While many abused drugs can be inhaled, the term “inhalants” refers to products that are commonly found at home or in the workplace, which are often not even considered drugs unless they are abused. These inhalants are breathable vapors that can have mind altering effects on the user. Inhalants are mostly frequently abused by adolescents. Some common inhalant substances include:

  • Volatile solvents—paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline, and lighter fluid, felt-tip marker fluid, electronic contact clears, and glue.
  • Aerosols—spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, fabric protector sprays, computer cleaning products, and vegetable oil sprays.
  • Gases—butane lighters and propane tanks, whipped cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and refrigerator gases, ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
  • Nitrates—cyclohexyl, butyl, and amyl nitrites (poppers) often labeled as “video head cleaner,” “room odorizer,” “leather cleaner”or “liquid aroma.”

Getting Help

Inhalants can be lethal and just one highly concentrated inhale can cause immediate heart failure. A syndrome referred to as “sudden sniffing death.” For this reason, if you suspect that your loved one is abusing an inhalant, you should seek immediate help.

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