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Inhalants: Starting a Pattern of Drug Abuse

Many common household substances produce fumes that can be inhaled to make the user high. These inhalants are often the first drugs used by youth with a propensity for drug abuse because they are so readily available – they are cheap and easy to find or buy.

The following products are examples of substances that are commonly used as inhalant drugs:


  • Spot removers
  • Degreasers
  • Gasoline
  • Paint thinner
  • Correction fluid/liquid paper
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Butane/lighter fluid
  • Propane
  • Video head cleaner
  • Spray paints
  • Nail polish remover
  • Model glue
  • Markers
  • Canned whipped cream

Effects of Inhalant Drug Abuse

Inhalant users experience mind-altering, psychoactive effects upon inhaling of the fumes from substances such as those listed above. This effect provides a means to escape reality.


Someone who is high on inhalants may appear to be drunk – disorientation, nausea, slurring, irritability, and lack of coordination are common characteristics.


Inhalants are extremely toxic and can leave the user with lasting mental and physical damage including heart problems, brain nerve damage, and organ damage. Suffocation is also a danger with the abuse of inhalants.

Spotting Use of Inhalants

Although inhalants may be used by adults as well, young people at risk for drug abuse often begin a pattern of drug abuse with inhalants. In fact, research shows that about 6 percent of American children have used inhalants by the time they reach fourth grade, whether male or female, urban or rural residents.

Signs of use of inhalants include traces of the substance on the person or clothing. The breath may carry a chemical smell. Parents may find a concealed stash of containers of the substances used as inhalants to get high, like spray paint containers or used markers and correction fluid bottles. Another sign is fabric or rags soaked in chemicals.

Drug Treatment for Abuse of Inhalants

Transitions Recovery drug treatment center offers hope for patients and their families suffering from use of inhalants.


Our professional drug treatment center staff is experienced in helping youth and people of all ages recover from drug and alcohol abuse. We provide a compassionate, supportive environment in our North Miami Beach, Florida, drug treatment center.


Admissions can be accepted 7 days a week. Trained addiction professionals conduct individual assessments that address each individual’s treatment needs. You’ll find our drug treatment programs offer access to a continuum of care that provides the intensity of therapy appropriate throughout each stage of recovery, from extended residential care to lifetime aftercare services, to effectively treat the inhalant use before it leads to permanent damage or more serious drug abuse.


The individual program incorporates leading forms of therapy that have proven effective in addressing underlying causes of inhalant drug use, dual diagnosis, and issues with family, employers, school and the legal system.

We work individually with patients, as well as in group sessions and a Family Program. Emphasis on recovery and maintained sobriety helps prepare the patient for gradual re-entry into society.


Drug treatment for inhalants does not need to be voluntary. Often, a family member, teacher, or the court system can be the motivating factor for an individual receiving drug treatment for inhalants.

Inhalants: Starting a Pattern of Drug Abuse

Many common household substances produce fumes that can be inhaled to make the user high. These inhalants are often the first drugs used by youth with a propensity for drug abuse because they are so readily available – they are cheap and easy to find or buy.

The following products are examples of substances that are commonly used as inhalant drugs:


  • Spot removers
  • Degreasers
  • Gasoline
  • Paint thinner
  • Correction fluid/liquid paper
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Butane/lighter fluid
  • Propane
  • Video head cleaner
  • Spray paints
  • Nail polish remover
  • Model glue
  • Markers
  • Canned whipped cream

Effects of Inhalant Drug Abuse

Inhalant users experience mind-altering, psychoactive effects upon inhaling of the fumes from substances such as those listed above. This effect provides a means to escape reality.


Someone who is high on inhalants may appear to be drunk – disorientation, nausea, slurring, irritability, and lack of coordination are common characteristics.


Inhalants are extremely toxic and can leave the user with lasting mental and physical damage including heart problems, brain nerve damage, and organ damage. Suffocation is also a danger with the abuse of inhalants.

Spotting Use of Inhalants

Although inhalants may be used by adults as well, young people at risk for drug abuse often begin a pattern of drug abuse with inhalants. In fact, research shows that about 6 percent of American children have used inhalants by the time they reach fourth grade, whether male or female, urban or rural residents.

Signs of use of inhalants include traces of the substance on the person or clothing. The breath may carry a chemical smell. Parents may find a concealed stash of containers of the substances used as inhalants to get high, like spray paint containers or used markers and correction fluid bottles. Another sign is fabric or rags soaked in chemicals.

Drug Treatment for Abuse of Inhalants

Transitions Recovery drug treatment center offers hope for patients and their families suffering from use of inhalants.


Our professional drug treatment center staff is experienced in helping youth and people of all ages recover from drug and alcohol abuse. We provide a compassionate, supportive environment in our North Miami Beach, Florida, drug treatment center.


Admissions can be accepted 7 days a week. Trained addiction professionals conduct individual assessments that address each individual’s treatment needs. You’ll find our drug treatment programs offer access to a continuum of care that provides the intensity of therapy appropriate throughout each stage of recovery, from extended residential care to lifetime aftercare services, to effectively treat the inhalant use before it leads to permanent damage or more serious drug abuse.


The individual program incorporates leading forms of therapy that have proven effective in addressing underlying causes of inhalant drug use, dual diagnosis, and issues with family, employers, school and the legal system.

We work individually with patients, as well as in group sessions and a Family Program. Emphasis on recovery and maintained sobriety helps prepare the patient for gradual re-entry into society.


Drug treatment for inhalants does not need to be voluntary. Often, a family member, teacher, or the court system can be the motivating factor for an individual receiving drug treatment for inhalants.

If you or a loved one is using inhalants, please contact us right away. We’re here to help. Call us at 1 (800) 626-1980 or request more information.