Inhalants: A Cheap, Easy And Deadly High

977 words - 4 pages

Hundreds of household products are being misused as inhalants. Some of these products include nail polish remover, hair spray, cleaning fluids, spray paint, and the propellant in aerosol whipped cream (“Inhalants“, 2010). Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that users intentionally inhale because of the chemical’s mind-altering effects (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2010). The trend in inhalant abuse is growing among the young community throughout the country. Surveys have shown in 2008 2 million Americans of 12 or over reported using inhalants (NIDA, 2010). Young children from the age of 12 to 17 are the primary age group of abusers (National Drug Intelligence Center [NDIC], ...view middle of the document...

Instead of acting on the central nervous system for the euphoric effect, nitrites dilate blood vessels, relax the muscles, and are used for sexual enhancement (NDIC, 2001). Amyl nitrite consists of a clear, yellowish liquid that is sold in a cloth, covered sealed bulb. This type of nitrite is also known as a snapper or popper because the bulb makes a snapping sound when it is broken (Missouri Department of Mental Health, n.d.). On the other hand, butyl nitrite comes in small bottles sold as video head cleaner, room odorizer, leather cleaner and liquid aroma (NIDA, 2010). One category may sound worse than the other, but in reality they are all equally harmful and all cause short term and long term effects to a person’s health.

All effects of inhalants are harmful to the body. However, the short term effects on a person can be brutal. Immediately after inhaling, users feel intoxication and other side effects. These effects include slurred speech, dizziness, confusion, and uncoordinated movements. Furthermore, users may also experience nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, hallucinations, and delusions (“Inhalants“, 2010). Loss of inhibition has been reported by users as well as drowsiness and headaches. When a person inhales nitrites, the blood vessels are dilated, the heart rate is increased, and there is a sensation of heat and excitement that lasts several minutes (NDIC, 2001). Constant users find these effects as a great high and will continue to abuse inhalants to obtain these sensations. The high may be good to users while it lasts, but they do not realize that each huff of inhalants is leaving a long term effect on the body as well.

People see inhalant abuse as a quick high, but this quick high leaves a scar on the body every time it is used. These are long term effects of the drug. Abusing inhalants can lead into habitual use and also mild withdrawal syndrome. The withdrawal symptoms that the abuser goes through are sweating, rapid pulse, hand tremors, insomnia, nausea, vomiting,...

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