Inhalants are toxic chemical vapors. Sniffing, huffing or inhaling these chemicals can cause brain damage and even be fatal.
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WHAT IS IT?
Inhalants are dangerous chemical vapors produced by a range of common, but highly toxic, substances. When inhaled, these chemicals can cause damaging, mind-altering effects and sudden death. The three main types of inhalants are: solvents, gases and nitrates. Inhalants can be found in a range of products - like paint thinners, glues, cleaning products, gases, lighter fluids and aerosol sprays – that may be common, but are highly toxic when abused.
Since the "high" feeling of inhalants lasts only a few minutes, people often use them over and over again, which is extremely dangerous. "Sudden sniffing death" can happen to a completely healthy young person from a single session of inhalant use.
Inhalants produce effects similar to those of anesthesia. They slow the body down, produce a numbing feeling and can cause unconsciousness. Inhaling concentrated amounts of these chemicals can cause heart failure, suffocation, convulsions, seizures and coma.
Inhalants go through the lungs and into the bloodstream, and are quickly distributed to the brain and other organs in the body. Ongoing exposure to inhalants can lead to brain or nerve damage that produces results similar to that of multiple sclerosis. Inhalants can also do damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Prolonged abuse can permanently affect thinking, movement, vision and hearing.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Inhalants can be damaging to both your body and brain. The dangerous effects can be irreversible, and the truth is, inhaling or "huffing" toxic chemicals can be deadly — even the very first time.