Solvent addiction is an unfortunate growing trend among children and teenagers. It involves the inhalation of a chemical typically through sniffing it. Among teens this practice is called “huffing”. When a person inhales the chemical they receive a satisfying high. The dangers of solvent inhalation are that the chemicals used vary and they are very dangerous to inhale. Solvent addiction is potentially deadly.
One of the reasons solvent addiction is popular with children and teenagers are because it is much easier for them to obtain the chemicals used. Chemicals such as paint thinners, aerosol cans, glue, gasoline and bathroom cleaners are more obtainable to minors than other drugs. This addiction often leads to the use of other drugs.
The symptoms of solvent addiction include, hallucinations, drowsiness after the high, blurred vision, slowed breathing rate, persistent runny nose, headaches and weight loss. Other personality changes may be noticed with solvent addiction such as depression, mood swings, irritability, lying about using solvents, loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyed, and using solvents in secret. Noticing any of these symptoms or typically a combination of these symptoms should be a reason to be concerned about the possibility of a solvent addiction.
Getting treatment for a solvent addiction problem is important. Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome can happen with only one use of an inhalant. It is necessary for a person to receive support to overcome this addiction. Particularly with children and teens who may be suffering from this, parents should be encourage to support their children and assist them in seeking out the help they need quickly. Often treatment may include family therapy. Enrollment in an inpatient treatment program is encouraged; often ceasing from the use of an inhalant can produce side effects, which require professional help. Other means of treatment and support are support groups and counseling. Often times because symptoms can produce depression, anxiety and other medical complications medical intervention and medications may be needed as part of a treatment program.
As with any addiction, the addict needs to admit there is a problem and identify they need help before they will be successful with treatment. Taking action quickly to help a person with a solvent addiction is critical, as it is not forgiving, it only takes one time and this addiction can kill. Those suffering from this addiction should also be encouraged to seek out help immediately.