Inhalant drugs are mind-altering drugs that young children and teens use to get high. They are chemical vapors that are easy to find and are cheap to buy. Due to the abuse by young children and teens, many of the products used are harder for youths to buy and can only be bought by those over 18 years old.
Categories of Inhalants
There are four categories of inhalants. Volatile solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites. These are commonly found in households and workshops.
Volatile solvents are found in households, offices, workshops, and art supply stores. Paint thinners, gasoline, marker fluid, many electronic cleaners, and degreasers fall into this group.
Aerosols are also found in most households and offices. Propellants such as spray paints, hairsprays, deodorant, cleaning sprays, and even vegetable sprays are all aerosols that are used as inhalants.
Gases consist of mostly butane and propane tanks. Whipping cream canisters also fall into this group and why it is sometimes referred to by ‘whipping.’ Also included in this group are laughing gases and chloroform.
Nitrites are less commonly found. They are leather cleaners, liquid aromas, and room odorizers and often found in small brown bottles.
How Do Inhalants usually Used?
Inhalants give a fast high, much like alcohol. They can be sniffed directly from the container. A cloth can be drenched and huffed. The cloth can be put in a bag, and it is called ‘bagged,’ they breathe it from the bag. Some users will put it on their hands and fingertips so they can sniff it in public without others being aware of it.
Harmful Effects of Inhalants
Inhaling chemical vapors to get high has many adverse effects and even causes death among users, even first time users.
- Injury to mouth, throat, and lungs
- Damage to brain, liver, and kidneys
- Central nervous system damage
- Vision damage
- Cognitive damage
- Immune system damage
Sudden sniffing deaths can occur in first-time users when inhaling butane, propane, or other chemicals in aerosols.