inhalants withdrawal and detox

Most users of inhalants are in their early teens, but the ages can range from as young as 6 to 50 and older.

Inhalants are not your typical drugs, but rather household items. This is one reason they’re so often overlooked by parents.

Death from inhalants can occur after just the first use. Long-term abuse can cause a lifetime of physical impairment. Apathy, nausea, and dizziness are common signs of inhalants abuse.

Knowing the signs of addiction can help you prevent a potentially tragic outcome. Detoxing from the harmful chemicals is the first step to overcoming an addiction.

Keep reading to discover what to expect from withdrawal and detox.

What Causes Inhalants Withdrawal?

Inhalants do not commonly cause a physical addiction. Prolonged use forces the body to depend on the substance.

The chemicals found in inhalants suppress the body’s natural processes. When the chemicals leave the system, those suppressed processes become overactive. This can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

The psychoactive and suppressing properties of inhalants can lead to mental addiction. Inhalant users usually suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety. They use the drug as a means of escape.

When the substance is no longer present in the body, these issues resurface.

Inhalants Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of withdrawal symptoms is directly tied to the severity of the addiction. The longer and more often the use, the harder the detox will be. When the symptoms are strong, a person may crave more inhalants to make the pain go away.

Symptoms of inhalant withdrawal include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Sweating
  • Appetite loss 
  • Hand tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety and Depression

Withdrawal from a chemical substance can cause life-threatening convulsions. There are many different substances that are used as inhalants. Symptoms of withdrawal differ due to this.

Duration of Inhalants Withdrawal

The use of inhalants doesn’t have to be prolonged to cause withdrawal symptoms. First-time users can suffocate or go into cardiac arrest.

A person’s physical and mental health can affect the length of time and severity of detox.

Inhalants Withdrawal Timeline

The symptoms of inhalant withdrawal begin about 24 to 48 hours after the last use. It comes to a peak around a week and then begins to subside. 

Substances are typically used to mask unwanted emotions, especially in young people. Because of this, the psychological symptoms and cravings can take months to resolve. 

Detoxing From Inhalants on Your Own

The primary users of inhalants are younger teens. Inhalants are also commonly used with other drugs. If this is the case, they will need to detox from multiple drugs.

At-home detoxing from prolonged inhalant use is not recommended. Clearing the body of the substance is a process that can have dangerous side effects.

A clinical environment offers a safe place to detox. This way, if something goes wrong, emergency measures are taken immediately.

Inhalants are often overlooked as a drug problem. This is due to the legal nature of the substances. Some don’t take it seriously, even though the signs of the addiction present themselves.

Signs that you or your child need to detox from inhalants include:

  • Strong cravings to use inhalants
  • Large amounts of time spent finding and using inhalants
  • Increasingly falling behind in work, school, or responsibilities
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the inhalant
  • Needing increased amounts to get the same effect

Medical Detox for Inhalants

There are many detox options for those who suffer from addiction. Your doctor can help you decide on the best treatment for your individual needs.

Cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for inhalants addiction. Sufferers are able to work through issues that cause anxiety and depression.

How Medical Detox Works and What to Expect

An inpatient option is the best choice for a chronic addiction. When multiple addictions or other health issues are present, 24-hour care is necessary.

The safety of the environment makes detoxing an easier transition. Your old surroundings can trigger you and cause a relapse. This break can help you get a fresh perspective on your issues.

Outpatient treatment allows you to remain at home while receiving your treatment. You can continue on with your regular life. This method requires frequent doctors visits to ensure you are transitioning safely.

Many inpatient participants will use outpatient programs as the next step after initial treatment.

A doctor or treatment facility can tell which method is best for you. Outpatient treatment options include meeting with a therapist once or twice a week.

Some outpatient programs require partial hospitalization. During this phase, the patients are given medication to alleviate symptoms. They stay at the hospital for four to five hours a day for five days a week.

Medications Available for Inhalants Detox

A benzodiazepine is commonly used to treat a severe inhalant addiction. This drug is part of a class used as sedatives.

They’re used to treat the anxiety and seizures that arise during withdrawal. Benzos are the typical treatment for detoxing from sedative substances.

Medication to treat nausea may also be given during the detox process. 

For co-occurring addictions, the medication to aid the withdrawal process will vary.

Final Thoughts

The effects of prolonged inhalants abuse vary from liver damage to severe dementia. If you think your child has symptoms of addiction, don’t wait. Getting them help can prevent a future of disabled living.

Inhalants become physically addictive after long-term use. A health care provider can offer insight into the program that will be most beneficial.

For chronic addictions, look into a treatment facility. This way, detoxing from the substance is done in a safe, supervised environment.

In addition to treatment, many patients have found therapy to be very effective. Contact us today to find a facility that’s covered by your insurance.