Drug & Alcohol Rehab Programs for Inhalant Abuse in Nunavut
The term inhalants refer to various chemicals such as solvents, aerosol sprays, gases, and nitrites that are inhaled for its psychoactive properties. Inhalants are various products that are easily bought and found in most homes, schools, and workplaces across Nunavut. For example, spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning products can be used as an inhalant. These products contain dangerous psychoactive properties that create euphoria and dissociative feelings. Most people may not think of these products as being used for this purpose. However, inhalants are prevalent among adolescents and children, the homeless population, and many First Nations communities struggle with inhalant abuse problems.
Inhalants are used in a few different ways, such as sniffing, which is where users inhale solvents directly from the container. The drug user may also heat the solvent to increase the evaporation, which is dangerous because most solvents are flammable. Huffing involves soaking material, such as a rag or sock in a solvent or aerosol, and then placing it over the nose or mouth and inhaling. Bagging is when inhalant users use a concentration of fumes from a bag that is placed over the mouth and nose, and even over the head. The vapor or fumes can also be inhaled in small enclosed spaces, such as a closet, bathroom, or vehicle. There are have even been situations where drug users have soaked mattresses or blankets and inhaled the fumes.
When inhalants are consumed, the fumes are directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. From there, the products travel to the brain and other organs within the body. The effects are almost immediate and short-lived. The first time someone uses inhalants, they will feel excited and experience euphoria, light-headedness, distorted vision and a lack of inhibition. Once the high deteriorates, the chemicals act as a depressant as they slow down the body’s central nervous system . People who use inhalants frequently will continuously use to maintain the high required. There are many risk factors connected with becoming addicted to inhalants. For example, family history such as a dysfunctional family unit, violence, neglect, and abuse place young people at a higher risk for abusing inhalants.
There are many dangers connected with abusing inhalants. For example, the drug user could face sudden heart failure. This is known as sudden sniffing death and is the most common cause of death for solvent users. When the drug user has a rush of adrenaline from extra exertion while intoxicated, the heart skips its rhythm and stops beating. Inhalant users are also at a higher risk for suicide, asphyxiation, and overdose. Suffocation occurs when a plastic bag is used to inhale solvents and blocks the passage of air to the drug user's nose and mouth. This is common with bagging when the drug user places the entire plastic bag over their head when they are inhaling the chemicals.
The short-term health effects include abdominal pain, amnesia, depression, headaches, irritability, loss of appetite, and irregular heartbeat. Long-term health problems include anxiety, central nervous system and brain damage, hearing loss, liver and kidney damage, weight loss, and short-term memory loss. If you are struggling with an inhalant abuse problem in Nunavut, you must find the proper help. There are some community-based health programs, hospital services, and outpatient services for addicts. Residential drug treatment will typically be available within southern Canada at facilities located in Alberta and British Columbia.