Who Is At Risk Of Developing An Inhalant Addiction?

Substances known as inhalants are a major problem in the United States, especially amongst its youth. Data compiled by a research organization known as Monitoring The Future in 2019 discovered that roughly two percent of every American high school student polled had tried some form of these drugs.

Our Indiana-based addiction recovery center kindly requests the parents of those who believe their children are using these products or young people struggling with dependencies on such materials continue reading this article providing an overview on these substances, in addition to profiles of individuals who may stand at greater risk of developing this dependency.

Inhalants Overview

Types Of Drugs

These substances are products users inhale to feel various systemic effects. Specific categories, include chemical solvent liquids that become gaseous at room temperature, aerosol sprays, like air freshening products, actual gases, like propane and automobile fuel and nitrates, which are prescription medications used to treat various maladies.

Systemic Impact

Inhalants are known for exerting a quick and significant impact upon the central nervous system. Many of these substances possess mind-altering properties producing an almost immediate euphoric high. That said, this effect is typically short-lived, requiring the user to repeatedly inhale their substance of choice over shorter durations to produce the desired outcomes.


Unfortunately, short and long-term use of these products can have deleterious impacts upon the nervous system and other critical bodily tracts. In the immediate aftermath of ingesting these substances, inhalers might experience untoward nervous system reactions, such as, hostility, diminished inhibitions, speech difficulties, coordination struggles, cognitive decline and hallucinations.

That said, even short-term usage could produce far more serious, potentially fatal consequences, like loss of consciousness, oxygen deprivation, suffocation, irregular heartbeats and heart failure.

Over the long haul, inhalants may precipitate nerve damage inhibiting proper muscular coordination, coordination challenges, permanent memory and concentration troubles, hearing loss, mental problems, such as anxiety and depression, in addition to serious internal damage to other vital organs, including the bone marrow, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys.

Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing Dependency?

Unlike many other street or designer drugs, inhalants are readily accessible to most everyone. Moreover, said products are typically inexpensive. These two factors greatly increase the number of potential users. That said, however, persons most at risk often share some, if not a majority of the following characteristics:


A questionable or challenging environment is often a major contributing factor to inhalant abuse. In many instances, users hail from backgrounds, including:

  • Broken homes
  • Experience poor parental supervision
  • Homes where parents or other close relations abused various drugs
  • Where they have been physically, mentally or emotionally abused

Additionally, one’s social environment plays a major role. For example, youths exposed to peer pressure often begin using in response to their friends or more socially popular individuals engaging in such behavior.

Family History

In certain cases, a family history of drug use genetically predisposes youths to this potentially destructive path. Researchers have found that numerous addicts had one or both parents who possessed some type of substance abuse problem. Moreover, certain genetic flaws might increase one’s risk for developing what are known as addictive personalities.

Traumatic History

In a discernible percentage of addicts, drug use is employed as a means of coping with past traumatic experiences, including:

  • Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • The death of a loved one
  • Break up or divorce
  • Participation in a war or some other post-traumatic stress
  • Chronic physical pain, such as that induced by an accident

Occasionally, drug use may also be precipitated by more everyday occurrences, like a job loss or financial problems.

Mental Health Issues

Numerous scientists maintain that individuals possessing mental health disorders stand at increased risk of inhalant addiction. These medical professionals opine that persons diagnosed with such conditions often experience significant difficulty controlling their thoughts and emotions. Therefore, in those times of vulnerability, their chances of engaging in drug use increase manifold.


Some people might not think such facts to be the case but boredom can contribute to drug use. This is especially true in youths possessing exorbitant amounts of idle time and cannot identify any constructive, positive methods of utilizing said commodity.


Individuals fitting any of these categories or the parents of such young people might possess the ability to prevent inhalation usage and addiction by partaking in actions, such as, striving to create a better environment, associating with less destructive people, receiving counseling for past trauma, ensuring time is widely spent and obtaining treatment for any mental health issue.

Contacting Us

Inhalant addiction is a serious problem that could have lasting mental and physical issues and could even prove fatal. Fortunately, beating such a dependency is possible. Our facility has helped teens and young adults from across the United States overcome this problem. Individuals looking to take that first step towards recovery are encouraged to contact us at 833-762-3739.