What are inhalants?

Inhalants are defined as breathing in poisonous chemicals that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) vapors that are classified into four major categories: Solvents and Gases, Adhesives, Aerosols and Food Products, and Nitrates. The chemicals people inhale in order to get high are poisonous and can make you very sick.

Inhalants will change the way people think and act. Inhalants can make people angry or moody. People high on inhalants are more likely to get into a serious accident.

Inhaling is against the law and in most places is illegal to sell or give inhalants to kids. People who inhale will be fined or go to jail. Inhalants are addictive and once hooked, it can be hard to quit and the more people use, the more damage they do to their bodies.

Did you know...

  • One in five students in America has used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the 8th grade.
  • Inhalants damage the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys.
  • Inhalants starve your brain and body of oxygen. It can damage vital parts of the brain that can result in memory loss, learning problems, loss of coordination, and slurred speech.
  • Inhaling can even cause brain cancer so severe that you may never walk or talk again.
  • Inhalants pass through the lungs and quickly enter the bloodstream. Chemicals reach the brain within seconds.
  • If cocaine is snorted often, it can cause nose bleeds from damaged nasal passages.
  • Heavy cocaine users appear to be malnourished or really skinny because it takes away the feeling of being hungry.
  • The distribution and abuse of cocaine in Hawaii is associated with homicides, assaults and child abuse/neglect cases.
  • In 2006, 280 arrests were made in Hawaii for powder and rock cocaine.
  • In 2008 about 4% of state funded treatment facilities were due to cocaine use.
  • In 2011, 6.4% of Hawaii's youth used some form of cocaine (YRBS 2011).