Inhalants

Inhalants

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    Inhalants are common household, industrial and medical products that produce vapours, which some people inhale (breathe in) to make them feel intoxicated or high.

  • Inhalants include:

    • Aerosol spray
    • Chrome-based paint
    • Paint and paint thinner
    • Felt-tipped pens
    • Correction fluid (e.g. ‘Liquid Paper’)
    • Gas from lighters or barbecues (butane)
    • Cleaning fluid
    • Glue
    • Petrol
    • Nitrous oxide

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    Common Names

    Glue

    Gas

    Sniff

    Huff

    Chroming

    Poppers

  • How are they used?

    Inhalants are inhaled through the nose or mouth. They may be sprayed into a plastic bag, poured into a bottle or soaked onto a cloth or sleeve before being inhaled. Sometimes they are inhaled directly from the container or are sprayed directly into the mouth or nose. This method is very dangerous because it can cause suffocation.

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Side Effects of Inhalants

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    There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.

    Inhalants affect everyone differently, based on:

    • Size, weight and health
    • Whether the person is used to taking it
    • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
    • The amount taken
    • The strength of the drug
    • Amount of fresh air breathed while sniffing
    • Amount of physical activity before and after sniffing

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    There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.

    Inhalants affect everyone differently, based on:

    • Size, weight and health
    • Whether the person is used to taking it
    • Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
    • The amount taken
    • The strength of the drug
    • Amount of fresh air breathed while sniffing
    • Amount of physical activity before and after sniffing

  • Sniffing can cause:

    Intoxication

    Nausea

    Headaches

    Injuries

    Delirium

    Seizures

    Pneumonia from inhaling vomit

    Dependence

    Brain damage

    Coma

    Abnormal heart rhythm

    Sudden death

    Asphyxiation (if using a plastic bag)

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    Sniffing can cause:

    Intoxication

    Nausea

    Headaches

    Injuries

    Delirium

    Seizures

    Pneumonia from inhaling vomit

    Dependence

    Brain damage

    Coma

    Abnormal heart rhythm

    Sudden death

    Asphyxiation (if using a plastic bag)

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    Sniffing is always risky, but some situations make it even more dangerous:

    Sniffing in an enclosed space or indoors

    Running or doing other physical activity after sniffing (could cause death due to cardiac sensitisation)

    Mixing sniffing with medicines or illegal drugs

    Sniffing when the person has other health problems

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    Sniffing is always risky, but some situations make it even more dangerous:

    Sniffing in an enclosed space or indoors

    Running or doing other physical activity after sniffing (could cause death due to cardiac sensitisation)

    Mixing sniffing with medicines or illegal drugs

    Sniffing when the person has other health problems

  • Long-term effects:

    Irritability and depression

    Memory loss

    Reduced attention span and ability to think clearly

    Pimples around the mouth and lips

    Pale appearance

    Tremors

    Weight loss

    Reduced growth potential (height)

    Tiredness

    Excessive thirst

    Loss of sense of smell and hearing

    Problems with blood production, which may result in anaemia, irregular heartbeat, heart muscle damage

    Chest pain and angina

    Indigestion and stomach ulcers

    Liver and kidney damage

    Needing to use more to get the same effect

    Dependence on inhalants

    Financial, work and social problems

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    Long-term effects:

    Irritability and depression

    Memory loss

    Reduced attention span and ability to think clearly

    Pimples around the mouth and lips

    Pale appearance

    Tremors

    Weight loss

    Reduced growth potential (height)

    Tiredness

    Excessive thirst

    Loss of sense of smell and hearing

    Problems with blood production, which may result in anaemia, irregular heartbeat, heart muscle damage

    Chest pain and angina

    Indigestion and stomach ulcers

    Liver and kidney damage

    Needing to use more to get the same effect

    Dependence on inhalants

    Financial, work and social problems

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Most of these long-term effects can be reversed if use is stopped. However, some inhalants, such as cleaning products, correction fluid, aerosol sprays and petrol can cause permanent damage. Some chemicals can build up in the body and damage the stomach, intestines, brain, nervous system, kidneys and liver.

Mixing Inhalants with other drugs

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    Inhalants + Alcohol, Benzodiazepines or Opiates

     

    Causes huge strain on the body, and can affect breathing rate and may increase the risk of passing out and suffocating or choking on vomit.

The effects of taking Inhalants with other drugs – including over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous