What are the effects of volatile substance abuse on the body?

Volatile substance abuse can:

  • Seriously affect your judgment and when you’re high there’s a real danger you’ll try something dangerous that could harm you or others.
  • Make your throat swell so you can’t breathe
  • Slow down your heart and can cause a heart attack
  • Cause you to pass out and choke on your own vomit
  • Cause suffocation if you inhale from a plastic bag over your head.

Long-term abuse of solvents can damage your sight, hearing, nervous system, muscles, liver, kidneys and especially your brain. Brain damage from solvent abuse can cause loss of memory, poor impulse control, erratic behaviour, unclear thinking skills and dementia.

One client has damaged
her brain, so she has trouble with
planning and impulse control – those really
basic, important things for life.This lead to an
accident where she burnt down her flat.
Andre McLachlan