Inhalants refer to substances that are sniffed or huffed to give the user an
immediate head rush or high.
They include a diverse group of chemicals that are found in consumer
products such as aerosols and cleaning solvents. Inhalant use can cause a number of physical and emotional
problems, and even one-time use can result in death.
Using inhalants even one time can put you at risk for:
- sudden death
- visual hallucinations and severe mood swings
- numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
Prolonged use can result in:
- headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain
- decrease or loss of sense of smell
- nausea and nosebleeds
- violent behaviors
- irregular heartbeat
- liver, lung, and kidney impairment
- irreversible brain damage
- nervous system damage
- dangerous chemical imbalances in the body
- involuntary passing of urine and feces
Short-term effects of inhalants include:
- heart palpitations
- breathing difficulty
Remember, using inhalants, even one time, can kill you. According to medical experts, death can occur in
at least five ways:
- asphyxia--solvent gases can significantly limit available oxygen in the air, causing breathing to stop;
- suffocation--typically seen with inhalant users who use bags;
- choking on vomit;
- careless behaviors in potentially dangerous settings; and
- sudden sniffing death syndrome, presumably from cardiac arrest.
The information contained herein is courtesy of the National Clearinghouse of Alcohol and Drug Information
website at http://www.health.org
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