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Solvent & Inhalant Abuse
Transcript of Solvent & Inhalant Abuse
Solvent & Inhalant Abuse
What is an Inhalant?
The term Inhalant does not refer to a specific compound,
but to a method of substance use that introduces the substance to the body.
points to cover
-let the clas try to classify
methods of use
-if it's a liquid or a gas, keep lid on
-what it does to central nervous system
-what would a brain scan look like
-inhalents, solvents, nitrites
-exapmles of deaths from product
-age group of users
-usually just a phase
Inhaling is one of the most effective ways to introduce
compounds into one's general circulation system. Physicians
use this technique all the time for medical purposes, however
people also use this method for recreational use. When a
chemical is inhaled, it can enter the bloodstream without the chemical structure being altered in any way by the liver. The
speed at which inhalants reach the brain is determined by
whether the molecules can form chemical bonds with the
lipids in the blood. inhalants are quite lipid soluble. because
of this, an inhalant can reach the brain in a matter
It is estimated that there is over 1 000 common household products that have the potential to be abused.
Scientists do not fully understand the mechanism by which the inhalants alter the user's brain function, but it is believed that they alter the membranes of the neurons.
How big is the problem?
it is a worldwide problem
2 million people in the USA have been thought to have used an inhalant in the past 12 months
1.1 million of these people are aged 12-17
most adolescents who try inhalants will only use a few times and then stop, others may continue to repeat this activity for multiple years, few actually become addicted for their entire lifetime
children as young as 7 or 8 may use
paint and gasoling account for 61% of all inhalants used
1. Transient social use: use for a brief period of time in social situations. Usually involves those aged 10-16.
2. Chronic social use: daily inhalant use for 5+ years. Usually involves those aged 20-30. These people would demonstrate evidence of brain damage and may have minor legal problems.
3. Transient isolated use: a short period of time where one would use inhalants when alone. Usually involves those aged 10-16.
4. Chronic isolated use: Continuous use for 5+ years. Usually involves those aged 20-29. These people would have poor social skills, have serious legal problems in the past and present, and evidence of brain damage would be present.
Why are inhalants so popular?
rapid onset of actions
relatively inexpensive and easily accessible
How are inhalants used?
Inhalants can be abused in a few ways depending on which chemical is being used.
1. "sniffing" or "snorting": inhaling directly from the container.
2. "bagging": product, usually glue, is poured into a plastic bag. The bag is then placed over the mouth and nose and the fumes are inhaled.
3. "huffing": a compound is poured into a rag, and then placed over the mouth and nose and the fumes are inhaled.
4. aerosols: fumes from aerosol cans can be sprayed into the mouth or directly inhaled through the nose.
5. boiling: users may attempt to boil a substance so that the fumes that come from the product may be inhaled. This is especially dangerous as most chemicals are flammable and could ignite.
Effects of Inhalants
some effects are considered desirable while others are not:
almost immediate high which can last up to 45 minutes depending on substance used
sense of euphoria - sometimes explained as the feeling of intoxication by alcohol
behavioral disinhibition - some users like this and others do not
nausea and vomiting
ringing in the ears
Stages of inhalant abuse:
Stage 1: euphoria, visual/auditory hallucinations, excitement
Stage 2: confusion, disorientation, loss of self control, blurred vision, ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus), mental dullness
Stage 3: sleepiness, the loss of full control of bodily movements (ataxia), diminished reflexes, rapid involuntary movements of the eyes (nystagmus)
Stage 4: seizures, EEG changes, paranoia, odd behavior, ringing/buzzing in the ears, POSSIBLE DEATH OF THE USER
What is EEG?
EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a tool used to image the brain while it is performing a cognitive task. This detects the location and magnitude of brain activity involved in the various types of cognitive functions. EEG views and records the changes in brain activity during the time a task is being performed (Weissman, n.d.).
Some complications as a result of inhalant abuse
cardiac arrhythmias - (2) irregular heartbeat
changes in lung function
anoxia - (3) an absence of oxygen supply to an organ's tissues, but there is still adequate blood flow to the tissue
respiratory depression possibly to the point of respiratory arrest - stop breathing
reduction in blood cell production which could lead to aplastic anemia - (4) the body does not produce enough blood cells which could lead to fatigue and even higher risk of infection and uncontrolled bleeding
brain damage - this could be dementia, and/or psychosis
muscle damage and the development of rhabdomyolysis - (4) break down of muscle cells which would cause severe pain throughout the body
damage to bone marrow
sinusitis - irritation of the sinus membranes
erosion of nasal tissues
This gas is normally used by doctors when performing surgery so that a patient will not feel pain. A person who abuses nitrous oxide will inhale the gas to get high. When nitrous oxide is being administered by doctors, oxygen is also supplied as there is not enough oxygen just in the air surrounding to get to the brain while using this gas. a person who abuses nitrous oxide would not know to do this. this lack of oxygen to the brain can make them feel more "high". They may feel high, but what they are really doing is depriving the brain of oxygen that it needs, hence causing brain damage. People who inhale nitrous oxide from pressurized containers may not realize that there may be more than one chemical mixed to create the product. This may cause even more damage or possibly even death if the other substances are toxic.
Mackenzie Briscoe & Jenna Winkler
The pharmacology of the inhalants
Video: Photos of a paint "huffer"
As you will see, there are clear indicators just from these photos that show this man inhales paint.
This video shows just some of the many indicators of inhaling a substance that you may encounter.
NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) has inhalants separated into four groups:
1. volatile solvents:
liquids that vaporize at room temperature
-examples: many industrial or household products such as paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline, and lighter fluid
-this many also include art or office supply solvents, including correction fluids (such as white out), felt-tip marker fluid, electronic contact cleaners, and glue
sprays that contain propellants and solvents:
-examples: this may include items such as spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, fabric protector sprays, aerosol computer cleaning products, and vegetable oil sprays
found in household or commercial products and used as medical anesthetics
-examples: butane lighters and propane tanks, whipped cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and refrigerant gases
-this gorup would also include medical anesthetics, such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”)
used primarily as sexual enhancers
-examples: this group would include cyclohexyl, butyl, and amyl nitrites, commonly known as “poppers.” It is said that "poppers" are taken during sex to increase an orgasm
-Amyl nitrite is still used in certain diagnostic medical procedures under the proper circumstances for use
-when nitrites are marketed for illicit use, they are often sold in small brown bottles labeled as “video head cleaner,” “room odorizer,” “leather cleaner,” or “liquid aroma.”
PRINT PHOTOS OF THESE?
-paint thinners and removers
-nail polish remover
-felt tipped markers
-computer cleaning products
-vegetable cooking sprays
-whipped cream dispensers
-room air fresheners
-video head cleaner
Areas of the brain affected by inhalant and cocaine abuse
Death By Inhalant
Sudden Sniffing Death: An irregular or rapid heart beat induced by sniffing highly concentrated solvents or aerosols for prolonged periods of time, that cause heart failure.
Asphyxiation: When inhaling a substance the amount of oxygen in the lungs is lowered and can cause the users death.
Suffocation: Some methods of inhaling substances require a plastic bag over the head. This can cause the blockage of air flow to the lungs.
Convulsions & Seizures: Abnormal electrical discharges in the brain cause convulsions and seizures.
Coma: The brain shuts down everything but vital organs.
Choking : Caused by vomit after inhaling.
Fatal injury : Such as a car accident.
There is approximately 100- 200 inhalant related fatalities in the states per yer. (Based off independent studies.)
A. Non user B. Inhalant user
5. National Institute of drug abuse (n.d. Updated December 2012) Inhalant abuse: What are the other medical consquences of inhalant abuse. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/inhalant-abuse/what-are-other-medical-consequences-inhalant-abuse
Even though the use of inhalants is considered a phase, that is not the case for all users. Some become addicted to their use and need treatment to aid them in recovery.
Harmful substances in Inhalants & their hazardous effects.
Amyl Nitrite/ Butyl Nitrite ("poppers", "video head cleaner")
Sudden sniffing death syndrome, suppressed immunologic function, injury to red blood cells (interfering with oxygen supply to vital tissues)
Benzene (found in Gasoline)
bone marrow injury, impaired immunologic function, increased risk of leukemia, reproductive system toxicity.
Butane/ Propane (found in lighter fluid, hair and paint sprays)
sudden sniffing death syndrome via cardiac effects, serious burn injuries (because of flammability)
Freon (used as a refrigerant and aerosol propellant)
sudden sniffing death syndrome, respiratory obstruction and death (from sudden cooling/cold injury to airways), liver damage
methylene chloride (found in paint thinners and removers, degreasers)
reduction of oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, changes to the heart muscle and heartbeat
Nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), hexane
death from lack of oxygen to the brain, altered perception and motor coordination, loss of sensation, limb spasms, blackouts caused by blood pressure changes, depression of heart muscle functioning
Toluene (found in gasoline, paint thinners and removers, correction fluid)
brain damage (loss of brain tissue mass, impaired cognition, gait disturbance, loss of coordination, loss of equilibrium, limb spasms, hearing and vision loss), liver and kidney damage
Trichloroethylene (found in spot removers, degreasers)
sudden sniffing death syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, reproductive complications, hearing and vision damage
The abuse of nitrates can lower
the immune system and cause users
to be more prone to disease and
tumors. Also since nitrates are used
for sexual means this create a higher risk of
getting HIV/AID's, especially because it is considered more likely
to practice unsafe sex while using.
1. Weissman, D. (n.d.).
What is EEG?
Retrieved January 18, 2014, from http://www.lsa.umich.edu/psych/danielweissmanlab/whatiseeg.htm
2. Nordqvist , C. (2009, September 9).
What Is Arrhythmia? What Causes Arrhythmia? - Medical News Today
. Retrieved January 18, 2014, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8887.php
3. Centre For Neuro Skills (n.d.).
Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Guide - Anoxia and Hypoxia.
Retrieved January 18, 2014, from http://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/anoxia-and-hypoxia.php
4. Mayo Clinic (2011, March 5).
Aplastic anemia Definition - Diseases and Conditions - Mayo Clinic.
Retrieved January 18, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aplastic-anemia/basics/definition/con-20019296
6. Harold E. Doweiko (2012,2009) Abuse of and Addiction to Inhalants and Aerosols. In Concepts of Chemical Dependency (eight edition. pg.181-188). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (n.d.). National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. Retrieved January 18, 2014, from http://www.inhalants.org/guidelines.htm
-because of the damage chemicals cause to the brain, chronic users will have a dual diagnoses - chemical dependency and mental illness
-techniques used for alcohol and drug treatment can be used, however many other specific issues need to be addressed
-the individual needs to have a physical examination before any of the mental health issues can be addressed. During physical examination, several medical complications must be assessed such as: (1) central nervous system damage; (2) renal (kidney) and hepatic (liver) abnormalities; (3) lead poisoning; (4) the possibilities of cardiac arrhythmia and pulmonary (lung) distress; and (5) nutritional deficiencies. (6)
-the detoxification period can last up to several weeks as chemicals are stored in the fatty tissue of the body, the inhalant abuser may experience residual effects for quite some time. (6)
-neurological impairment will most likely be present in chronic users and must be addressed
-many children start to use inhalants as a result of poor family life. this must also be looked at as a child would relapse as soon as they went back home
-peer groups must also be looked at for children. if their peers are using then they may relapse
-the typical 28 day period is too short. an inhalant abuser must stay in treatment for many months as chemicals from the inhalants take a very long time to exit the body
-abstinence is key