INHALANTS
Inhalants are dangerous chemical vapors produced by highly toxic substances commonly found in the household or workplace. When inhaled, these chemicals can cause mind-altering effects, brain damage, and sudden death. The three main types of inhalants are: volatile solvents, gases and nitrates.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Inhalants produce effects similar to those of alcohol, such as lack of coordination, slurred speech and dizziness. Lungs absorb the inhaled chemicals quickly, slow the body down, produce a numbing feeling and potentially lead to unconsciousness. Inhaling concentrated amounts of these chemicals can cause heart failure, suffocation, convulsions, seizures and coma. Since the “high” feeling of inhalants lasts only a few minutes, people often repeat the inhalation, which is extremely dangerous.
AKA: LAUGHING GAS, POPPERS, SNAPPERS, WHIPPETS
LONG-TERM EFFECTS
Inhalants go through the lungs and into the bloodstream, and are quickly distributed to the brain and other organs in the body. Ongoing exposure to inhalants can lead to brain or nerve fiber damage that produces results similar to that of multiple sclerosis; such as trouble walking, bending, or talking. Inhalants can also damage the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Prolonged abuse can permanently affect thinking, movement, vision and hearing.
SOURCES
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Drug Facts: Inhalants.
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