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24 hours rehab
Immediate Access for help and advice
24 hours rehab

Call Now for Immediate Confidential Help and Advice 02038 115 619

24 hours rehab
Immediate Access for help and advice

Inhalants Addiction & Abuse Explained

Inhalants — a range of chemicals inhaled through the nose or mouth to produce an intoxicating high — have been abused in the UK for generations, despite the stigma attached to their use and the dangers that inhalant abuse entails. If you have an addiction to inhalants, you risk severe harm to your health and life. Fortunately, there are many clinics across the country that can help you overcome your addiction and get back to a healthy and happy life.

Where to Get Help for Inhalants Addiction/Substance Abuse

If you are addicted to inhalants, your first call should be to your GP, who may be able to give you immediate treatment and can recommend further treatment options for you. You should also speak with an addiction specialist who understands the addiction treatment landscape in the UK. It can be difficult to navigate through the many choices you will face when contemplating treatment for your inhalants addiction. The more help you can get at the start of your journey, the easier those choices will be — and the more likely the success of your treatment.

Importance of treating inhalants addiction & when to seek treatment

Abusing inhalants can threaten your life — both immediately, through asphyxiation, hypoxia, cardiac arrest and other conditions that can result from inhaling chemicals, and in the long term as a result of the permanent damage to the body and brain that inhalant abuse can cause. Therefore, the sooner you can get help to overcome your inhalants addiction, the better.

There is no wrong time to get the help you need; however, the longer your addiction goes on, the harder it will be to break. As soon as you can accept that you have a problem with inhalants and decide to seek treatment, it is important that you reach out to your GP and/or an addiction specialist to get the process going as quickly as you can. If you have tried and failed to stop abusing inhalants and/or if your inhalant abuse has begun to have a harmful impact on your life or on those around you, seek help immediately to prevent further harm.

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Understanding inhalants addiction treatment and rehab options

Because inhalant abuse is such an entrenched problem in Britain, medical authorities have developed significant expertise in treating it, and there are now a great many options for addiction treatment. Not every kind of treatment or every specific clinic, will suit you and your circumstances. Many factors, including the state of your health, the length and severity of your addiction, your financial circumstances and where in the country you live will all affect your choice of addiction treatment. But whether you opt for treatment provided by the NHS, a private organisation or a charity, the important thing is that you do get help.

  • Charities
  • NHS Options
  • Private Rehab
  • Residential Care

Private rehab vs free treatment options for inhalants addiction

Various organisations provide free inhalants addiction treatment in Britain. The NHS provides treatment throughout the country, while several different charities also fund addiction treatment. Unfortunately, however, spaces can be very limited and waiting times lengthy, and for some users, these waits prove too long to bear. If you wish to get help immediately for your inhalants addiction, you may prefer to investigate private addiction treatment options. As with any private health care, private inhalants addiction treatment does come at a cost; however, some clinics offer credit or easy payment terms, while many people are able to pay for private addiction treatment with private health insurance.

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Executive/luxury rehab programmes for inhalants addiction

Some users who work in senior, high-pressure roles are reluctant to seek treatment because they do not feel they can afford the time away from the office. If you have such a role, you should check out executive rehab options, in which you will have access to amenities such as videoconferencing suites, secure internet, etc., that will enable you to stay active within your professional role while you receive treatment.

If you are a high net worth individual used to a high standard of living, you may prefer to be treated in a luxury rehab environment, in which the standard of accommodation and facilities is on a par with those offered by high-end hotels or holiday resorts and in which you can relax and focus fully on your inhalants addiction treatment with minimal stress and optimal levels of comfort.

What Happens in Inhalants Rehab

No two inhalants addiction treatment clinics are the same, and neither are any two individual journeys through treatment and recovery. Everyone responds differently to treatment, and the way one clinic approaches the treatment of inhalants addiction — including the type of therapy required, the regimen governing interaction between clients and other factors — will differ from that adopted by another. As a result, it is important that you do not build up too many preconceptions about inhalants addiction treatment.

Nevertheless, it is possible to draw up a rough guide as to what you might expect when you enrol in inhalants rehab.

Inhalants rehab admission process

Clients entering treatment for inhalants addiction are often at a very low ebb in their lives, and even mild stress may be overwhelming. Because of this, addiction treatment clinics strive to keep their admissions processes as uncomplicated as possible.

If you have an inhalants addiction and have decided to seek help, when you first speak with a treatment organisation, they will request some basic details about your condition and the nature of your addiction before recommending a specific clinic. At this point, you will usually be asked to provide a deposit; when this is paid, your place in treatment will be confirmed and you will be able to make your way to the facility.

Inhalants addiction assessment

Upon entering the clinic, your first step will be a full medical assessment so that doctors can get as complete as possible an understanding of your condition. This assessment will be the basis of the addiction treatment plan that will govern your treatment in rehab.

It is imperative that during your assessment and throughout treatment you are as candid as possible with your doctors. This will ensure that your treatment plan reflects as accurately as possible the state of your physical and mental health and make treatment more effective. Also, doctors may prescribe medication as part of your addiction treatment, and if these prescriptions are based on faulty information, they may be counterproductive or even dangerous.

Acceptance of the problem

One thing doctors will be especially keen to see during your initial assessment is that you have accepted that you have a problem with inhalants and need help to overcome your addiction. No addiction treatment will be successful unless the user in question is truly determined to do what is necessary to overcome it, and that means admitting they are addicted. If doctors are not convinced that you are fully accepting of your condition, they will not be confident that you will engage correctly with your treatment.

Many people find it difficult, at least at first, to admit that they have a drug addiction, because they feel that this is an admission of a weakness of character. However, once you are able to speak freely and openly about your condition, you will be able to receive the full benefits of the treatment provided to you in rehab, especially including therapy.

Medically assisted/controlled detoxification

Following your assessment, you will move through into the first phase of treatment: detoxification (detox). Detox is a period of abstinence during which your system is cleared of substances of abuse and their effects. Without going through detox, you will still be under the influence of your substance abuse and any dependence which may have developed.

During your detox phase, withdrawal symptoms may appear. Withdrawal syndrome can be extremely distressing and debilitating, as well as potentially dangerous. However, doctors will be on hand 24/7 to ensure your safety and may be able to prescribe certain medications to alleviate the impact of at least some withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted detox may well begin immediately following your assessment if doctors believe it would be helpful to prescribe medication straightaway to get an early start on combating symptoms of withdrawal.

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The next phase of treatment is sometimes known as rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is centred upon therapy aimed at uncovering and addressing the psychological causes of your inhalants addiction and giving you a range of coping strategies and mechanisms you can use in recovery.

Alongside therapy, you will also benefit from the provision of bespoke dietary and fitness plans (following the mantra “healthy body, healthy mind”) as well as from being able to take advantage of any facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, etc., that your clinic may offer.


Once you complete your addiction treatment plan and leave your treatment facility, you may feel you have overcome your addiction and your troubles are behind you. This can be a dangerous mindset, however, as recovery is an ongoing process and is not completed the moment you leave the clinic. Good rehabs typically offer up to a year’s free aftercare to anyone who completes an addiction treatment programme, in order to give them the most solid possible footing for their recovery. You may also choose to engage in supplementary counselling, support group attendance and other activities that can all give you extra support after you leave the clinic.

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What Is an Inpatient Rehab Programme?

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential rehab, sees clients staying on-site to receive the various elements of their addiction treatment plans in a safe, confidential, and substance-free environment. Inpatient rehab programmes usually last between one and three months, during which time clients will have 24/7 medical support and will be able to engage with other recovering clients who understand the nature of addiction and as a result can offer support, companionship and advice during difficult times.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Not everyone feels able to remove themselves from daily life and obligation such as family and work for the length of time an inpatient treatment programme usually requires. If you do not feel able to commit yourself to inpatient treatment, you may wish to explore outpatient rehab options.

In outpatient inhalants addiction treatment, you will visit a treatment clinic for therapy sessions, medication prescriptions and potentially various other appointments but will be expected to carry out the other components of your addiction treatment plan independently. This flexibility can help some clients balance life responsibilities and treatment; however, because it does not remove you fully from the environment in which you have succumbed to inhalants abuse and addiction, it can make relapse significantly more likely.

Day programmes

Day programmes are offered by some clinics, in which a client will attend the clinic for treatment during the daytime from one to seven days a week but return home or to other accommodation every night. Such programmes are considered appropriate for clients who live near the clinic and can travel to treatment relatively easily; have robust support networks that can step in during times of crisis; have gone through an addiction treatment programme but require ongoing support; or have responsibilities at home — such as a young baby — that may make overnight stays in the clinic challenging.

Day programmes are not advisable for anyone living more than an hour or so away from the clinic; anyone who does not have a strong support network and might struggle outside the clinic; and anyone who suffers from dual diagnosis or another health complication that may increase the complexity of their treatment.

Intensive outpatient programmes

Intensive outpatient treatment is, as the term suggests, a more intensive version of traditional outpatient rehab. Intensive outpatient treatment programmes generally require clients to attend the clinic for four or more 3- to 5-hour sessions every week but allow them to go about their normal lives when not attending the sessions. If employers are amenable, this may allow the client to work on a schedule that fits around their treatment.

Because intensive outpatient treatment usually entails a lot of time away from the clinic, most clients in such treatment programmes are required to undergo regular drug testing to make sure they are not engaging in substance abuse during their time outside the clinic.

Ongoing care

Ongoing care, more often called aftercare, is given by clinics to clients who have completed an addiction treatment programme in order to shore up recovery. Recovering clients often require or can benefit from supplementary care in the form of ongoing therapy, check-ups, further prescriptions and more, and because of this, quality rehabs usually provide up to a year’s free aftercare to clients who have been through treatment.

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While aftercare plans differ from one organisation to another, a typical plan will include some appointments provide on-site and others given over the phone or email, with the frequency of those appointments declining as the client moves through recovery. You may also be required to attend counselling and/or support group meetings outside the clinic. You should get details of aftercare provision when doing your research into potential treatment clinics.

How Is Medication Used to Treat Addiction?

There is currently no pharmaceutical cure for addiction; treatment is based upon a combination of detox and therapy. However, medication does often play important roles in the treatment of addiction. Doctors may prescribe medication to alleviate cravings; to help clients reduce the dosages; as less problematic, legal alternatives to dangerous illegal substances; and to deter substance abuse. If a client’s health is endangered at any point during the treatment process, they may also receive the appropriate medication.

Medications used in addiction treatment & rehab

While quite a few medications have been approved for use in addiction treatment in the UK, not all are relevant to every case of addiction, and it may not be appropriate to give certain medications to particular individuals. Some medicine might interact dangerously with other drugs, including substances of abuse, while some people with certain health conditions may react badly to particular medications. Because of this complexity, it is imperative that you never try to self-medicate your inhalants addiction: only take medicine in strict accordance with the instructions of a prescribing doctor.

In rehab, medication is most commonly prescribed to alleviate withdrawal syndrome. However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. Following your initial assessment, doctors may decide that it will not be appropriate to prescribe you with any medication. If you do not receive medication, this should not be taken as an indication that your condition is any less serious than any other client’s or that your treatment is any less likely to be successful.

  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • Buprenorphine (Buprenex)
  • Methadone
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Acamprosate (Campral)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Modafinil (Provigil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • Bupropion (Buproban)
  • Gabapentin (Fanatrex)
  • Vigabatrin (Sabril)
  • Baclofen (Kemstro)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)

Psychotherapy for Inhalants Addiction Treatment

All addiction treatment has psychotherapy at its heart, and the treatment of inhalants addiction is no different. Therapy aims to discover the fundamental causes of addiction and remediate the problematic thought processes and behaviours that have resulted in your substance abuse and addiction. Treating only the physical elements of addiction through detox is unlikely to result in permanent abstinence, as it will not address the issues that have driven the development of addiction in the first place.

Many different approaches to therapy are employed in the treatment of addiction, some of which can be especially beneficial when provided in combination with each other and/or in conjunction with the prescription of particular medications.

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Coping-focused psychotherapy

In psychology and psychotherapy, coping means putting conscious effort into solving various personal and interpersonal problems with the aim of minimising, overcoming or becoming able to tolerate stress and conflict. Coping strategies are usually developed as a person matures, but some individuals adopt negative coping strategies, including substance abuse, that can be extremely harmful.

Coping-focused psychotherapy methodologies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) are commonplace in the treatment of addiction and seek to give clients more positive and more effective coping mechanisms to take on the challenges in their lives. Therapist will work with clients to establish why the coping mechanisms they have employed previously have been ineffective and to point them toward ways they can adopt different perspectives on how they cope with problematic issues.

Social skills/interpersonal/growth psychotherapy

Poor social and interpersonal skills are a major contributor to substance abuse and addiction. People who struggle on an interpersonal level can find it difficult to develop and sustain the kind of relationships many people take for granted, including important romantic and professional relationships. Such people frequently turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism; this abuse can also contribute to a negative feedback dynamic in which addiction causes social withdrawal and increased isolation, driving further substance abuse.

Interpersonal psychotherapists work with clients to improve their existing social skills and help them develop new and more effective ones. This typically results in increased happiness and general well-being, as well as greater potential in the fields of romance and work, with obvious benefits. Improved interpersonal skills also tend to make therapy and other elements of treatment more effective as clients are able to describe their emotions and impulses more articulately.

Exploratory psychotherapy

In exploratory psychotherapy — often known as psychodynamic psychotherapy — therapists work with clients to explore past experiences and how they have affected the client, potentially contributing to their substance abuse and addiction. Past trauma is a significant contributor to addiction; however, the exploration of such trauma can be challenging and potentially distressing for the client. Therapists need to be extremely careful in how they address any relevant traumatic events, and exploratory psychotherapy can be a comparatively slow and painstaking process.

Nevertheless, exploratory psychotherapy frequently has the benefits of boosting self-esteem and self-awareness and improving mood regulation, and these benefits can frequently continue to be gained long after the end of an addiction treatment programme. Recovering clients often stay in therapy for months or even years after treatment because of the positive impact it has on the way they see themselves and their place in the world.

Types of psychotherapy used in inhalants addiction treatment

A great range of therapy methodologies and models can be found in addiction treatment. Understandably, however, each clinic can only provide a limited number of these methodologies, so if a particular type of therapy is a priority for you, you should find out which clinics provide it when doing your research before commencing treatment. An addiction specialist can give you information on the different forms of therapy provided in treatment facilities in your area.

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Some clients wish to experiment with several different therapy options before they settle on a combination that is most beneficial to them, but some clinics are more receptive than others to this kind of experimentation. Again, you should discuss with any clinic you are considering what options there are to try out different types of therapy before deciding on one.

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Counselling
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy
  • Experiential therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Fitness therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Meditation
  • Music therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy

The Recovery Process

Recovery should be seen as a long-term process; indeed, many recovering clients find it useful to think of recovery as something that lasts a lifetime. Therefore, when you leave the clinic, you should not consider your recovery to have been achieved; instead, consider this simply the next phase of your treatment, one with its own challenges and potential obstacles.

Elements of recovery

It can be somewhat misleading to compare different experiences of recovery, since everyone’s journey through addiction and treatment is unique. However, it can sometimes be beneficial to divide recovery into various elements you can address individually in therapy in order to develop skills and coping mechanisms that are applicable to each element. Sometimes, different therapy models and approaches can be useful when dealing with certain components of recovery, and your therapists will certainly place great emphasis on these key components during your treatment.

Everyone has different skill sets and capabilities, and you may find that you are particularly strong in some areas and less strong in others. This is natural and gives you a useful focus for the work that you do in therapy, especially towards the latter stages of your treatment programme.

  • Developing hope
  • Secure base
  • Sense of self
  • Supportive relationships
  • Empowerment
  • Social inclusion
  • Coping skills
  • Giving meaning

How Long Are Inhalants Rehab Programmes?

When you begin treatment for your inhalants addiction, you will have a certain timeframe in mind. However, it is important that you retain a degree of flexibility when it comes to how long you will be in treatment, since developments during treatment may impact upon how long you stay at the clinic. For example, you may respond especially well to treatment and move through your treatment plan more quickly than expected. On the other hand, you may encounter unexpected difficulties that require you to remain in treatment longer than planned.

Usually, a stay in inhalants rehab will last for between 30 and 90 days, though some clinics provide shorter and more intensive programmes, as well as enabling extended stays if required. How long you initially expect to stay in treatment will be determined by various factors, including the severity of your addiction, how long you have been abusing inhalants, your physical and mental condition and the type of treatment you are signing up for.

What Does Inhalants Rehab Cost in the UK?

It can be somewhat counterproductive to give even a rough estimate of inhalants addiction treatment costs in the UK, since costs range so widely from one rehab to the next and even from one treatment programme to the next within the same clinic. Costs will be affected by numerous factors, including the type of treatment you receive, the standard of the facility you attend and the nature of any specialist care with which you may be provided.

Very roughly speaking, standard residential inhalants addiction treatment in the UK costs between £4,000 and £15,000 a month. It is very important that you get precise figures from any clinic you are considering before you commit to treatment. An addiction specialist can give you guidance on pricing and may be able to direct you towards more affordable treatment options.

Inhalants Addiction Recovery and Aftercare

Quality rehabs offer up to a year’s free aftercare for clients who go through addiction treatment. You should take advantage of every element of your aftercare plan, regardless of how strongly you want to move on from treatment and get on with the rest of your life. Aftercare can be an absolutely vital element of your recovery.

Recovery and community

Your support network will be extremely influential on the eventual success of your recovery phase; however, do not think only of loved ones and friends as your support base. There are a great many recovering users who are now active in support groups and other organisations aimed at helping people in recovery, and you can find significant support and companionship from members of that community, as well as gaining the therapeutic benefits of helping others through their recovery journeys.

Support groups

There are now various support group organisations — the most prominent of which is Narcotics Anonymous (NA) — giving support to recovering addicts across the country. Support groups usually meet on a weekly basis, with no charge for attending; the only criterion for attendance is usually a commitment to abstinence. To learn more about support groups active in your area, speak with an addiction specialist.


NA operates on the 12-step methodology first developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Twelve-step models have saved countless lives over the past few decades, and you may well benefit from participating in a 12-step programme (though it is worth bearing in mind that some people find certain steps incompatible with their personal beliefs). Get in touch with an addiction specialist to find out more about the 12-step model.

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Ready to Start Rehab?

Abusing inhalants can be harmful or even fatal, while any addiction can be hugely damaging to your life circumstances and prospects. If you are an inhalants user and wish to break your habit, don’t waste any time in reaching out to your GP and/or an addiction specialist. Every day that goes by without tackling your addiction increases the likelihood that you will end up causing yourself permanent harm.

Take control of your life — get started on the road to recovery

If you are an inhalants user, you may feel you have no control of your life; however, you can take back control with the right professional help. Reach out to your GP and/or an addiction specialist about the treatment that you may be able to receive for your inhalants addiction. Making that call could be your first step on your recovery journey and the road back to happiness and success.

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