Inhalants are one of the most deadly categories of psychoactive substances available . Psychoactive substances cause mood and mind altering when used. Inhalant abuse is the intentional inhalation of solvents, aerosols, gasses and nitrites to achieve a quick, temporary euphoric/intoxicated state of mind known as a “high”.
The high is quick and temporary.The high only lasts a few minutes and is usually accompanied by distorted senses, dizziness, slurred speech, disorientation, loss of physical coordination, muscle weakness, belligerence or apathy, and impaired judgment/ mental functioning that appear to be similar to alcohol intoxication. (Hedl, Inhalant Abuse) Why do people use inhalants? Inhalants are found in over 1,400 products that are familiar, readily available, usually not secured, inexpensive, and easy to get a hold of. They are found on school campuses and in almost every home and worksite in America.
Hedl, Inhalant Abuse) Inhalants can also be purchased legally, but they are still not safe. The products that are being inhaled are safe for cleaning, painting, and the specific other things they are meant to do, but if they are used for inhaling they can be more deadly than street drugs. (Inhalants, Van Vranken, MD) There are four different types of inhalants: volatile solvents, gases, aerosols, and nitrites.
Volatile solvents are liquids that become a gas at room temperature.Examples of volatile solvents are paint thinners and removers, gasoline, glues, and felt-tip marker fluids. Gases include medical gases (ether and nitrous oxide) and household or commercial products (butane lighters, propane tanks, whipped cream dispensers that contain nitrous oxide, and refrigerants). (Inhalants, Van Vranken, MD) Aerosol sprays are some of the most prevalent inhalants in the home and include spray paint, deodorant and hairsprays, vegetable oil cooking sprays, and static cling sprays.
Nitrites include cyclohexyl nitrite, amyl nitrite, and butyl nitrite. The street name for nitrites are “poppers” or “snappers”. They are found in some room deodorizers and capsules that release vapors when opened. Amyl nitrites were originally prescribed by doctors for heart patients to break or pop to release vapors.
Nitrites are a central nervous system stimulant which makes the heart beat faster and produce sensations of heat and extreme excitement. Nitrites also raise the pressure of the fluid in the eyes, leading to glaucoma and blindness.