Inhalants are a group of psychoactive drugs that produce a high by causing the brain to release chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, much like opioids do. These substances are inhaled in order to induce euphoria and intoxication effects. These types of drugs are also referred to as “solvents” because a lot of them are made from chemicals that dissolve in alcohols, such as isopropyl alcohol or ethylene glycol.
Some examples: Many users develop tolerance to inhalants. This means that the body has adapted to the drug by increasing the release of endogenous (produced by the body) substances to cope with its presence, causing tremors and mental impairment. In this piece, we will look at how inhalants affect the brain and body.
Ways on How Inhalants Affect the Brain and Body
Altering Neurotransmitters in the Brain and Body
Most of the chemicals in inhalants are either lipid-soluble or water-soluble. Lipid-soluble chemicals dissolve in fat, while water-soluble ones get absorbed into the body’s bloodstream. Depending on this property, these chemicals travel to various areas of the brain, where they can cause significant damage over time. Inhalants alter neurotransmitters levels in the brain and body by interfering with their chemical reactions. For example, a lipid-soluble chemical called toluene causes a decrease in the amount of dopamine that neurons can unpack when they are exposed to it. It also inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.
Causing Cognitive Deficits
Inhalants are psychoactive drugs, which means they produce mood-altering effects on the brain. The most common ones include euphoria and intoxication. They can also cause hallucinations because they affect levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. A decline in cognitive functions, such as learning and memorizing, are among the long-term effects of these chemicals on the brain. Frequent inhalant use also causes short-term memory loss and problems with coordination, attention, and concentration. This occurs because of the way that the drugs affect neurotransmitters levels in the brain.
Making the Brain More Sensitive to Other Drugs
People who use inhalants are at risk of experiencing side effects related to other drugs they may take. This is because inhalants alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and body. Since these are chemical messengers, some of them are responsible for regulating pain, stress, and pleasure signals, respectively. These changes can cause a person to experience increased awareness or sensitivity to various stimuli than normal individuals do.
Increases Risk for Severe Inhalant Abuse
A lot of people develop tolerance to inhalants because of the process by which they interact with the body’s neurotransmitters. Addiction can occur when someone becomes dependent on these substances and cannot stop using them even if they know they cause health issues or are dangerous. Many people use inhaling drugs as a means to deal with stress and induce euphoria, which is why they are a very common cause of domestic violence, accidents, and criminal activity.
Inhibiting Growth and Reproductive Function in the Brain and Body
The effects of inhalants on the brain and body can enhance an individual’s risk of experiencing secondary health issues down the road. For example, many people struggle with sudden mood swings that are triggered by stress. The main reason is that their brains become more sensitive to numerous stimuli. There is a close connection between the central nervous system and hormones, which regulate physical development, growth patterns, and other factors of human health. Inhalants cause disruptions in the hormonal system, interfering with the regulation of growth and reproduction in the brain and body. As a result, kids exposed to inhalants have development issues that can be attributed to their use of inhalants. This can also lead to reproductive problems for adults.
Being Highly Addictive
The impact of inhalants on the brain and body are powerful enough to make them highly addictive substances. This happens when an individual’s body becomes so used to the presence of a certain chemical that the brain creates large amounts of dopamine and serotonin to cope with it. Over time, the brain adapts and needs more of this substance for it to do its job well. This can cause severe withdrawal symptoms in people who stop using inhalants.
Unable to Make Sound Judgments
Inhalants are able to interfere with a person’s reasoning and judgment capabilities over time while also creating issues with coordination, balance, and mental clarity. Researchers have found that frequent inhalant use can lead to impaired processing and decision-making abilities. Inhalants are also responsible for high levels of impulsiveness, even if a person has used them for a long time. This can lead to high levels of risk-taking behavior without people being fully aware of what they are doing.
In addition, these substances can also make it harder for people to make sound judgments about their own health and well-being because of the way that they affect brain functions. In conclusion, the effects of inhalants on the brain and body can be long-term, especially when a person uses them repeatedly. This is why it is important to avoid using inhalants in the first place. If you believe that you or someone you love is using or addicted to inhalants, please contact us today by calling 772-266-5320.