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Article Summary

Products Used as Inhalants

People typically use inhalants for the mental high they are capable of producing. A lot of different products are used as inhalants. Some are more commonly used as inhalants than others. Here is a list of products used as inhalants:


A number of adhesives are often used as inhalants. These include airplane glue and aerosol adhesives. Adhesives are popular as inhalants because many of them contain trichloroethylene (an inhalant with powerful effects). They are also popular because they are readily available. Most people have access to adhesives, even young school children.


Gasoline is a very popular inhalant. Drug users will often deeply inhale or "huff" gasoline in order to get high. One of the reasons gasoline is popular is that as is the case with adhesives, virtually everyone has access to it.

Drug users can often huff gasoline surreptitiously, and consequently avoid detection. Many inhalants users start with huffing gasoline and then progress to different inhalants. The ubiquitous nature of gasoline makes it difficult for law enforcement officials to control gasoline abuse. Gasoline is very inexpensive and available everywhere, so it is the perfect inhalant of choice for drug abusers looking for a cheap high.

Whipped Cream Cans

The gas used to pressurize whipped cream cans is often used as an inhalant. Many people assume that the gas is harmless because it is used in a food product, but nothing could be further from the truth. Inhaling the gas from whipped cream cans is very dangerous, and a number of people have died from it.

Young adults often find the idea of abusing the gas in whipped cream cans intriguing. Too few parents adequately educate their teenagers about the risks of using everyday household items as inhalants.

The gas in whipped cream cans is nitrous oxide. While it does have a number of valid medical applications, its recreational use is not safe. Often, heavy users of nitrous oxide develop severe brain damage. They may also develop severe vitamin B12 deficiencies.

Huffing nitrous oxide causes brain damage because it deprives the brain of oxygen. Brain cells are unable to survive if they do not get enough oxygen. Some nitrous oxide addicts get lucky and do not develop brain damage until they have abused nitrous oxide for many years, but many are not as fortunate and develop severe brain damage much earlier.

The reason nitric oxide used in dentistry does not cause brain damage is that it is always mixed with oxygen. Unfortunately, the gas in whipped cream cans contains absolutely no oxygen.

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover contains acetone, a powerful inhalant. Huffing acetone has a lot of negative effects on the body. Acetone is very toxic and acetone fumes should never be inhaled.

Nail polish remover is popular as an inhalant because it is readily available. Most supermarkets carry acetone-based nail polish remover.

Understanding Inhalant Abuse

Inhalants users often are attracted to using inhalants because of the fact that most inhalants are inexpensive and easy to use without detection. A lot of inhalants users are also under the impression that using inhalants is safer than using illegal drugs.

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Inhalants are actually significantly more toxic than a lot of illegal drugs. Inhalants cause widespread damage to many different organs in the body.

Inhalants can cause central nervous system and liver damage, and are also capable of damaging other organs. Inhalants users usually find that they quickly become addicted to their inhalant of choice. As their addiction progresses, they spend more and more time huffing inhalants, and less and less time interacting with peers.

The brain damage typically caused by the long-term use of inhalants is one of the worst consequences of inhalant abuse. This damage is irreparable and often makes it impossible for addicts to ever again function well in everyday life.

Parents often do a poor job of informing their kids about the dangers of inhalant abuse because they typically assume that their children will never become involved with inhalants. Partially because of this, many kids do not have a good idea about just how dangerous most inhalants are and are open to using them recreationally. Stores need to be more careful about selling products used as inhalants in order to cut down on inhalant abuse.

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