, chloroform, nail polish remover, felt-tip markers, lighter fluid, cleaning fluids, degreasers, gasoline, glue, marker fluid, correction fluid, and rubber cement.

Euphoric Gasses

Some gasses are directly inhaled to achieve a sense of euphoria. This can range anywhere from anesthetics to gasses in butane lighters and propane tanks.

However, the most common example here is “nitrous oxide”. This one is often known as the “laughing gas” for its psychoactive properties, and is often available in whipped cream dispensers, known as “whippets.”

What Are the Most Reliable Inhalants Addiction Treatment Options?

The effects of inhalants can be quite severe, but luckily, there are various treatment programs that can help patients overcome this difficult challenge. Here’s a quick look at them:

Medical Detox

Inhalant addiction treatment starts with medical detoxification to eliminate the addictive substance completely from the body. This is usually accompanied by withdrawal symptoms, which is why medical supervision is necessary.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, patients will either remain at the treatment center 24/7 (inpatient treatment) or return back home after receiving daily medical care (outpatient treatment).

Individual Counseling

While detox is crucial for substance abuse treatment, it doesn’t tackle the root cause of addiction, and that’s where the role of behavioral therapy comes into play.

During therapy, patients are able to explore the underlying issues behind their addiction to develop healthier coping mechanisms.

This usually includes various evidence-based approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

Support Groups

Connecting with others who understand the struggles of addiction can be incredibly valuable during this difficult stage.

That’s why healthcare experts often recommend group therapy alongside individual sessions. These typically include support groups such as 12-step programs, which focus mainly on peer-to-peer support to develop a sense of community and accountability.

Other forms of group therapy can also include family and couple therapy, which focuses on fixing the damages and trust issues that inhalant addiction caused and/or resulted from.

Post Recovery Relapse Prevention

After release, patients are still at a relatively high risk of relapse. That’s why reliable treatment plans will also include relapse prevention programs.

These include continuous therapy and a variety of holistic approaches that focus on well-being and lifestyle changes, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, etc.

Finding the Best Inhalant Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

Overcoming inhalant addiction can be tricky but it’s not impossible. The most critical aspect here is finding the right help and developing a personalized treatment plan to maximize the chances of a relapse-free recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with this form of addiction, Garden State Treatment Center can help you set foot on the path toward recovery, so don’t hesitate to call us now!


Published on: 2024-06-27
Updated on: 2024-07-02