Text Version of “general Overview” What are inhalants? Inhalants are breathable chemicals that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) vapors. People do not usually think of inhalants as drugs because most of them were never meant to be used that way. They include solvents, aerosols, some anesthetics, and other chemicals. Examples are model airplane glue, nail polish remover, lighter and cleaning fluids, and gasoline. Aerosols that are used as inhalants include paints, cookware coating agents, hair sprays, and other spray products. Anesthetics include halothane and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite are inhalants that also are abused. What is amyl nitrite? Amyl nitrite is a clear, yellowish liquid that is sold in a cloth-covered, sealed bulb. When the bulb is broken, it makes a snapping sound; thus they are nicknamed &quot;snappers&quot; or &quot;poppers.&quot; Amyl nitrite is used for heart patients and for diagnostic purposes because it dilates the blood vessels and makes the heart beat faster. Reports of amyl nitrite abuse occurred before 1979, when it was available without a prescription. When it became available by prescription only, many users abused butyl nitrite instead. What is butyl nitrite? Butyl nitrite is packaged in small bottles and sold under a variety of names, such as &quot;locker room&quot; and &quot;rush.&quot; It produces a &quot;high&quot; that lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. The immediate effects include decreased blood pressure, followed by an increased heart rate, flushed face and neck, dizziness, and headache. Who abuses inhalants? Young people, especially between the ages of 7 and 17, are more likely to abuse inhalants, in part because they are readily available and inexpensive. Sometimes children unintentionally misuse inhalant products that are often found around the house. Parents should see that these substances, like medicines, are kept away from young children. How do inhalants work? Although different in makeup, nearly all of the abused inhalants produce effects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body's functions. At low doses, users may feel slightly stimulated; at higher amounts, they may feel less inhibited, less in control; at high doses, a user can lose consciousness. What are the immediate negative effects of inhalants? Initial effects include nausea, sneezing, coughing, nosebleeds, feeling and looking tired, bad breath, lack of coordination, and a loss of appetite. Solvents and aerosols also decrease the heart and breathing rate and affect judgment. The strength of these effects depends on the experience and personality of the user, how much is taken, the specific substance inhaled, and the user's surroundings. The &quot;high&quot; from inhalants tends to be short or can last several hours if used repeatedly. What are the most serious short-term effects of inhalants? Deep breathing of the vapors, or using a lot over a short period of time may result in losing touch with one's surroundings, a loss of self-control, violent behavior, unconsciousness, or death. Using inhalants can cause nausea and vomiting. If a person is unconscious when vomiting occurs, death can result from aspiration. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of solvents or aerosol sprays can produce heart failure and instant death. Sniffing can cause death the first time or any time. High concentrations of inhalants cause death from suffocation by displacing the oxygen in the lungs. Inhalants also can cause death by depressing the central nervous system so much that breathing slows down until it stops. Death from inhalants is usually caused by a very high concentration of inhalant fumes. Deliberately inhaling from a paper bag greatly increases the chance of suffocation. Even when using aerosol or volatile (vaporous) products for their legitimate purposes, i.e, painting, cleaning, etc., it is wise to do so in a well-ventilated room or outdoors. What are the long-term dangers? Long-term use can cause weight loss, fatigue, electrolyte (salt) imbalance, and muscle fatigue. Repeated sniffing of concentrated vapors over a number of years can cause permanent damage to the nervous system, which means greatly reduced physical and mental capabilities. In addition, long-term sniffing of certain inhalants can damage the liver, kidneys, blood, and bone marrow. Tolerance, which means the sniffer needs more and more each time to get the same effect, is likely to develop from most inhalants when they are used regularly. What happens when inhalants are used along with other drugs? As in all drug use, taking more than one drug at a time multiplies the risks. Using inhalants while taking other drugs that slow down the body's functions, such as tranquilizers , sleeping pills , or alcohol, increases the risk of death from overdose. Loss of consciousness, coma, or death can result.
Drugs and Sports - Inhalants Editor's note: This is the seventh of an eight-part series of articles examining the effects of commonly abused substances on athletic performance and overall health. Dr. Gary Wadler, a New York University School of Medicine professor and lead author of the book &quot;Drugs and the Athlete&quot;, has also won the International Olympic Committee President's Prize for his work in the area of performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports. He joined us to address the issue of inhalant abuse. What are inhalants? Inhalant use is the deliberate inhalation or &quot;sniffing&quot; of common, legal substances to achieve a mind-altering state referred to as a &quot;high. Inhalants are products with a variety of industrial, commercial, and household uses and can broadly be categorized as either solvents (liquids) or gases. Solvents include such products as paint thinners, gasoline and glue but also include such things as felt-tip marker fluid. Household inhalant gases include butane lighters, propane gases, whipped cream and hair spray aerosols, airplane glue and spray paints. Commercial inhalant gases include refrigerant gases, medical anesthetic gases, e.g., ether and nitrous oxide (so-called laughing gas), and other medical inhalants, e.g., amyl nitrate. Amyl nitrite, normally used to revive those who have fainted or been rendered unconscious, is a clear yellowish liquid that is sold in a cloth-covered, sealed bulb. When broken, the bulb makes a snapping sound, thus the nicknames of snappers or &quot;poppers. Inhalants enter the bloodstream and are rapidly distributed to the brain as well as to other organs of the body such as the liver, kidneys and bone marrow. &quot;While some inhalants are metabolized and then excreted by the kidneys, others are eliminated unchanged from the body, primarily through the lungs,&quot; says Wadler. &quot;Consequently, the odor of various solvents may remain on the breath for several hours following their inhalation.&quot; Most inhalants are fat-soluble, therefore the complete elimination of inhalants may take sometime since they are released rather slowly from fatty tissues back into the blood.&quot; What are the short-term adverse effects of inhalant abuse? Although the array of inhalants varies in their effect, for the most part they behave like anesthetics to slow down various bodily functions. Short-term effects appear soon after inhalation and disappear within a few hours. Initially, the user is stimulated and disinhibited, but with successive inhalations, speech becomes slurred, the gait becomes staggered, hallucinations may appear, drowsiness ensues, respirations become depressed and the user may lapse into unconsciousness if continuously exposed to the fumes. Deaths due to suffocation, dangerous behaviors associated with intoxication, and aspiration have been associated with acute inhalant abuse. As with other drugs of abuse, the use of inhalants while taking other depressant drugs such as alcohol and tranquilizers increases the risk of loss of consciousness, coma and even death. What are the long-term adverse effects of inhalation abuse? The long-term adverse effects associated with repeated abuse of inhalants varies depending upon the specific inhalant abused and include weight loss, electrolyte imbalance, nosebleeds, and mouth sores. &quot;Some solvents, such as aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g., gasoline) irreversibly interfere with the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow, while others (e.g., dry-cleaning fluids) may impair liver and/or kidney function&quot;, says Wadler. &quot;Some glues may produce permanent hearing loss while others may irreversibly destroy nerve function.&quot; While the short term effects of inhalants on the central nervous system (slurred speech, euphoria, hallucinations) can last from minutes to hours, the long term adverse effects on the central nervous system are irreversible and result from the dissolving away of brain cells by the solvents. Clinically this can be manifested as irreversible dementia, gait disturbances and loss of coordination. Behavioral symptoms in regular heavy sniffers include mental confusion, fatigue, depression, irritability, hostility, and paranoia What is Sniffing Death Syndrome? One mechanism of death that may account for the largest percentage of deaths from acute inhalant abuse has been referred to as the &quot;Sniffing Death Syndrome.&quot; Sudden sniffing deaths typically occur in association with strenuous exercise or with sudden emotional stress, e.g., being discovered inhaling by an authority figure. According to Wadler, &quot;Inhalants sensitize the heart to epinephrine. Activities or events that acutely raise blood epinephrine levels can result in fatal rhythm disturbances of the heart. Particularly disturbing is the fact that sudden sniffing death can occur with the very first experimentation with inhalation abuse, and in fact, in one study, 22% of deaths occurred in individuals with no known prior inhalant abuse.&quot; Are inhalants addictive? Regular inhalant use induces tolerance, which means increased doses are necessary to produce the same effects. After a year, for example, a regular glue sniffer may be using from eight to ten tubes of plastic cement to maintain the &quot;high&quot; originally achieved with a single tube. Psychological dependence on inhalants, the compulsive need to keep taking them is fairly common. Youthful solvent abusers can be among the most difficult patients to cure. Physical dependence occurs when the body has adapted to the presence of inhalants and withdrawal symptoms occur if their use is stopped abruptly. Upon sudden discontinuation of the inhalants, some chronic users suffer chills, hallucinations, headaches, abdominal pains, or delirium tremens (DTs - the &quot;shakes&quot;).
<ul><li>To provide information about depressants </li></ul><ul><li>To assist students in understanding consequences of depressant use </li></ul><ul><li>To assist students in understanding drug interactions </li></ul><ul><li>To educate students about the symptoms of toxicity, overdose and withdrawal </li></ul><ul><li>To motivate students to make informed choices about depressant use </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Inhalant Information as a Glance </li></ul><ul><li>Inhalant Technical Information </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>General Overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Glues (Airplane/model glue, rubber cement, PVC glue) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solvents (Paint thinner) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paint (liquid paper, house paint) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inhalants (Whippets, aerosol fumes, spray paint) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All can be “huffed” to produce a feeling of euphoria. </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Between 1994 and 2000, the number of new inhalant users increased more than 50 percent, from 618,000 new users in 1994 to 979,000 in 2000. These estimates were higher than a previous peak in 1978 (662,000 new users). </li></ul><ul><li>In 2001, approximately 2.0 million (8.6 percent) youths aged 12 to 17 had used inhalants at some time in their lives. Although there were no observed differences in rates of inhalant use between 2000 and 2001 among youths, the proportion of persons aged 26 or older reporting inhalant use increased from 6.4 to 7.1 percent. </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Effects: stimulation, loss of inhibition; headache; nausea or vomiting; slurred speech, loss of motor coordination; wheezing/unconsciousness, cramps, weight loss, muscle weakness, depression, memory impairment, damage to cardiovascular and nervous systems, sudden death </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Think back to a time when you used a powerful chemical or paint in a not-so-well ventilated area. How did you feel? Were you drinking alcohol too? Did that intensify the effects? </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Inhalants pass through the lungs and quickly enter the bloodstream, then they reach the brain in seconds. Inhalant vapors react with fatty tissue in the brain, literally dissolving them. So, chronic inhalant abusers may permanently lose the ability to walk, talk and think. Inhalants also slow down the body's reactions and distort the thinking process. The effects last only a few moments and when they wear off, the user may be irritable and depressed. </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Users can develop a psychological dependence on inhalants. However, research suggests that the risk of physical dependence is relatively small. Withdrawal symptoms are usually mild, but can include depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, dizziness, tremors and nausea. </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Why should each of the following people be extra careful around “fumes” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alcoholics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Athletes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elderly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People taking Benzodiazepines or Barbiturates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pregnant women </li></ul></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Inhalant abuse during pregnancy can cause fetal abnormalities ---Let someone else paint the nursery </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Overview Online Reading </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for Responsible Use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always use inhalants in a well ventilated area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid inhaling fumes especially when pregnant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use extra caution when using substances with “fumes” when you are taking alcohol or depressant medication </li></ul></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year
<ul><li>Identify 5 concepts or pieces of information you gained from this lesson and why you believe they will be useful. </li></ul>Copyright AllCEUs 2011-2020 Unlimited CEUs $99/year