What Are Inhalants?
Inhalants are those substances that can give you a “high” feeling when you breathe in. These contain vapors that you can inhale through mouth or nose. The factory-manufactured industrial products will be abused for purposes other than originally intended.
Based on the inhalant mechanism of action, they are divided into various categories, some of which can be found lying around the house:
Substances that can diffuse a fine spray when under pressure:
- Paint spray cans
- Cosmetic products like hair sprays
- Fabric conditioners
- Cooking oil sprays
Liquids that can release volatile fumes at room temperature:
- Nail polish remover
- Paint emulsions or thinners
- Glue and white out
Typically used for medical or cleaning purposes:
- Video head or leather cleaner nitrates
- Butyl nitrites (in heart medication)
- Amyl nitrite (for chest pain)
Substances used at home, or for medical and commercial use:
- Propane (grilling fuel)
- Butane fireplace lighters
- Anesthetic agents like chloroform
- Nitrous oxide (sedative)
- Whipped cream cans
While many parents are concerned about their children falling into the trap of alcohol or drugs, they forget that their home stores equally dangerous substances. Curious children may unknowingly figure out the inhalant uses and may mark their entry into addiction.
Except for the nitrates mentioned above, other inhalants cause pleasurable sensations in the users. They act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants and soothe the brain. Since they are easily available around the house, children may access them all the time.
However, the euphoria is short-lived.
To prolong their high state, abusers breathe them back-to-back. Inhalant addiction can cause grave consequences, particularly when successive inhalations happen in a short period. They become unconscious, and sometimes, this may even lead to coma or inhalant overdose deaths.
Inhalant Addiction Symptoms
As said above, nitrate, unlike other inhalants, are not CNS depressants. However, they can expand and relax the blood vessels in the body, which is why they are abused to improve sexual prowess in the users. For this goal, they even mix inhalants and alcohol and participate in indiscretions and risky sexual activities.
Inhalant Side Effects
Under the influence, they may experience some or all of these symptoms:
- Dizziness and nausea
- Lack of motor control
- Euphoria or high
- Slurred speech
- Distorted vision
Severe signs like asphyxiation, rapid heart rate, and suffocation can show up at a time, and even first-time users of inhalants are reported to die of this “sudden sniffing death.”
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