Inhalant Addiction Treatment

Inhalant addiction is a complex and challenging condition that can significantly impact the lives of those affected and their loved ones. At Clinic Les Alpes, we understand the gravity of inhalant abuse and are committed to providing a secure, private, and empowering treatment experience for those looking to start their road to recovery.

With 24/7 medicalised care, your loved one can start their detox in as much comfort and safety as possible. Beyond medical care, our focus extends to comprehensive psychological treatment, ensuring that recovery is not only achievable but also enduring. Inhalant addiction recovery is a realistic and attainable goal, and at Clinic Les Alpes, we deliver the care and expertise necessary for individuals to overcome and heal from this challenging addiction.

Why Choose an Inhalant Rehabilitation Centre in Switzerland

Good health, both mental and physical, comes first from the breath. However, in the case of inhalants, this breath is often tainted with any number of chemicals. There can be no breath without air, and there is no substitute for crisp alpine air. Clinic Les Alpes offers its patients the opportunity to experience luxury addiction treatment whilst in the Swiss mountains overlooking Lake Geneva.

Aside from incredible views, it also provides world-class individualised treatment, 24/7 medicalised care, and a full team of in-house staff to enable recovery to take place in maximum comfort.

What Are Inhalants?

‘Inhalants’ is a term used to refer to volatile substances which produce chemical vapours that are then inhaled, creating a ‘high’. While there are other drugs that may be inhaled through vapours, the term ‘inhalants’ is typically reserved for substances which are never, or very rarely, consumed in any way other than inhaling them.

This practice is also commonly referred to as ‘huffing’, particularly when the substance is poured/sprayed into a paper bag which is then placed over the mouth and nose. There are three most common forms of inhalants that can be found around the household or workplace, and are commonly sold:

  • Aerosols: Spray paints, deodorants, hair sprays, fabric protector sprays and more. Anything that is pressurised and comes out in a spray may be a target.
  • Volatile Solvents: Paint thinners, marker fluid, gasoline, glue and more. These are liquids that vaporise at room temperature.
  • Gases: Butane, propane, chloroform, halothane and more. The most popular of these gases in nitrous oxide, also commonly referred to as ‘laughing gas’.

Are Inhalants Addictive?

Inhalants can be addictive when used repeatedly. In addition to the risk of addiction, the highs experienced from inhalants are typically quite short, and the products themselves are easy to obtain. This makes maintaining an inhalant addiction or dependency relatively easy to conceal. They are often used by younger people, or those without much access to money, as they are also a lot cheaper to buy than many other drugs.

These factors compound to make the risk of developing a dependency quite significant, as they all encourage repeated use with few social or financial consequences to problematic use.

What Are the Signs of Inhalant Addiction

  • Do you ever find yourself taking more of an inhalant or doing it for longer than you intended to?
  • Have you made attempts to stop or cut back on using but haven’t been able to?
  • Do you spend a lot of time either getting, using, or recovering from inhalants?
  • Do you find yourself having cravings or urges to use?
  • Have you ever struggled to fulfil your responsibilities or obligations because of using, like at work, at home, or at school?
  • Are you continuing to use, despite it causing problems in your friendships and relationships?
  • Have you given up any important activities because of inhalant use, like work activities, social activities, or even hobbies?
  • Do you keep using inhalants, even though you know that it puts you at risk?
  • Have you kept using inhalants even though you know it’s causing or aggravating any physical or psychological problems you might have?
  • Have you noticed that your tolerance is increasing? That is to say, you need to take more than you used to in order to get the same effect?
  • Have you ever felt withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, agitation, racing heart, paranoia, bad mood, nausea etc) and then felt much better once you used inhalants again?

If you have said ‘yes’ for yourself, or someone you know, for any of the above points, it may be time to seek professional help and support. Attending a rehabilitation centre can be a great way to start your recovery journey by addressing not only your inhalant use, but also the root causes of why inhalant use can get so out of control for each unique person.

Inhalant Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Detox and Withdrawal

Because the term ‘inhalants’ encompasses such a wide variety of substances, and because inhalant addiction is relatively rare, it is difficult to state what a standard inhalant withdrawal experience is. However, most physical withdrawal symptoms tend to last between 2-5 days. Symptoms can include irritability, difficulty sleeping, sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, tremors, and in extreme cases, seizures.


Once you have established physical stability and are no longer undergoing acute withdrawals, you will undergo an assessment period. This will include full somatic, psychiatric, and psychological evaluations to best establish how Clinic Les Alpes can help you to achieve your goals and accomplish your best state of being. This is also the period of time where you will complete assessments with our dietician and medical spa staff to establish a nutrition and fitness plan to ensure a holistic recovery experience.


Recovery from inhalants should include a solid foundation of psychoeducation about the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain, mind, and body. In addition to daily one-to-one therapy, research has consistently demonstrated the immense benefits to long-term recovery of group therapeutic experiences. While traditional talk therapies and 12 step programmes may form the basis of many programmes, Clinic Les Alpes also offers a vast array of complementary therapies from experts in the field to ensure that our patients have access to every possible benefit while in treatment.


All good rehabilitation programmes should involve an aftercare process that will support you in developing a strong Relapse Prevention Plan and connecting you with professionals who can continue with you on your recovery journey. Clinic Les Alpes offers this and more, as your lead therapist continues to follow along beside you for up to a year after you graduate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Can You Tell If Someone Is Addicted To Inhalants?

Secrecy is the hallmark of addiction, and while some addictions have very obvious signs of abuse, it can be harder to tell when someone is misusing inhalants. Key symptoms of immediate use are likely to be paint/oil stains on the body or clothing, red eyes, a dazed appearance, nausea and a slight chemical smell from their breath. For longer term abuse, keep an eye out for weight loss, sores around the mouth, muscle weakness, impaired cognitive function and increased depression and/or anxiety.

How Long Does Inhalant Withdrawal Last?

While the physical withdrawal from inhalants may only last 2-5 days, as mentioned above, many people forget to account for the psychological withdrawal that also must take place. People who develop a physical dependency very rarely do so in the absence of an emotional one, and learning how to let go of this coping strategy can be incredibly difficult. This is why completing a withdrawal and starting your recovery journey with professional support is key to long-lasting and stable sobriety.

How Long Does Inhalant Recovery Take?

Finishing the acute detox period is only the first step in a, hopefully, life-long recovery path. Ideally this would be the one and only time a person would need to ‘detox’, however the reality is that most people who attempt sobriety will experience relapse at least once during their recovery journey. Attending an in-patient facility decreases the chance of relapse, and has consistently been proven to improve quality of life and emotional satisfaction during the first year of sobriety. For those just starting their journey and other who may be recovering from a relapse, a 4-week intensive treatment programme is considered the industry standard.

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