Inhalants: Personal and social consequences

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 4:37 pm

Because many abusers begin using inhalants when they are young, they do not engage in the normal process of social, personal, and physical development during adolescence. This handicaps their physical and emotional maturity.
Moreover, the side effects of inhalants are a bad match for driving a vehicle, operating machinery, absorbing information in a classroom, offering stable friendship, participating positively in a family, or tackling any task with energy, focus, and efficiency.
Regular inhalant abusers perform poorly in school. In general, they earn low grades, score poorly on intelligence tests, experience problems with short-term memory, and have a weak ability to form abstract thoughts and exercise sound judgment. They also have a greater likelihood of developing attention deficit disorder. They tend to be absent from school a great deal, and drop out of school more often than nonusers do.
Psychological studies have shown that inhalant abusers are generally apathetic and have a negative view of the future. They have a greater likelihood of developing emotional problems, particularly anxiety, depression, and anger. They are more likely to break the law, particularly by engaging in theft and burglary, than do users of other drugs. They also tend to be disruptive, deviant, or delinquent.
Some of these problems may spring from the inhalant abuse; others may have developed before the abuse began, inclining the users to seek an escape from reality or their problems.

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