Inhalants: A Cheap, Easy and Deadly High Essay

Inhalants: A Cheap, Easy and Deadly High Essay

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Hundreds of household products are being misused as inhalants. Some of these products include nail polish remover, hair spray, cleaning fluids, spray paint, and the propellant in aerosol whipped cream (“Inhalants“, 2010). Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that users intentionally inhale because of the chemical’s mind-altering effects (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2010). The trend in inhalant abuse is growing among the young community throughout the country. Surveys have shown in 2008 2 million Americans of 12 or over reported using inhalants (NIDA, 2010). Young children from the age of 12 to 17 are the primary age group of abusers (National Drug Intelligence Center [NDIC], 2001). The numbers reflect that it is becoming more popular for young America to abuse the various inhalants available to them without realizing the short term and long term effects of the drug.

Inhalants come in many different shapes and sizes. Each inhalant falls into one of four general categories for the substances. Liquids that are vaporized at room temperature if left in unsealed containers are considered volatile solvents.
Gasoline, nail polish remover, felt-tip markers, and glue contain volatile solvents. Sprays that contain propellants and solvents fall under the aerosol category. Paint, deodorant, cooking products, and silver and gold spray paint are familiar aerosols. Substances that lack definite shape or volume such as refrigerants and medical anesthetics are gases. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is abused more often than any gas. It can be obtained from whipped cream dispensers, products that boost octane levels in racing cars, balloons, or small sealed vials called whippets. Gases found in butane lighters, air c...

... middle of paper ...

...alize that abusing inhalants causes serious effects. Not only does a person experience the short term effects that attract them to the drug but also experience the long term effects that can leave a critical mark on a person’s health. Abusers of inhalants need to be educated that what is thought to be a satisfying high is actually a deadly high.


Inhalants. (2010). Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

Missouri Department of Mental Health. (n.d.). Inhalants. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

National Drug Intelligence Center. (2001). Intelligence Brief: Huffing The Abuse of Inhalants. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2010). Inhalants. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

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