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How can inhalant abuse be recognized?

This is a photograph of a boy spraying an aerosol can

Early identification and intervention are the best ways to stop inhalant abuse before it causes serious health consequences. Parents, educators, family physicians, and other health care practitioners should be alert to the following signs:

  • Chemical odors on breath or clothing
  • Paint or other stains on face, hands, or clothes
  • Hidden empty spray paint or solvent containers, and chemical-soaked rags or clothing
  • Drunk or disoriented appearance
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Inattentiveness, lack of coordination, irritability, and depression

This page was last updated July 2012

How can inhalant abuse be recognized?

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National Institute of Drug Abuse (2012). How can inhalant abuse be recognized?. In Inhalants. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/inhalants/how-can-inhalant-abuse-be-recognized

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​Research Reports

This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.