How Soon Will I Start to See Withdrawal Symptoms of Inhalants?

If you have a substance abuse problem involving inhalants, meaning you routinely inhale aerosols, adhesives, or solvents, for example, you are not alone. According to a study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly 23 million people in America have admitted to using inhalants at one time or another to achieve a euphoric high.

Of those 23 million, a large percentage of them went on to develop a physical or psychological addiction. It is also worth noting that many individuals who have previously or currently abuse inhalants began doing so during adolescence. In a separate study published by, an online resource aimed at educating and informing the public about inhalant abuse in America, researchers found that an estimated 2 million children aged 12 to17 have used inhalants.

As unsettling as this might all seem, there is some good news insofar as many teens and young adults are turning to rehab facilities for help in ending their relationship with inhalants. For reference, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that, to date, 8 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 have sought treatment for an inhalant addiction at one of the many licensed rehab facilities across America. And 54 percent of individuals 18 and over have done the same. That said, those who have taken this critical first step toward regaining control over their life all agree that getting through detox is the most challenging part of completing a rehab program.

What You May Not Have Known About Inhalant Detox but Probably Should

If breaking the cycle of addiction when it comes to inhalants is something that resonates with you, you should know that doing so often means going through detox. For context, detox is the process in which the body rids itself of drugs and other harmful contaminants once an individual stops using. Unfortunately, when this process gets underway, it is not uncommon for many people to encounter a myriad of unpleasant symptoms. Some of the ones commonly associated with the abrupt cessation of inhalants include the following:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability

While this list of symptoms is not all-encompassing, it does represent the most common ones associated with abrupt inhalant cessation. And most of them can start in as little as 24 hours after an individual has inhaled the last dose of their preferred substance. For this exact reason, nearly all of the more than 14,000 rehab facilities in the U.S. offer medication-assisted detox to help ease withdrawal symptoms. This approach to addiction recovery includes round-the-clock monitoring by a licensed physician and access to prescription-based medications.

What to Expect While Going Through Detox

The withdrawal symptoms often synonymous with going through inhalant detox can last eight or more days, with the first wave appearing in as little as 24 to 48 hours after an individual stops using. That said, here is what individuals can expect as they set forth on their journey toward sobriety:

Day 1 through 2 – During this early stage of their detox journey, most individuals experience numerous physical symptoms, such as tremors, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. In extreme cases, some might even encounter seizures. When it comes to psychological symptoms, some individuals experience anxiety, cravings, insomnia, and irritability within the first one or two days of quitting inhalants. Lastly, around this same time, some might suffer from hallucinations or another form of psychosis.

Days 3 through 7 – This stage of addiction recovery marks the easing of most physical symptoms. Of course, it is worth noting that psychological symptoms will usually continue and may even intensify. For example, most people report struggling with increased feelings of depression, anxiety, and insomnia around this time. But there is some good news. Along with the easing of physical symptoms, most people say they experience fewer hallucinations. And those who were struggling with a substance-induced psychotic disorder or another form of psychosis as a result of going through detox report feeling less bothered by them.

Days 8 and beyond – Considered by many to be the home stretch, days eight and beyond is when most physical symptoms associated with quitting inhalants become nearly nonexistent. However, some psychological symptoms, such as depression, while less intense, might still be present. According to most addiction experts, even after reaching this point, it could take a few more months before individuals start to feel like themselves again. For this reason, most rehab facilities will encourage individuals to partake in some form of psychotherapy once they have made it this far.

Bottom Line

All in all, abusing inhalants compromises an individual’s health and, worse yet, endangers their life. Although the process of overcoming an addiction of this kind might seem overwhelming, it is certainly worth doing. That said, if you’re ready to put inhalant abuse behind you, you’re encouraged to speak with one of our compassionate associates today at 833-820-2922.