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Inhalants Detox

Inhalants Detox in Port Saint Lucie

Inhalants are volatile chemicals that induce a psychoactive, mind-altering effect when inhaled. There is a wide range of chemicals that have different effects that can be found in hundreds of common household products. An inhalants detox involves ridding the body of chemical toxins while undergoing medical supervision

There are four generally recognized categories of inhalants – solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrates.

Solvents are liquids that vaporize at room temperature and include paint thinners and removers, degreasers, gasoline, glues, and more.

Aerosols are sprays that contain both solvents and propellants and include spray paints, deodorants, hair sprays, and vegetable oil sprays, among others.

Gases include those used in medical anesthetics (ether, chloroform, nitrous oxide, etc.) and household and commercial products such as butane lighters and propane tanks.

Rather than working on the central nervous system, nitrites act primarily to dilate blood vessels and relax muscles. They are often used as sexual enhancers and include isoamyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite (commonly known as poppers).

Why Seek An Inhalants Detox?

Detox is the first step to treating addiction. It helps the patient clear their mind and sort of “reboot,” and focus on learning the coping skills necessary to sustain sobriety. Importantly, a medically-assisted detox removes the patient from the environment which is conducive to use.

Medical detox occurs under around-the-clock medical supervision, meaning the patient will be monitored by a medical professional, ensuring that he or she is kept as safe and comfortable as possible during the inhalants detox process. What’s more, medications can be rendered to mitigate the worst effects of withdrawal.

Inhalants dependence is a recognized medical condition, and users have repeatedly exhibited a pattern of withdrawal symptoms after cessation. Those who are frequently using a large quantity of inhalants may experience seizures during the withdrawal process. If seizures are a possibility, medical detox is highly recommended for the safety of the individual.

In fact, because the euphoric effect of an inhalant is of relatively short duration, many users use them often and in large amounts. This behavior can result in dangerous withdrawal symptoms that manifest rapidly after a period of non-use.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Drug Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Decreased attention span
  • Nausea

Adolescents typically show the highest rates of inhalant use, and unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms can severely hinder normal function and encourage other self-medicating behavior such as the use of alcohol or cannabis. Thus, detox may be prudent to mitigate withdrawal effects and minimize the chances of relapse.

Don’t Detox At Home

Detoxing at home lays open the possibility of dangerous seizures, as well as highly-unpleasant symptoms such as sweating, tremors, nausea, anxiety, and even hallucinations. Again, these latter effects often encourage users to relapse or turn to another substance. Continued use puts the brain and body at risk for serious, irreversible damage, especially to the still-developing adolescent brain.

Medically-Assisted Detox and Withdrawal

Upon intake, a comprehensive set of examinations will be conducted, which will collect physical, psychological, and social information about the patient. A physical examination will determine if there is any damage to the central nervous system or organs such as lungs, liver, or kidneys caused by inhalant misuse.

What to Expect During An Inhalants Detox

Medication that may be used to mitigate the effects of inhalant detox and ensure the safety of the patient includes:

  • Anti-emetics, for the treatment of nausea and vomiting
  • Vistaril or other anti-anxiety medication.
  • Beta-blockers, for the treatment of tremors.
  • Anti-convulsants such as Tegretol, or Depakote for the treatment of seizures

How Long Does Detox Last?

Unfortunately, detoxification from inhalants often takes weeks – in fact, it generally takes longer than alcohol or other drugs due to the means in which inhalants are stored in the fatty tissue of the body. In the initial first weeks, most of the withdrawal symptoms can be resolved. However, post-acute withdrawal symptoms such as concentration difficulties or memory loss may persist but are beyond the scope of medical detox treatment.

Detox Treatment Options

The use of inhalants can cause cognitive impairment and memory loss, and in severe cases, some users may find it difficult to learn new things. These users may benefit, however, from individualized attention as they can be irritable, aggressive, and disruptive.

A 2011 study found that inhalant users have a high risk for substance use and psychiatric comorbidities, which if present, can and should be addressed during the inhalant detox and treatment process.


Detoxification from inhalants is extremely unpleasant at best, and potentially dangerous at worst. Detoxers are at a high risk of relapse or self-medication with other substances. Detoxing in a medically-supervised environment is effective at preventing relapse, however. No one should have to detox alone.

If you or someone you love is dependent on inhalants, please call us now for a consultation. We can help!

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