What are inhalants?
These are products that give off a gas or fumes. They make you feel light-headed and giddy when you inhale them. At larger doses they can make a person act and feel as if they have been drinking alcohol. The effects only last for a few minutes, so a person may use them over and over again to keep feeling high.
The four kinds of inhalants are:
- volatile solvents (gas, paint thinner, glue)
- spray cans (cooking spray, hairspray)
- gases (laughing gas, butane)
- nitrites (room odourizers, video head cleaners)
How are inhalants misused?
People use inhalants in many ways:
- Bagged: The inhalant is put in a bag, the bag is closed around the mouth and nose, fumes are breathed in.
- Huffed: The inhalant is poured onto a cloth, the cloth is held up to the face and the fumes are breathed in.
- Sniffed: Nitrites are either inhaled directly from the small glass tubes they come in or huffed from a cloth.
- Inhaled: Gases used for medical purposes are kept in tanks or dispensers. They are inhaled through tubes or balloons.
The use of inhalants is especially popular among 10-16 year olds. They are legal and easy to find (often around the house) and the effects are short term.
The effect depends on which inhalant is used and how much.