Volatile components found in inhalants

 The New Straits Times, July 31,1995

Q: What is the chemical composition of products commonly abused as inhalants? What are the most serious hazards in the use o f inhalants?

A: Volatile substance abuse gives rise to dose-related effects similar to those of other hypnosedatives. Small doses can rapidly lead to euphoria and other disturbance of behaviour similar to those caused by ethanol (alcohol), and may also induce delusions and hallucinations.

Higher doses may produce life-threatening effects such as convulsion and coma. Death may ensue indirectly after, for example, inhalation of vomit, or from direct cardiac or central nervous system toxicity.

Chronic abuse of toluene-containing products and chlorinated solvents such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane, for example, can produce severe organ damage, especially in the liver, kidney and brain.

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