What Are Inhalants?

Inhalants are easily available household products (liquids, sprays, nitrates or gases) that have a strong smell that when sniffed or inhaled provide a high.

Examples: cleaning fluids, glue, spray paints, shoe polish, gasoline, lighter fluid, nitrous oxide (whippets, laughing gas).

Users inhale or sniff the fumes from these products either from the container itself, or by putting the product on a rag (“huffing”), or by spraying the product into a plastic bag.

Inhalants are found throughout your house, your garage and at the local stores in your neighborhood. They are legal to buy, easy to find and incredibly dangerous.

 Did You Know? Young teens often choose inhalants more than other drugs (like pot or heroin) because inhalants are cheap, easy to get and legal.

Nitrates, for example, are a common inhalant (also referred to as “whippets”, “poppers” or “snappers”) because they directly affect your central nervous system (this means your brain and spinal cord). The effects create a high that users seek.

Inhalants can cause hallucinations. Those hallucinations can be quite frightening or comforting. The comforting aspect is what makes inhalants addictive – users are looking for the good feelings associated with it. The frightening aspect could cause people to act on the hallucination and hurt themselves or others, before they come off the high. Afterwards, they will have to live with the consequences of those actions.

People who use inhalants regularly look the part. They look tired and weak. They typically have sores around their mouths and noses and red eyes.

People who use inhalants also experience signs of addiction: Tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is when you need more of the same substance in order to feel the original high. Withdrawal are the symptoms when you are no longer taking the substance but your body wants it.

 Did You Know? 12 and 13 year old teens use inhalants more than any other kind of drug.


Post Question: Do you know anyone who has tried inhalants? Have you?

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