Solvents (other inhalants, chrome paint, glue)
Inhalants are a range of products that produce vapours which, when inhaled, may cause a person to feel intoxicated or "high". Inhalants are "depressants", which means that they slow down the activity of the brain and central nervous system.
Inhalants include organic solvents present in many domestic and industrial products (eg. glue, aerosol, paints, industrial solvents, lacquer thinners, gasoline or petrol, and cleaning fluids) and the aliphatic nitrites such as amyl nitrite. These substances are inhaled through the nose or mouth, or sprayed into a plastic bag, poured into a bottle, or soaked onto a cloth before being inhaled.
Effects of inhalants
Inhalants are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream from the lungs, so small amounts can affect you quite quickly (3-5 minutes). The effects are usually over within an hour of inhaling.
- Fewer inhibitions, laughing, becoming excited and generally feeling intoxicated are effects felt within three to five minutes of using inhalants. A sustained "high" can be achieved by repeated use.
- Excitement: The person's mood can vary from mild excitement to euphoria.
- Confusion and disorientation: Inhalants can also cause hallucinations and delusions.
- Drowsiness: The initial excitement is often followed by drowsiness.
- Flu-like symptoms: Inhalants may cause sneezing, coughing, glazed eyes or a runny nose, like having a cold or the 'flu.
- Nausea: Inhalants can make people feel sick and have diarrhoea.
- Unpleasant breath: After using inhalants people often have the smell of the product on their breath.
- Nosebleeds and sores: Inhalants may also cause nosebleeds, bloodshot eyes and sores around the mouth and nose.
These effects usually occur within an hour of inhaling. Hangovers and headaches may occur after the immediate effects have passed. Sometimes these last for several days.
Source of information: DrugInfo Clearinghouse - Australian Drug Foundation
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