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What You Need to Know About Drugs: Inhalants

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What They Are:

Inhalants (say: in-HAY-lents) are substances that are sniffed or huffed to give the user an immediate rush, or high. They include glues, paint thinners, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, felt-tip marker fluid, hair spray, deodorants, spray paint, and whipped cream dispensers (whippets).

Sometimes Called:

whippets, poppers, snappers, rush, bolt, bullet

How They're Used:

These are inhaled directly from the container (called sniffing or snorting), from a plastic bag (called bagging), or by holding an inhalant-soaked rag to the mouth (called huffing).

What They Do to You:

Inhalants produce a quick feeling of being drunk — followed by sleepiness, staggering, dizziness, and confusion. Long-time users get headaches, nosebleeds, and sometimes lose their sense of smell. Inhalants decrease oxygen to the brain and can cause brain damage.

Although inhalants can be found around the house, they're so bad for you that using them, even one time, can kill you.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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