Inhalant Abuse Treatment in Dallas

Due to the fact that inhalants can be found almost anywhere in a household, they are a unique class of drugs that pose many health risks for the adolescents who use them. Inhalants are also one of the few substances that are more likely to be abused by younger teens than older teens, making them particularly dangerous due to the correlation between youth drug use and addiction later in life.

To combat inhalant use in teens, the team at Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers works closely with residents to help them overcome their desire to use inhalants. Using a multi-modal approach, residents are able to find a treatment method that they identify with and use it to fuel their recovery.

What Are Inhalants?

Inhalants are everyday household products that are inhaled to create a high. The substances are particularly dangerous due to their accessibility in the home and the fact that they can be legally and easily purchased. Even using inhalants for their intended purpose can pose health risks if inhaled, since the chemicals are capable of creating lasting effects on the brain’s functionality.

There are a variety of inhalants available that produce different effects on their users:

  • Volatile solvents: Substances that include nail polish remover, gasoline or any other product that turns from a liquid into a gas at room temperature.
  • Gases: Most commercial products, including propane, whipped cream dispensers or butane lighters.
  • Nitrites: Rarer items such as room odorizer or leather cleaner. For the most part, nitrates are now illegal, but can still be found for sale in small quantities.
  • Aerosols: Very common household sprays, like hair spray, air fresheners, spray paint and others.

The methods of use for these inhalants also vary depending on the product being abused. Oftentimes, teens will sniff chemical fumes from a container or a doused cloth (huffing). Other methods include spraying chemicals directly into the nose or mouth as well as inhaling chemicals that have been sprayed into a bag (bagging).

Inhalants and the Brain

When a substance is inhaled, it is immediately absorbed by the lungs, which in turn transfers the chemicals to the brain and into the bloodstream. The short terms effects that inhalants have on the brain tend to be similar to alcohol and produce pleasurable sensations like giddiness, slurred speech, poor coordination and dizziness. The high from inhalants only lasts a few minutes, which causes many users to inhale the chemicals repeatedly, causing lasting effects on the brain.

Due to the number of chemicals that may be present in one product, there is no way to know exactly which chemicals will have adverse effects. However it is true that some chemicals last longer in the body than others when inhaled. The longer a substances remains in the body, the better chance it has of being absorbed by fatty tissues in the brain, which can damage nerve fibers and brain cells. Although most inhalants are not addictive, continued use can impact certain brain functions and motors skills depending on which area of the brain becomes compromised. Users may begin to lose their memories, have difficulty learning new things, experience muscle spasms and more.

Inhalant Abuse Treatment at Visions

Addiction is often rare with inhalant abuse, but a dependency can occur when a user feels as if they need to use inhalants regularly or experience slight withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. Through our residential treatment program, clients can focus specifically on recovering from inhalant abuse in a supportive environment, and by choosing to stay within our facility, clients are sequestered from inhalant access, which is much easier to maintain than street drugs since they are sold legally.

Upon joining our residential treatment program, residents will undergo numerous assessments in order to gauge the most personalized treatment plan. Psychological assessments help the Visions staff learn more about the best ways to interact with residents as well as design a treatment plan that aligns specifically with their values, beliefs and goals. Male and female teens ages 13 to 18 may join the residential treatment program if accepted, and their length of stay will depend on their particular treatment plan.

Our multi-modal approach means that we employ several different therapeutic methods when helping a resident with recovery. We have a number of licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists and medical doctors on staff as well as an art therapist, equine therapist and licensed dietician. Our goal is to have each of our residents interact with all members of our staff in order to create the most holistic method of treatment, and we strive to help our residents make a smooth transition out of our facility and into the real world. Outpatient counseling, adolescent day school and evaluations services are also available for teens if their behavior and emotional health would benefit. Multiple avenues of family therapy are also used in order to create a safe, understanding and supportive environment at home.

If you would like more information about your treatment options at Visions, please contact our facilities at 866-889- 3665. We would be happy to discuss the path you can take toward helping your teen recovery from inhalant abuse.