While most recreational drugs are either smoked or injected, there are a few that are referred to as inhalants. As the name implies, this type of drug is used through inhaling their vapors. Many drug abusers choose inhalants because of their rapid mind-altering effects and their ease of administration. They do not require much equipment to use, and their effects are quite similar to other psychedelic drugs. In this day and age, almost all addicts are looking for immediate gratification or an instant “high.” Just like alcohol, inhalants are a popular substance of choice due to the rapid high it provides and the ease with which this can be obtained.
Nitrous Oxide (NOS) is the common active ingredient in most inhalants. It is more commonly known as laughing gas because of its ability to cause fits of laughter when inhaled. It also has a disorienting effect and is mostly seen in dental clinics where they are used by dentists as an anesthetic. It is known to cause uncontrollable fits of laughter, giddiness, and mild hallucinations. Negative long-term effects include headache, nausea, and impairment of coordination and balance.
The usual inhalants are easily accessible and readily available. They can be obtained legally from any corner convenience store, and most of them are common household items like glue, spray paint, or White Out. Even the compressed air used to clean computers can be abused as an inhalant. More popularly known as duster or air duster, it is inhaled to simulate the effects of alcohol intoxication. Room odorizers or air fresheners, also known as Amal nitrate or “poppers,” interestingly, also belong to the list of common inhalants and party drugs, specifically in the LGBT community.
The danger of inhalants lies in the subtlety of it’s symptoms; often, suffocation is not apparent even though the brain is already undergoing hypoxia. Long-term use can also cause hearing loss, severe limb and muscle spasms, and damage to the central nervous system — sometimes even death.