What is Aerosol Inhalants abuse? : Symptoms
An aerosol or inhalant is a suspension of very fine, ultramicroscopic particles of a liquid or a solid in gas or air. This type of suspension is achieved through vaporization, as in a mist, or through the use of an apparatus known as a nebulizer, in which compressed the gas is used to propel very tiny particles of a substance through a valve.
Treatment of aerosol inhalants abuse
In medicine, certain drugs are administered as aerosols to achieve rapid results. For example, local anesthetics may be administered in this way, but more often aerosol therapy is used in the treatment of respiratory diseases and the medication is inhaled.
As the patient inhales an aerosol, minute particles of the drug (less than 5/1,000 of a millimeter in diameter) are absorbed almost instantaneously through the thin walls of the cells of the respiratory tract and pass rapidly into the blood stream. Epinephrine and other drugs used to treat asthma are administered in this way, as are certain steroids.
When children in need of oxygen are treated, they may be given the oxygen in combination with an aerosol suspension of saline or other agents used to reduce the viscosity of mucus plugging up the respiratory passages.
Drawbacks / Dangers of aerosol abuse
The main drawback to aerosol therapy is the difficulty of regulating the dosage. Also, frequent use of aerosols may lead to the irritation of cells lining the respiratory passages. Aerosol administration of antibiotics may lead to sensitization of nurses and patients. Freon gas, found in household products such as insecticidal aerosol “bombs” are toxic if they are inhaled. The fumes may cause confusion, pulmonary irritation, tremors, and, rarely, coma; but these symptoms are usually transient and have no permanent effects.