Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce mind-altering effects. People who use inhalants breathe in the fumes through their nose or mouth, usually by “sniffing,” “snorting,” “bagging,” or “huffing.” Inhalants fall into four categories:
- Nitrites: room odorizers, video head cleaner, leather cleaner, or liquid aromas.
- Gases: nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform, and gases from household products such as propane tanks, whipped cream dispensers (whippets) and butane lighters.
- Solvents: paint thinners, glues, correction fluid, lighter fluid, electronic contact cleaners, felt-tip marker fluid, dry cleaning fluid and gasoline.
- Aerosols: spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, aerosol computer cleaning products and vegetable oil sprays.
Although the high that inhalants produce usually lasts just a few minutes, people often try to make it last by continuing to inhale again and again over several hours.