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This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Find the latest information on substance use, health, and NIDA research at nida.nih.gov.

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NIDA. (2005, January 1). NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin - Inhalants. Retrieved from https://archives.drugabuse.gov/publications/nida-community-drug-alert-bulletin-inhalants

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How Can Inhalant Abuse Be Recognized?

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 of a serious inhalant abuse problem:

  • 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
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