Being an isolated and remote state, Alaska isn’t the first place that people think of when they’re discussing drug problems. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems. Going back to 1995 Alaska has struggled with inhalant abuse. During that time, over 22% of Alaskan adolescents had used inhalants, as reported by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. That’s nearly 1 in 4 high school age students. The reason why this is so scary is that inhalant abuse can lead to overdose and death and have a long-lasting impact on one’s neurological and cardiovascular health. And inhalant abuse can often affect adolescents before other types of substance abuse because inhalants are frequently in the form of common household products that they have access to. Some examples of these include gasoline, aerosols, and glues. It is important that a person abusing inhalants seeks help at one of Alaska's drug rehabilitation facilities.
More broadly, an inhalant is any volatile substance that produces chemical vapors that can be inhaled and produce an altered mental state. The danger is that even sporadic or single instances of inhalant abuse can be very dangerous. Inhalants can disrupt heart rhythm and cause cardiac failure or lower oxygen levels enough to cause suffocation. Regular use of them can lead to serious harm to vital organs. Add to this the fact that they’re addictive and the cause for concern is quite real.
Alaskans can help prevent inhalant abuse by getting rid of cleaning products and aerosols they don’t use and placing the rest out of reach of children. Anyone struggling with addiction to inhalants should find treatment as soon as possible.
Here is a list of the different alcohol and drug dependency programs for Inhalant drug abuse in Alaska. The list can be incomplete so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.