An inhalant is a substance that emits vapors inhaled by individuals seeking to alter their state of mind. Commonly found in household products like glue, paint thinner, gasoline, aerosol sprays, and cleaning fluids, these substances are popular due to their low cost and accessibility.
Inhalants are chemicals in common items that, when inhaled, affect the brain almost immediately, leading to a fast but dangerous high. Risks include severe health issues, such as brain, liver, and kidney damage, and even death. Inhalant misuse is most common among teens, particularly between the ages of 14 and 15, and can begin as early as 5 to 6 years old. It tends to decrease by the ages of 17 to 19 but can continue into adulthood.
Men are more prone to inhalant misuse than women. Those at higher risk include individuals with a history of abuse, delinquency, depression, antisocial behavior, family conflict, substance abuse, lower income, rural residency, and living in areas with high unemployment. These substances, including volatile solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites, are found in over 1,000 legal products.
The effects of inhalants range from euphoria and lightheadedness to dizziness, disorientation, and impaired judgment, posing significant health and safety risks.
Treatment for Inhalant Addiction
Treatment for inhalant addiction includes individual therapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, family counseling, participation in activities and programs for engagement, and continuous aftercare through support groups. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps individuals handle stress, cravings, and peer pressure, while motivational interventions encourage a commitment to change.
Family counseling improves communication and relationships within the family. Activity programs provide skills and social opportunities that offer healthy alternatives to inhalant use. Support groups and programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are vital in relapse prevention and maintaining a substance-free life. For severe cases, residential treatment may be necessary.
The use of inhalants has a long history, initially for ceremonial and recreational purposes in indigenous communities. However, industrialization led to increased chemical availability and a rise in inhalant abuse, necessitating specialized treatment and rehabilitation efforts.
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Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specializing in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa, and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance, the organization facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualized care that addresses the physical, mental, and social needs of patients.
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