NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Inhalants

Can You Get Addicted to Inhalants?

It isn’t common, but addiction can happen. Some people, particularly those who use inhalants a lot and for a long time, report a strong need to continue using inhalants. Using inhalants over and over again can cause mild withdrawal when stopped. In fact, recent research in animal models shows that toluene can affect the brain in a way that is similar to other drugs of use (e.g., amphetamines). Toluene increases dopamine activity in reward areas of the brain, and the long-term disruption of the dopamine system is one of the key factors leading to addiction.