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What are treatments for Inhalant-Related Disorder?

Inhalant intoxication usually requires no medical attention and resolves spontaneously. Care primarily involves reassurance and quiet support. Sedative drugs, including benzodiazepines, should not be used because they worsen inhalant intoxication. No established treatment exists for cognitive and memory problems of inhalant-induced persisting dementia. The treatment of the inhalant-induced psychotic disorder is brief, lasting a few hours to a few weeks beyond the intoxication. Sedative drugs should be avoided because they may aggravate the psychosis. Antianxiety medications and antidepressants are not useful in the acute phase of the disorder; however, they may be of use in cases of coexisting anxiety or depressive illness.

For treating inhalant-related disorders, day treatment and residential programs have been used successfully, especially for adolescent abusers with combined substance dependence and other psychiatric disorders. Treatment addresses the comorbid state which, in most cases, is conduct disorder, or maybe ADHD, major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, or PTSD. Both group and individual therapies are used that are behaviorally oriented. Treatment usually lasts 3 to 12 months. Participation in a 12-step program is required, and patients’ families are often involved in family therapy.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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