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SLANG TERMS Laughing gas rush whippets poppers snappers Inhalants are breathable chemicals that produce mind-altering vapors People do not think of inhalants as drugs because most of the products were never meant to be used that way Inhalants are ingested by sniffing or snorting through the nose bagging inhaling fumes from a plastic bag or huffing stuffing an inhalant soaked rag into the mouth IMMEDIATE EFFECTS Nearly all inhalants produce effects similar to anesthetics which act to slow down body functions yet the user feels stimulated Other effects may include Nausea loss of appetite bad breath double vision runny or bloody nose lack of coordination feeling and looking tired eye irritation sneezing coughing vomiting diarrhea headache chest pain ringing in ears erratic heart beat LONG-TERM EFFECTS Hand tremors less concern about appearance soresrash around mouth and nose fatigue muscle fatigue weight loss electrolyte salt imbalance cardiac arrest permanent damage to nervous system brain liver kidney blood and bone marrow damage impaired respiratory system impaired coordination and intelligence death by asphyxiationsuffocation EFFECTS ON PERSONALITY Psychological effects occur rapidly because the substance travels directly to the brain after passing through the lungs and the left side of the heart Other effects are Anxiety irritability or excitability poor memory confusion moody restless activity lack of concentration aggressive behavior FOUR CLASSES OF INHALANTS There are about 1400 products potentially usable as inhalants Volatile solvents gasoline paint thinners glue cleaning solutions etc Aerosols spray paints etc Anesthetic agents chloroform ether oils and greases dissolves Amyl butyl and isobutyl nitrites such as room fresheners INHALANTS AND PREGNANCY The substances in solvents can pass through the placental barrier and enter the fetal bloodstream However except for evidence of birth defects among petrol inhalers the evidence that use of other inhalants or solvents can damage the fetus is inconclusive All drugs have some effects on the unborn child
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