Tampa, Florida (PressExposure) September 15, 2009 -- 'Inhalants' refers to the vapors from toxic substances which are inhaled to reach a quick high. There are more than 1,000 household products that could be abused as inhalants. Those most commonly used are shoe polish, glue, gasoline, lighter fluid, spray paint and more.
Nearly all of these inhalants produce effects similar to anesthetics, which slow down the body's functions. The user experiences an initial high and loss of inhibition, then drowsiness, lightheadedness and agitation.
Inhalants can be physically and psychologically addictive. Chronic users coming off inhalants suffer withdrawal symptoms which can include hallucinations, nausea, excessive sweating, hand tremors and more. Some of the effects on the body are damages to the kidney, brain, liver, the immune system; inhalants starve the body of oxygen and force the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly.
Mentioned in the book by L. Ron Hubbard "Clear Body, Clear mind", drugs are attracted to fat which means when you take drugs such as inhalants these deposit in the fatty tissue of the body remaining within the body and creating adverse effects even years after you've stopped taking drugs.
A survey released in March 2008 found that more than 22.9 million Americans have experimented with inhalants at some point in their lives. In North America, inhalants are the third most abused substance after alcohol and tobacco.
Although inhalants are not regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, 38 states in the U.S. have placed restrictions on the sale and distribution of certain products that are commonly used as inhalants to minors.
The inhaling of fumes from chemicals like incense, oils, resins, spices and perfumes to alter consciousness or as part of religious ceremonies dates back to ancient times in Egypt, Babylonia, India and China.
However through time this practice has turned into a widespread problem amongst homeless street children in South Asia, Mexico, Eastern Europe, Kenya and other areas around the world. Street kids use these inhalants to numb the pain of hunger, cold and desperation.
The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.