Inhalant Abuse

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Inhalants are a broad range of drugs whose volatile vapors are taken in via the nose and trachea. Although tobacco, marijuana, and other substances can be inhaled, the term "inhalant abuse" is usually reserved for substances ingested through volatilization. While some inhalant drugs are used for medical purposes, as in the case of nitrous oxide (a dental anaesthetic), this article focuses on the inhalant abuse, as recreational drugs that are used for their intoxicating effect. Most inhalant drugs that are used non-medically are ingredients in household or industrial chemical products that are not intended to be concentrated and inhaled. A small number of recreational inhalant drugs are pharmaceutical products that are used illicitly. Inhalant users tend to be people who are bored or do not have access to other drugs or alcohol, such as children, teenagers, incarcerated or institutionalized people, and marginalized individuals. The most serious inhalant abuse occurs among children and teens who "...live on the streets completely without family ties." Inhalant users inhale vapor or aerosol propellant gases using plastic bags held over the mouth or by breathing from a solvent-soaked rag or an open container. The effects of inhalants range from an alcohol-like intoxication and intense euphoria to vivid hallucinations, depending on the substance and the dosage. Some inhalant users are injured due to the harmful effects of the solvents or gases, or due to other chemicals used in the products that they are inhaling. As with any recreational drug, users can be injured due to dangerous behavior while they are intoxicated, such as driving under the influence. In some cases, users have died from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), pneumonia, cardiac failure or arrest, or aspiration of vomit. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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