Call Us Today!

Inhalant Addiction Treatment Supply, NC

What is Inhalant Addiction?

Inhalant addiction occurs when a person sniffs everyday household items in order to get high. The fumes of the substance flow through the mouth or nose by huffing, sniffing, or snorting depending on what’s inhaled. Unfortunately, not all teens and adults realize the dangers of inhaling dangerous substances. The achieved high typically lasts only a few minutes, causing the person to use often.

13.1% of those who abuse inhalants reported starting by the 8th grade.

Access to these inhalants is easy for teens whether the products are in the home or bought in a store. Aerosol spray items can be hair and deodorant sprays, computer cleaning products, spray paints, or vegetable oils. They contain propellants and volatile solvents. Gases used for inhaling include butane lighters, propane tanks, and whipped cream dispensers. Products such as ether, chloroform, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) are also abused inhalants.

Nitrites come in the form of leather or video head cleaner, liquid aroma, and room deodorizer.

Volatile solvents are products like white correction fluids, dry-cleaning fluids, felt-tip marker fluid, gasoline, glue, and paint thinners or removers.

Drug abuse impacts every socioeconomic background. According to, inhalant abuse might occur due to child abuse, low G.P.A., or dropping out of school. Therefore, it is wise to pay attention if you suspect your teen or loved one may have an addiction. Even if your family appears to be “normal” drug abuse may be present. So learning the signs and symptoms of inhalant abuse empowers you to help your friend or relative.

Call Us Today To Schedule an Assessment

What Are the Symptoms of Inhalant Addiction?

Like any drug, inhalants cause a person to show signs and symptoms of its use. Some of the signs and symptoms are short-term while others are long-term behavioral, mental, and physical damage.

Mental Inhalant Addiction Symptoms

The mental symptoms affecting people who misuse inhalants are:

Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility

Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease

Depression: feelings of severe sadness, low energy, or low pleasure in life

Irritability: the quality or state of being irritable

Restlessness: the inability to rest or relax as a result of anxiety or boredom

These symptoms make it difficult for the person to continue with normal daily activities. Loss of enjoyment in the presence of family or friends who don’t inhale could occur. The person who is using inhalants could grow more dependent on getting and remaining high in order to function.

A colorful sunset over the marsh, in Wilmington, NC, USA.
View from behind of female psychotherapist on session

Physical Inhalant Addiction Symptoms

The physical symptoms of inhalant abuse turn a once-healthy individual into a person struggling with their physical wellbeing. The physical symptoms (mentioned on include:

A drunk or disoriented look: caused by hallucinogenic effects from the drug

Slurred speech: inhalants affect motor function, which can cause slurred speech

Nausea or dizziness: various chemical additives can cause this reaction

Decreased appetite: inhalants can also cause weight loss

Runny eyes and nose: this can be caused by the effects of huffing gases

Inhalant abuse disrupts the life of the user and those around them. Stopping the inhalant use is easier said than done, since withdrawal symptoms trigger intense craving.

What Are the Symptoms of Inhalant Withdrawal?


Can occur with a fever and cause shivering or shaking.


Feelings of severe sadness, low energy, or low pleasure in life.


A continuous pain in the head.


Habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep.

Muscle Cramps

A sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles.


Feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit.


Get rid of chemicals from the body by exuding sweat.


An involuntary quivering movement.

What Are the Dangers of Inhalant Addiction?

All drugs are dangerous, but some have more serious consequences than others. The chemicals found in aerosol sprays, gases, nitrites, and volatile solvents were never meant for prolonged human inhalation. Sniffing or huffing these toxins to get high will cause damage to your body. The real danger of inhalant addiction? It could result in a lifetime of chronic pain or death.

After sunrise beach with sunlight on waves with pier.

Cognitive Dangers of Inhalant Abuse

Inhalants are central nervous system depressants which slow down the brain’s activity. For example, nitrites lower a person’s self-control. When misused, nitrites lower inhibitions resulting in unprotected sex and exposure to STDs. A significant danger is irreversible brain damage. In severe cases, the person using inhalants becomes dependent on the assistance of someone else, has difficulty holding conversations, experiences memory loss or convulsions, or enters a coma.

Mental Dangers of Inhalant Abuse

Abusing inhalants can lead the person through a see-saw of mental symptoms. Hallucinations or delusions can occur which put the person and those around them at risk. Depression or suicidal thoughts may surface. Regardless which symptom is experienced, the person using these substances need care and should seek help.

Physical Dangers of Inhalant Abuse

The extensive physical dangers of inhalant abuse should not be surprising considering the toxicity of the chemicals flowing into vital organs. Damaged nerves, from long-term use, lead to convulsions, delirium tremens, and shakiness. Loss of hearing, sense of smell, and sense of sight are all possible. Irregular heartbeat, heart attack or failure, kidney or liver failure, and respiratory problems make long-term health more difficult to obtain.

Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, can occur the first or fiftieth time a person inhales – because of the brain losing oxygen during inhaling. Stress hormones increase and irregular heartbeat persists until death occurs.

Brighter Start's Mission

Our Mission is to help each client find life-long recovery, health, and a purpose filled life. You will see yourself, others, and your experiences in a new and positive light after completing treatment.

Learn more about what sets us apart.

Learn More About Brighter Start's Treatment for Inhalant Addiction

Treatment for Inhalant Addiction

Partial Hospitalization Treatment

In a Partial Hospitalization Program, a person will go to the treatment facility on a daily basis to receive care. This treatment includes individual therapy, group therapy, as well as medical oversight. This is an option for those that need accountability and are in the early stages of recovery. Partial Hospitalization Programs can be short term or long term, depending on the needs of the person.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

An Intensive Outpatient program involves a client completing care while living either at home or in a sober living facility. The person will attend groups for several hours multiple times per week, while remaining in their otherwise daily routines. This treatment option can be a good idea for those who have already completed a higher level of care, or for those who need lower amounts of accountability.

Sober Living Recommendations

Sober Living facilities are not treatment centers. Rather, they are sober environments in which a person can live while addressing their addiction. Sober livings don’t provide therapy, but will generally perform regular drug testing, and will ensure that the resident is attending recovery groups, such as AA or SMART recovery. A person can combine sober living with treatment to help with accountability.