What is Volatile Substance Addiction?

Volatile matter is used for substances that can evaporate at room temperature. The products that cause volatile substance addiction are very diverse, but adhesives and thinners are used most often in our country. Regular use results in volatile substance addiction. Other than that, volatile substances that cause addiction are as follows:

  • Gases used for medical or non-medical purposes: nitrous oxide, helium, oxygen, gasoline, lighter fluid, propane, paraffin, butane, antifreeze, battery acid, freon, ignition fluids;
  • Industrial/domestic volatiles: Bleach, adhesives, hair dye, thinner, shoe polish, adhesives made of rubber, acetone, nail polish;
  • Art/Office supplies: correction fluid, markers and paints;
  • Household aerosols: hairspray, spray paint, deodorant, air freshener;
  • Aliphatic nitrites: asthma inhalants.

Volatile substances are the fastest addictive substances. Addiction to these substances happens very quickly Increasing amount of use, which is one of the most important criteria of addiction, is very easy and fast for volatile substance users

What are the Risk Factors that May Cause Volatile Substance Addiction?

Volatile substance addiction is most common between the ages of 14-15. Use usually starts to decrease at the age of 17-19, people switch to different addictive substances. Others continue to use volatile substances into adulthood. Being cheap and easily accessible is one of the reasons for the prevalence of volatile substance addiction. The risks that cause volatile substance addiction to occur are as follows:

  • Working in environments with volatile substances,
  • Being in a socioeconomically disadvantaged group,
  • Crime, prison life,
  • Depression, suicide, antisocial attitudes,
  • School absenteeism,
  • Family breakup or conflicts
  • Dependence in parents or peers
  • Negative sense of self
  • Limited recreational opportunities
  • Not having enough opportunities to participate in activities such as sports and artistic activities.

How to Understand that a Person is Addicted to Volatile Substances?

Since volatile substance use is common among children in our country, parents and teachers play a major role. Since volatile substances act very quickly and the effect wears off quickly, the person always has the substance in their hands and close to them.

The use of volatile substances can be understood from the smell of volatile substances in the breath or on clothes, residues of adhesives remaining on the clothes, and redness around the nose or mouth.

Volatile substance use is followed by a brief state of well-being and slurred speech Sometimes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, tinnitus, hallucinations and confusion can be observed. Traces of sharps or other acts of harm to the body, traces of the volatile bag on the face can be a warning for families and teachers.

What are the Problems Caused by Volatile Substance Addiction?

Neurological problems related to volatile substance addiction are very diverse. It can cause mental problems up to dementia. Neurological problems increase behavioural problems and complicate treatment. It leads to the deterioration of the judgment of the person, thus leading to crime and aggression.


  • Lack of concentration of attention;
  • Memory impairment, Learning difficulties, Inability to learn anything new;
  • Balance disorder, slowing of movements, clumsiness can be seen.

Apart from these, it causes deterioration in heart rhythm and muscle, blood supply to the lungs, respiratory tract damage, liver enlargement, kidney failure and different kidney-related problems. It is not uncommon for volatile substance addiction to cause death.

What are the Most Common Psychological Problems with Volatile Substance Addiction?

Substance addictions can cause psychotic disorder, hallucinations, suicide, depression, anxiety, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in general. Substance-related psychotic disorder may become chronic.

How to Treat Volatile Substance Addiction in Turkey?

At Moodist, we apply a 3-step treatment model to treat volatile substance addiction. The treatment program includes detoxification, identifying the damage caused by the substance, teaching how to stay clean and restructuring life.
We offer inpatient or outpatient treatment, complete medication and support the family. We apply an intensive psychosocial treatment program to patients.

Information for Relatives of Volatile Substance Addicts

Since volatile substance addiction mostly develops during childhood or adolescence, it is useful to stay in close contact with your child and know what he/she does, where he/she goes, and who his/her friends are. Of course, in order to learn all these, you must first establish a sincere, open and secure relationship with your child.

First of all, do not rush to talk and watch him secretly, observe. Try to find out what substance he used. When you learn, learn about that item yourself.

It is very important that you consult an addiction counsellor or psychiatrist after you learn that you use inhalants. Addiction is a brain disease and only a specialist can help you in its treatment and make it easier for you to get through this process.

The information on this page has been prepared by the Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital Medical Team.

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