Inhalant Withdrawal

The withdrawal symptoms of inhalants including household solvents, gases and anesthetics, cleaning products and gasoline, results from an inhalant addiction. If you use inhalants on a regular basis over an extended period of time, you can develop a physical and psychological dependence on the substance.

Both inhalant use and inhalant withdrawal can lead to life-threatening symptoms.

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that a single episode or sporadic use of it can cause the chemicals to lead to severe, negative effects by moving from the lungs to the bloodstream before it takes over the body and acts on the central nervous system.

It goes without saying that while parents often take precautions to monitor adolescent-aged children for prescription drug, marijuana and alcohol abuse, inhalant abuse is far more pervasive and one of the more overlooked drugs.

How can you end addiction? Get a call from our experts and find out!

How can you end addiction? Get a call from our experts and find out!

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What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Inhalants?

In most cases, an individual must have developed a serious physical dependence on inhalants. In some cases, they may abuse the chemicals for months or even years that have contributed to the intensity of inhalant withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations or seizures. Due to the wide variety of inhalants abused, withdrawal symptoms of inhalants depend on the specific type of inhalant.  These are the potential symptoms associated with inhalant withdrawal:

  • Headaches
  • Runny nose or eyes
  • Hand tremors
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Rapid pulse
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Severe inhalant cravings

Generally speaking, these symptoms are mild and can be overcome within a few days as the cravings slowly go away. However, you may continue to experience hallucinations and seizures which require medical monitoring and supervision.

During the withdrawal period, you may continue to experience withdrawal symptoms of inhalants such as:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • An excess craving for additional inhalants

Once you stop using the drug, you’ll experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms of inhalants until chemical levels are readjusted back to the normal levels. The duration and abuse of inhalants will determine the severity of inhalant withdrawal. In general, the longer and larger the amount of inhalant usage, the harder and more dangerous it will become to withdraw from the drug.  Severe cases of inhalant withdrawal symptoms can even lead to convulsions.

What Are the Stages of the Inhalant Withdrawal Timeline?

The process of inhalant withdrawal, including the length of time it takes to detox fully, depends on several contributing factors, some of which include:

  • How long you might have abused inhalants
  • How much and how often
  • Your current overall physical and mental health
  • Any other substance abuses
  • Mental health and/or medical issues
  • Any substance abuse treatment attempt
  • The level of support you have
  • Any stressors from friends and family

The withdrawal timeline consists of several steps:


Usually the shortest stage, this is where you may still seek pleasure from the drug and continue to sniff and snort from containers, spray aerosols, inhale chemicals from bags, huffing vapors from a bag or inhale from balloon-filled gases.


Inhalant withdrawal symptoms typically become worse after the last inhalation. These symptoms could continue for a month or longer and usually include:

  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  •   Insomnia
  •   Delirium
  •   Tingling
  • Seizures
  •    Muscle cramps
  •   Chills
  •    Headaches
  •   Stomach pain


After about a few days of past use, early withdrawal symptoms usually appear including:

  •   Tremors
  •   Nausea
  •    Anxiety
  •   Insomnia
  •    Muscle cramps
  •    Headaches
  •    Abdominal pain
  •    Seizures

These inhalant symptoms will intensify in the following week following discontinuing of drug use.

If you’ve been using inhalants for a prolonged period of time, you may also experience severe and deadly symptoms similar to long-time abusers of alcohol and benzodiazepines. It’s extremely crucial to enlist in medical help to ensure a successful recovery.


Acute symptoms may start fading, but you may still experience other longer lasting inhalant symptoms for a week following the last drug use, such as:

  •    Amnesia
  •   Inability to process certain cognitive functions
  •   Depression
  •    Inhalant cravings

Why Should I Detox?

The inhalant withdrawal process can be physically and mentally arduous. To prevent relapse, it is recommended you detox at a drug treatment center with the support of supervised medical professionals without access to inhalants.

Your body will slowly get rid of toxic chemicals to bring your body back into balance while medicines will help you manage any inhalant withdrawal symptoms with greater ease.

Like any substance abuse withdrawal, a lot also depends on your age, drug use, stress and relationships, mental and emotional health and other ongoing factors.

Since inhalant drugs have adverse short-term and long-term effects on the body, it is not possible to taper off the usage. As a patient, you will need to begin inhalant treatment immediately upon entering a facility.

You might be given medications to help symptoms of nausea, sleeplessness, depression, and anxiety subside. The first step of inhalant addiction treatment begins with medical detox.

To break the cycle of addiction, you’ll undergo addiction treatment where you’ll start anticipating and evaluating the triggers of inhalant addiction.  You might find it’s best to deal with your addiction privately or in a group setting for additional support.

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What Is the Next Treatment Step?

Successfully recovering from dependency on inhalants requires the hardest step – medical detox. It takes great courage to break through an addiction. Arete Recovery offers medical detox and residential treatment as well as outpatient programs. Your treatment program will be tailored to maximize your chances for a full recovery.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you or a loved one is struggling to stay hopeful while dealing with a crystal meth addiction, know that you are not alone. We want to give you that hope! The caring medical staff at the Arete Recovery, your medical detox, and residential treatment and outpatient center, want to help you get through every stage of your recovery journey successfully.

Call 844-318-7500 now to speak with one of our addiction specialists for more information.