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Inhalant Abuse: A Special Lure for Women


Those with addictions to heroin or cocaine must often visit with sneaky drug dealers in dark alleyways, buying their substances furtively and hoping they won’t get caught in the act. People with alcohol addictions can be slightly more open about their use, but they might also be forced to visit corner markets and liquor stores in order to purchase the substances they’re addicted to. Women might find these purchasing excursions difficult, especially in India, as a transgression like this could lead to retaliations from embarrassed family members. For these women, addictions must be kept on the sly, and they may find relief as close as the kitchen cabinet.

According to an article produced by the Inter Press Service News Agency, women in India are developing addictions to inhalants including:

  • Paint and lacquers
  • Paint thinners
  • Petrol
  • Glue and rubber cement
  • Shoe polishes

Sources quoted in the story suggest that girls as young as 13 are developing these sorts of addictions, and they may persist due to life stresses, emotional abuse and other addiction triggers these women face on a daily basis.

Consequences of Inhalant Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that some types of inhalants can destroy the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers. Without this covering, smooth movements become much more difficult, and cognitive abilities might also be impaired. People with long histories of inhalant abuse can find it difficult to retain information, and they may struggle with both vision and hearing. Inhalants can also damage the heart, lungs and kidneys, and sometimes, that damage is too extensive to be repaired with conventional treatments.

Addiction Help for Women

Comprehensive treatment programs involving talk therapy, trauma resolution and relapse prevention techniques can be quite helpful in the fight against addiction issues like this. Medical care might also be necessary in order for people to truly recover, as inhalants can cause intense physical damage to people who abuse them for lengthy periods of time. The Orchid, a U.S. based addiction treatment centre catering specifically to women, has seen much success using these methods to treat inhalant abuse. Recently, experts from the Orchid met with Indian recovery leaders in order to collaborate on the best ways to help women addicts in need. It’s hoped that sharing information like this could lead to real progress for the women of India.

If you or a woman you know has an addiction to inhalants, you may want to consider the Orchid for treatment, or choose from the many capable treatment centres throughout India for help.