For more information, see Substance Dependence

Some of the generic Dependence criteria do not apply to inhalants, whereas others require further explanation. Tolerance to the effects of inhalants has been reported among individuals with heavy use, although its prevalence and clinical significant are unknown. A possible withdrawal syndrome, beginning 24-48 hours after cessation of use and lasting from 2 to 5 days has been described, with symptoms including sleep disturbances, tremor, irritability, diaphoresis, nausea, and fleeting illusions. However, this syndrome has not been well documented and appears not to be clinically significant. Thus, Inhalant Dependence includes neither a characteristic withdrawal syndrome nor evidence of inhalant use to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms. However, inhalants may be taken over longer periods of time or in larger amounts than was originally intended, and individuals who use them may find it difficult to cut down or regulate inhalant use. Because inhalants are inexpensive, legal, and easily available, spending a great deal of time attempting to procure inhalants would be rare. However, substantial amounts of time may be spent on using and recuperating from the effects of inhalant use. Recurrent inhalant use may result in the individual giving up or reducing important social, occupational, or recreational activities, and substance use may continue despite the individual's knowledge of physical problems (e.g., liver disease or central and peripheral nervous system damage) or psychological problems (e.g., severe depression) caused by the use.


The following specifiers may be applied to a diagnosis of Inhalant Dependence:

  • Early Full Remission
  • Early Partial Remission
  • Sustained Full Remission
  • Sustained Partial Remission
  • In a Controlled Environment


See Inhalant Use Disorder

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