Inhalants are volatile, flammable substances that can produce vapors, which can be inhaled. Abusers use the inhalants by “huffing,” or soaking a rag with liquid inhalants. Products can also be inhaled directly from containers, or sprayed into plastic bags or balloons for inhaling. Even single use of inhalants can be fatal. This is called Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.

Common Inhalants are:

  • Paint Thinner
  • Nail polish
  • Hair spray
  • Whipped cream canisters 
  • Gasoline
  • Spray Paint
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Nitrous Oxid (laughing Gas)
  • Butane
  • Duster Spray
  • Glue

Nicknames for inhalants include: 

  • Highball
  • Air bomb
  • Bagging
  • Poppers
  • Snappers

Effects of Inhalant Usage

Short-term Side Effects:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Limited reflexes
  • Severe mood swings
  • Violent or belligerent behavior
  • Loss of consciousness

Long-term side effects:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Weight loss
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • Asphyxiation due to decreased oxygen level
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Brain damage


  • It is estimated 22 million Americans have tried inhalants 
  • Every day, an estimated 17,000 people use inhalants
  • More than 2.6 million children ages 12-17 use an inhalant each year
  • Inhalants tend to be the first drug tried by children
  • Sniffing and huffing can begin at age 10 or younger
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  • Champion Center