Inhalants and solvents are psychoactive drugs that are part of a class of volatile substances that give off gas or vapours at room temperature. They include a wide range of substances including petrol, spray paints and some glues as well as other chemicals such as butane.
The effects of inhalants or solvents vary greatly and depend on which substance is inhaled or sniffed. Most are absorbed rapidly and produce short-term effects similar to those of anaesthetics by depressing the central nervous system.
When inhaled in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxication and feelings of stimulation that are intense but usually only last a few minutes. This effect of intoxication can be extended for several hours by breathing in inhalants repeatedly. Repeated inhalations make users feel less inhibited and less in control. Users can lose consciousness with continued use.
Young people may use inhalants as they are cheaper and more easily accessible than alcohol. Long-term chronic inhalant users become difficult to treat due to cognitive impairment combined with multiple social and psychological issues.
For further information National Directions on Inhalant Abuse Report.
In Australia there is a lot of Media coverage on Inhalant Abuse amongst adolescents. In the USA, there is new analysis of federal data shows that most people who are treated for abusing inhalants are adults, not adolescents, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Huffing,” or inhaling chemical vapor to get high, can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs, and has long been a problem among adolescents.
More 12- and 13-year olds use inhalants than marijuana, according to a March 17 press release from SAMHSA. Last year, data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicated that approximately 1.1 million adults over age 18 had used inhalants in the past year — more than the number of adults who used crack cocaine, LSD, heroin, or PCP.
Now, a new analysis of treatment admissions in 2008 has found that adults also make up the majority of clients being treated for inhalant abuse. Analysts found that 54 percent of the 3,273 people treated for inhalants in 2008 were 18 or older. Slightly over half (52 percent) of the adults admitted to treatment were between the ages of 18 and 29; about a third (32 percent) were between 30 and 44; and about 1 in 6 (16 percent) were 45 or older. The vast majority (72 percent) were non-Hispanic whites, followed by Hispanics (11 percent), American Indians (9 percent), and non-Hispanic Blacks (6 percent).
In the USA “Inhalant abuse is an equal opportunity killer that does not discriminate on the basis of age, background or gender,” said H. Westley Clark, who directs SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).
“Although we have been understandably focused for many years on the danger huffing poses to our kids, these new data highlight the need for everyone to be aware of and effectively address the serious risks it poses to adults and all segments of our society.” Read More
The analysis, “Adults Represent Majority of Inhalant Treatment Admissions,” appeared in the March 17, 2011 issue of SAMHSA‘s Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality Data Spotlight (PDF).
Inhalants Abuse in the USA
Inhalant Abuse and Other Drugs Addiction will be addressed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference. Clinical presentations on managing people with both depression and inhalant/solvent use related problems will be welcomed at the Addiction 2015 Conference. The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference to be held at the Gold Coast Outrigger Surfers Paradise, 20 – 22 May 2015.
Addiction 2015 will be hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH).
Addiction 2015 Conference is for Addiction treatment professionals, Drug and Alcohol Workers, mental health professionals, health-care clinicians, researchers and academics.