Treating Inhalant Abuse

Because inhalants are often common household items, they are hard to control. If your child is abusing inhalants, sit down and talk to him or her. Be sure your child knows the risks of inhalant use. Also, talk to a healthcare provider about treatment.

Parents talking with son in living room.

The risks of inhalant abuse

Over time, inhalant abuse may lead to addiction. This means that children may have an intense craving for the drug. And they may not be able to stop using it. In rare cases, inhalant abuse can lead to death. It also can cause health problems such as:

  • Weight loss

  • Muscle weakness

  • Loss of coordination or loss of hearing

  • Heart, kidney, or liver damage

  • Damage to the brain or nerves

How is inhalant abuse treated?

Your healthcare provider can help you decide the best treatment for your child. Treatment centers for inhalant abuse do exist. You can also call or visit a local mental health clinic. If you cannot find a treatment center in your area, call the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition at 800-269-4237.

You can help prevent inhalant abuse

Talk to your children about the dangers of inhalant abuse. And be alert for signs of a problem. Some parents don’t know about inhalants. They may be more worried about alcohol and drug abuse. But inhalant abuse can be just as serious. And it often starts sooner than other types of drug abuse, often in grade school.


National Inhalant Prevention Coalition 800-269-4237 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Helpline 800-662-4357