Young people often need addict help for substance abuse in the form of solvents and inhalants. Breathing in the toxic fumes of substances is generally known as “huffing”, inhaling from aerosol cans is known as “chroming”. Kids huff any type of substance that causes a psychoactive reaction – most inhalants and solvents are depressants – some are hallucinogenic.
Young people who have difficult emotional feelings find relief in substance abuse. Sniffing inhalants and solvents causes feelings of intoxication, delirium – often hallucinations.
Although most communities have laws which restrict, and impose high penalties for the sale of solvents and inhalants to minors – abuse of solvents and inhalants is not illegal – and getting them is easy enough. Many solvents and inhalants are easily found around the home, some might be stolen from the workplace. Older children may buy or steal inhalants to share or for resale. The main types of inhalant are aerosol cans, gases, amyl and butyl nitrites and petrol.
Suspect inhalant abuse and get addict help if you notice signs such as solvent stains on clothing, unexplained rashes around the nose and the mouth, hoarding of chemical substances and the smell of inhalants on a child or in their bedroom.
Symptoms will include extreme irritability and hostility, lack of appetite and weight loss, social withdrawal and apathy, red and runny eyes, sores on the face, loss of the sense of smell. With chronic use a child can appear drunk, uncoordinated, lack coherence in speech, appear depressed and not willing to talk or communicate.
Sniffing inhalants is very serious. It can take between a month and six months for solvents to detox from the body. Meanwhile serious damage can be caused. Aerosols often contain toluene which has toxic effects on the brain and nervous system. Inhaling gases often leads to heart failure.
Petrol containing benzene can cause convulsions and seizures, lead to bone marrow disorders and muscular spasms. Nitrite use can permanently lower oxygen levels in the blood. All inhalants over time can lead to liver and kidney failure, hearing loss, gastric and respiratory problems – sometimes heart failure.
Addict help is needed urgently for a child who is inhaling psychoactive substances. Death can occur on the first attempt to inhale a toxic substance.
Addict help for children who are abusing solvents and inhalants is about providing thorough detox from the chemicals in the body – solvents remain in the body for much longer than most other drugs. Holistic methods for drug detox are to be preferred when giving addict help to children to recover from solvent abuse.
Children can become physically and emotionally dependent upon solvents and inhalants. Emotional support is just as crucial as a thorough detoxification.
Society generally does not provide any help for kids with solvent abuse problems – the system is not geared to deal with anything except the mainstream drugs. One little lad felt overlooked, that no one seemed to care very much about his huffing. He would only get attention if he got into using heroin.
Community support units sometimes provide “safe areas” for solvent abusers but this is usually kept quiet – there is little public support and much criticism of this “encouragement” for solvent abuse.
Best addict help for kids with solvent problems is to go to holistic residential or counseling centers where kids can have fully supported drug free detox and help to deal with their emotional problems. If you or your child is abusing solvents and inhalants – you need holistic addict help.