A common misconception about inhalant “huffing” is that it is a childish fad to be equated with youthful experiments with cigarettes.
Inhalant abuse is deadly serious and one of the most dangerous of “experimental
Sniffing volatile solvents, which include most inhalants, can cause severe damage to the brain and nervous system.
Inhalants starve the body of oxygen causing the heart to beat more rapidly and erratically which can kill the huffer.
Inhalant abuse was brought to attention in the 1950’s when young people were looking for a cheap “high” and began glue sniffing.
All abused inhalants produce similar effects with slight stimulation at first then loss of control and finally loss of consciousness.
Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of chemicals can cause heart failure and death. This is especially common from the abuse of fluorocarbons and butane-type gases.
Side effects include: Sudden death, suffocation, asphyxia, visual hallucinations, severe mood swings, numbness and tingling of hands and feet, loss of muscle control, slurred speech, headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, loss of smell, nausea, nose bleeds, hepatitis, violent behavior, irregular heartbeat, liver, lung, and kidney impairment, brain damage, nervous system damage, dangerous chemical imbalances in the body, and involuntary passing of urine and feces.
Types of Inhalants: Airplane glue, rubber, cements, nail polish remover, spray paint, whip cream cans, correction fluid,
gasoline, nitrous oxide, paint thinner, air freshener, butane fuels, wax removers, hair spray, analgesic sprays,
deodorants, lighter fuels, PVC cement, cleaning fluids, spot degreaser, and degreaser
Slang terms: Air blast, boppers, huffing, kick, oz, poppers, snorting, whippets, gluey, climax, ames
Amyl nitrate, butyl nitrate: sudden death, suppressed immunologic function, injury to red blood cells
Benzene: bone marrow injury, impaired immunologic function, increased risk of leukemia, reproductive system t toxicity
Butane, propane: sudden sniffing death syndrome, serious burn injury
Methylene chloride: reduction of oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, changes to the heart muscle and heartbeat.
Nitrous oxide, hexane: death from lack of oxygen t the brain, altered perception and motor coordination, loss of sensation, limb spasms, blackouts caused by blood pressure changes, depression of heart muscle functioning.
Toluene: brain damage, loss of brain tissue mass, impaired cognition, gait disturbance, loss of coordination, loss of equilibrium, limb spasms, hearing and vision loss, liver and kidney damage.
Trichloroethylene: sudden sniffing death syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, reproductive complications, hearing and vision damage.