Inhalants lead to countless deaths across the world every year. What are inhalants? They are a nasty classification of drugs that lead to brain damage and death.

They are also everywhere. Most homes in the United States have a plethora of inhalants lurking in plain sight.

There are many different types of inhalants drugs from the professional-grade intended for consumption as a drug, to common household substances.

The dangers of inhalants are as numerous as their types. Read on to learn more about these dangerous and readily available substances.

How Do Inhalants Work?

Inhalants, as their name implies, are inhaled by users through either their nose or mouth. Once inhaled, chemicals from the drug travel straight to a user’s brain.

They then affect the central nervous system. They do this by slowing brain and body activity down to a snail’s pace.

Inhalant Effects

Common effects from most inhalants include:

  • Blacking out
  • Feeling of euphoria
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling tired 
  • Lack of coordination
  • Non-responsive limbs
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Death

These are only a few of the effects of inhalants. Depending on the type of inhalant you consume you may have a wide array of different effects. Unlike other drugs, a single use of inhalants can leave you brain-damaged or dead.

Due to their very dangerous nature and the high correlation between inhalants and addiction, you should seek out professional help if you or somebody you know develops a problem with inhalants.

Types of Inhalants Drugs

There are various categories of inhalants drugs. Many different chemicals make up inhalants as well, and each can have various forms that fit multiple different categories.


The first type is solvents. These include things such as paint thinners, degreasers, and gasoline. They also include things like glue and permanent markers.

Users often sniff these types of inhalants straight from their container or pour them into a bag and hyperventilate with them.


Inhalants can also come in a gas form. Gaseous inhalants include butane, propane, chloroform, and nitrous oxide (more on this one later). Users can inhale these gases straight into their nose or mouth to get high.


Many inhalants come in an aerosol form. Spray paint, whip cream, hair spray, and mechanical lubricants fall under this category.

Most inhalants fall under one of these categories. That said, there are many different inhalant chemicals, each with its own set of effects. These chemicals can are in a gas, aerosol, or solvent state.

Nitrous Oxide: The King Of Inhalants

There are all sorts of different inhalants drugs. Take professional-grade nitrous oxide, for instance. It is widely available in festival parking lots across the nation, and legal in places like Vietnam.

Users often buy balloons full of this substance from a dealer who has somehow got themselves a large nitrous oxide tank. They then inhale from the balloon and “whomp out”. 

This is slang for getting close to the edge of unconsciousness through deep inhalation of the substance.

It’s called such because of the loud, whomping, or pulsating noise heard in the user’s ears at the time of inhalation. Nitrous oxide is often categorized in medical, culinary, or substandard grades.

Medical Nitrous

Nefarious elements steal medical nitrous from a legitimate medical supply chain. Most often it is from dentists who use the substance during dental procedures. Medical nitrous is often found in large 25 or 50-pound tanks.

Culinary Nitrous

Culinary-grade nitrous is from kitchens. Chefs use it to refill whip cream dispensers and other cooking gear.

The canisters for culinary nitrous are generally much smaller than medical nitrous. Many stores sell them off the shelf. They are also available online making them easy to acquire.

Sub-Standard Nitrous

Substandard nitrous can be found in whip-cream aerosol bottles. The street name for this type of nitrous is “whip it’s”. It is also found in computer keyboard cleaning products such as Dust-off.

What Are Inhalants in My Home?

Inhalants are everywhere throughout your home. If you have curious teenagers, or babies that don’t know any better in your home you should be aware of what they can abuse.

Whipped-Cream Containers

A common household inhalant is aerosol whipped-cream containers. These are easy to replace with a non-aerosol whipped cream that comes in a plastic tub container.

Sneakier Household Inhalants

Other common inhalants in your home are not as easy to rid yourself of. Things such as Sharpie markers, Gorilla Glue, and gasoline can be found in garages and cupboards across suburban America.

Dangers of Inhalants

Inhalants have a high tendency for abuse and can be bought at supermarkets, hardware stores, and corner markets everywhere. They can also lead to a lifelong addiction, brain damage, and death.

This is true even if they are used in moderation. No amount of inhalant is a safe amount of inhalant.

What You Can Do

If you are worried about someone abusing inhalants in your household, put all of these substances in one place and keep them under lock and key. If you are worried about yourself abusing them, refrain from buying them.

The sad fact of the matter is almost any household chemical can be inhaled and abused. This makes it all the more important to know what your kids and loved ones are up to and to watch for the common signs of inhalant abuse.

This includes things such as memory loss, secretive behavior, the residue of substances left on the nose or face, and unexpected unconsciousness.

Most important of all, you should have an open discussion with your family about the dangers of inhalants. Let them know that only one using inhalants once can leave them handicapped or dead.

Encourage the members of your family to avoid using these dangerous substances and always choose alternative products when they are available. 

Know When to Act

Inhalant drugs come in many different packages and grades of quality. They all have one thing in common, however; they are all deadly. In summation, what are inhalants? They are a surefire way to kill yourself for a quick buzz.

Never use inhalants, and if you or someone you know has developed a problem with inhalant abuse, contact us today to get help. You might save a life, even your own.

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