What are inhalants?
Inhalants are substances that produce chemical vapors that when inhaled cause a mind altering effect.
How are inhalants used?
Inhalants can be breathed in through the nose or mouth in the following ways:
- Sniffing or snorting fumes from containers
- Spraying aerosols directly into the mouth
- Sniffing fumes from substances sprayed into a plastic or paper bag
- Huffing from an inhalant soaked rag
- Inhaling from balloons filled with nitrous oxide
What are the short term effects of inhalants use?
Inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication than causes drowsiness, disinhibition, lightheadedness, and agitation. If sufficient amounts of chemicals are inhaled, a loss of sensation and unconsciousness may occur. Other effects that may occur both during and after use include: headache, euphoria, slurred speech, depressed reflexes, muscle weakness and apathy.
What are the long term effects of inhalants use?
There are many devastating consequences of inhalant use, these include:
Asphyxiation, suffocation, convulsions, coma, choking, and fatal injury. Also, long term use can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Not only are inhalants damaging to the brain and nervous system, but they are also highly toxic to other organs. Chronic exposure can cause damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.