Inhalants: Ingestion methods

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 4:33 pm

Inhalants are so called because, almost exclusively, abusers breathe them into the nose or mouth. Some of the methods for accomplishing this pose additional dangers, such as unconsciousness, suffocation, and freezing of mouth or throat tissue, or vocal chords. Users may also incur injuries from falling, and may suffer sudden cardiac arrest. (Rarely, abusers mix inhalants into soft drinks and drink them.)
NIDA and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America describe several methods by which inhalants area consumed:
• Sniffing or snorting fumes from a container.
• Spraying aerosols directly into the nose or mouth.
• Bagging, which involves sniffing or inhaling fumes from substances sprayed or deposited inside a plastic or paper bag.
• Huffing, which involves soaking a cloth, sock, or roll of toilet paper with an inhalant, then stuffing that in the mouth.
• Inhaling from balloons filled with nitrous oxide.
Once inhaled, the chemicals move into the lungs; from there, they enter the bloodstream. The blood quickly carries the toxins to organs throughout the body, including the brain.

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