When it comes to light that a child, a relative or a close friend is abusing drugs, it usually comes as a shock. Even though there are clear signs of the abuse, the close relationship that we have with the abuser can blind us. We may not want to see or accept the warning signs. In our mind, we may make excuses for the behavior that we see in our family members. However, closing our eyes to what we see can be very dangerous. This is especially the case if we suspect that our loved one is using inhalants to get high.
What are Inhalants?
There are literally thousands of products that are inhalants. They can be found at school, at home and in the workplace. These would include everything from air fresheners to felt tipped markers to nail polish removers. There are no restrictions on these products, and they are not illegal because when used properly they serve very important purposes.
When inhalants are used improperly, they are exceptionally dangerous. Misusing inhalants by breathing them into the lungs can result in serious respiratory problems, permanent brain damage, paralysis and even death. What makes inhalants so terrifying is that an individual can die even if they only use inhalants once. For this reason, if parents suspect that their children are using inhalants, they must take immediate action. It is better to take action and be wrong than to take no action at all and have a child suffer the negative effects.
What to Do If You Suspect a Loved One of Using Inhalants
The first step to take is to simply talk to your loved one. It is not necessarily the best idea to be confrontational or to accuse your loved one of using inhalants. If you do this, it is likely that they are going to deny the inhalant abuse and in the future find more ingenious ways to hide evidence of their abuse from you.
Open communication is especially important for parents and children. Discussing the risk of inhalant abuse is paramount, especially if you already suspected that your children are involved in this habit. Help your children understand that inhalant abuse is potentially fatal. Encourage your child to open up to you. Help them see that you are their confidant. Many times, a child who is abusing inhalants also has other social and emotional problems connected with the abuse.
Second, be alert and be aware. While you do not want to accuse your loved one of being involved with inhalant abuse if they are not, at the same time you do not want to ignore clear signs of inhalant abuse. These symptoms will include hidden rags, hidden containers of products that could be used as inhalers, constantly having paint on their hands, face, or clothing, mood swings, and irritability. You may smell things on their clothing like paint thinner, nail polish remover, Lysol, and more. If clear signs of inhalant abuse are apparent, it may be necessary to work with friends, family members, and trained professionals to hold an intervention with the individual who is abusing inhalants.
Finally, set expectations and stay involved. Let your loved one know in no uncertain terms that using inhalants will not be tolerated, especially if they live in your home. Emphasize to them that you care for them, and so your expectations are based on love for them and concern for their safety. Parents should increase their involvement in their child’s life. If they suspect their child of abusing inhalants, they should know where the child is that at all times. They should help their child in their battle to fight against peer pressure to use inhalants.
Finding out that a loved one is abusing inhalants will come as a shock to most people. Many will feel worried and overwhelmed and will wonder where they can go for help. Our rehabilitation center is full of trained medical professionals who understand the challenges associated with inhalant abuse and are able to provide the help needed. Contact us today and let us use our years of experience to help you.
If you’d like more information about how to prevent inhalant abuse, please call us today 877-929-6887.