Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory: Inhalants


Once commonly referred to as “glue sniffing,” inhalant abuse now includes a broad range of volatile solvents and gas products (e.g., model airplane glue, paint thinner, gasoline, and nail polish remover), aerosols (e.g., nonstick cooking spray and hair spray), anesthetics (e.g., nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” and ether), and nitrites (e.g., amyl, butyl, and isobutyl nitrites, often marketed as “poppers” or room odorizers). (Other powdered drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, can be inhaled but are not considered inhalants.) Although the chemicals involved and their effects vary, the route of administration is the common factor.

Publisher: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, & Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

Published: March 2003 (8 pages)

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