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Why Is Inhalant Use a Problem for Young Adults?

Teenagers and young adults most frequently use inhalants out of every age group. According to the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1.5% of people aged 18 to 25 used inhalants in 2020. In this blog, we’ll explore factors that could explain the motivation for inhalant use among young adults.

Understanding Inhalant Use for Young Adults

Young adults are often just starting out in higher education or a career. With the rising costs of living, they may have a difficult time obtaining most substances. They also may need to hide their substance abuse from schools and workplaces. Inhalants are some of the most convenient drugs for young adults to use.


Inhalants can offer young adults an easy high. Firstly, they are extremely cheap. A person can buy some versions of inhalants at the dollar store. Depending on the type desired, it could cost only a few dollars at any convenience store.

Additionally, if someone knows what they’re looking for, they can find them all over the place. Inhalants can come in the form of felt tip markers, lighter fluid, almost any spray, and nail polish remover. Few inhalants are illegal, as many household items can be used as an inhalant. If pulled over by the police, an individual won’t face consequences for possessing inhalants.


Due to the legality of inhalants, substance abuse can be easily concealed. A person can come up with many believable lies as to why they possess the inhalants. Moreover, a person using inhalants doesn’t need any drug paraphernalia. Because inhalants take effect quickly and the high only last a few minutes, others may not notice the problem.

Dangers of Inhalant Use

Many people misunderstand the dangers of inhalants. They think because the substances are easily attainable, they aren’t harmful. Additionally, the short duration of the high could lead someone to the same conclusion. In reality, inhalants can create short and long-term health issues, including the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Slurred speech
  • Stunted brain development
  • Muscle spasms
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney damage
  • Brain damage
  • Hypoxia
  • Embolism
  • Death

With these consequences in mind, young adults must receive education on the dangers of inhalants. Colleges and universities may want to participate in the dissemination of this information. Additionally, if a person knows their friend or family member is using inhalants, they should assist the person in finding treatment and support.

Due to the accessibility and concealability of inhalants, young adults may find themselves using these substances at higher rates than the general population. Unfortunately, inhalants pose a serious danger. They can eventually prove fatal if an individual doesn’t seek help for their problem. The Guest House offers comprehensive addiction treatment. Our staff provides top-notch care 24/7. Between our inpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs, you’re bound to find a treatment option that fits your needs. When you’re ready to change, call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800.