For Women By Women

Inhalants Addiction Treatment

When you think of addictive substances, what comes to mind; more than likely, substances such as alcohol, prescription painkillers, nicotine, heroin, and Xanax come to mind. However, what would you think if you found out there is a class of addictive substances that are found throughout your home? While it may not grab the headlines, inhalants are a class of substances that are not only addictive—but extremely dangerous to one's health and life. Items such as spray paint, cleaning fluid, glue, and even markers aren't designed to get high—but some people use them for that purpose. While primarily the substance of choice for young kids and teens, all people, regardless of age, use inhalants to feel the rush of getting high. However, this high can come with a tremendous price. Contact Casa Serena today to learn about how our Santa Barbara women's addiction treatment programs can help your recovery process today.

Learn More About inhalants

What Are Inhalants?

Inhalants are a group of substances that people typically take only through inhaling its contents. These substances produce chemical vapors or gases that produce a "high" when breathed in. What makes inhalants different from other addictive substances is they have legitimate everyday uses. These products are relatively cheap, easy to buy, and are legal. With their easy availability, inhalants provide a quick and easy high.

There are hundreds of kinds of inhalants people use to get high. Inhalants can be classified into four major groups:

Volatile Solvents

Volatile solvents are the most commonly abused type of inhalants. Examples of solvents used as inhalants include benzene, toluene, xylene, acetone, and hexane. Products such as gasoline, cleaning fluids, paint thinners, hobby glue, correction fluid, and felt-tip markers contain different solvents.


Examples of aerosols include hair spray, spray paint, and cooking spray. Other examples include pressurized liquids or gases such as fluorocarbon and butane. Some aerosol products also contain solvents.


This group of inhalants includes some medical anesthetics, such as nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas), chloroform, halothane, and ether. This group of inhalants includes commercially available products, such as butane lighters and propane tanks.


This group includes amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite, and cyclohexyl nitrite. When people use inhalants, they breathe in the vapors through their nose or mouth in several different ways:

  • Sniffing or snorting from the container
  • Spraying aerosols directly in the nose or mouth
  • Sniffing or "huffing" substances sprayed into a paper bag
  • Inhaling balloons that are filled with nitrous oxide
  • Huffing from a rag soaked in inhalants and put in the mouth

    When administered, the chemicals enter the bloodstream within minutes, and the high that is felt is similar to alcohol. Users feel dizzy, have slurred speech, and feel tremendous euphoria. The high produced from inhalants lasts only a few minutes, and users will use inhalants over and over again to feel that high.
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    How to Decide if You Need Treatment

    Signs and Symptoms of
    Inhalants Addictions

    Long-term inhalant use can have some dire consequences. Inhalants are usually made up of multiple chemicals, some of which leave the body quickly, while others are absorbed into fatty issues in the brain and central nervous system. One of the essential fatty acids inhalants affects is myelin which helps nerve fibers carry messages to the brain. Inhalants break down myelin, and it causes those messages not to be efficiently transmitted. This can result in users experiencing spasms and tremors. Some people may have difficulty walking, bending down, and even talking.

    Inhalants also create a condition known as brain hypoxia, where brain cells are damaged from a lack of oxygen. People can experience memory loss and impaired movements depending on the brain areas affected. Long-term inhalant addiction can also result in damage to the heart and liver as well as overall muscle weakness. Frequent long-term use of certain inhalants can cause a permanent change or malfunction of peripheral nerves, called polyneuropathy.

    According to information provided by Cleveland Clinic, the common signs and symptoms of inhalant addiction include the following:

    • Chemical odors on the breath or clothes
    • Paint or other stains on hands, fingers, or clothes
    • Changes in behavior, including apathy (lack of interest)
    • Significant decrease in appetite and weight loss
    • Sudden change in friends and hobbies
    • Rapid decline in school performance
    • Poor hygiene and grooming habits
    • Slurred speech
    • Runny nose or nosebleeds
    • Tiredness
    • Ulcers or irritation around the nose and mouth

    Other symptoms also include:

    • Confusion
    • Poor concentration
    • Depression
    • Irritability
    • Hostility
    • Paranoia

    Inhalant addiction can be identified through urine testing, which shows elevated liver enzymes. There are other specific urine tests that can detect toluene, benzene, and other substances. Additionally, blood and other tissues can be tested for inhalant vapors and gases through a technique called gas chromatography.

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    Casa Serena

    Casa Serena's Inhalants Rehab Program

    If you are using inhalants over the long term, it is absolutely critical you find professional help as soon as possible. While time is of the essence in finding an inhalants rehab, you need to take time to research the rehab that best fits your needs. You need to find a rehab that features detox, multiple levels of care, and aftercare programs that provide the extra support you need as you transition back into your normal daily life. For years, Casa Serena has been a top-tier women’s rehab in Santa Barbara, CA.

    Our rehab for inhalants features a sub-acute medical detox program that will help you manage the withdrawal symptoms of inhalants in a safe, secure, and clean environment. Our expert medical team utilizes medication management, nutritional therapy, exercise therapy, and other interventions. The goal of our women’s detox program is to get you to a physically and psychologically stable state. 

    Since your needs in treatment are unique, our women’s inhalants rehab features multiple levels of care you meet those needs. We offer residential treatment as well as a variety of outpatient programs such as intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization programs (PHP), and traditional outpatient. You help you better transition to your normal daily life after treatment; Casa Serena offers a transitional living Program, a Lifetime Aftercare Program, and an Alumni group to connect you with past graduates of our inhalant rehab.


    Our Inhalants Addiction Treatment Program

    Call Casa Serena for Top-Rated Inhalants Addiction Treatment

    Inhalants are just as dangerous to your physical and mental health as other substances. If you are addicted to inhalants, it is normal to feel considerable shame and guilt. While inhalant addiction can feel defeating, it is a very treatable condition. Casa Serena is one of Southern California's top rehabs for inhalants. We feature a multidisciplinary team of experts who create individualized treatment and recovery plans that put you on the path to success. No matter the severity of your addiction, our women's only inhalant rehab will provide you with the support and encouragement you need to face your addiction head-on and win. Don't let your addiction to inhalants destroy your life and the lives of those you love.

    Call Casa Serena today and learn about our women's outpatient addiction treatment in Southern California.
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