Person struggling with popper addiction

Dangers of Popper Addiction

As with many recreational drugs, poppers were originally prescription drugs used to treat a valid medical condition. Prescribed amyl nitrite helped people with heart conditions experience fast relief from chest pain. Once it was realized that the rush of euphoria and relaxation could also enhance one’s sex life, the drug quickly made its rounds among partygoers. But poppers can lead to several detrimental side effects, including tolerance. If you know someone abusing poppers, encourage them to seek drug and alcohol detox at Promises Brazos Valley. You can reach us online or by phone at 979.426.0086.

What Are Poppers?

Poppers are inhalant drugs that contain the chemical amyl nitrite. The drug is sold as a small bottle of liquid that is inhaled for a rapid high. Poppers are not classified as a controlled substance, so they are legally sold online and in stores, such as smoke shops and sex shops. However, the drug is considered illegal for human consumption, so the vials of liquid are often marketed as leather cleaners, nail polish removers, or room deodorizers. 

Why Do People Use Poppers?

When inhaled, amyl nitrite dilates the blood vessels and induces muscle relaxation. When the drug was first introduced in the 1930s, it was intended to treat angina or chest pain. Amyl nitrite was encased in small glass capsules that a person could crush and inhale the vapors for fast relief from chest pain. When crushed, the capsules make a popping sound which is how poppers get their name.

Amyl nitrite is not typically prescribed for heart conditions anymore. Instead, it is purchased over the counter and used as a recreational drug. People use poppers to feel calm and relaxed and enhance sexual pleasure. 

Amyl nitrite is not physically or psychologically addictive, but that does not mean it is without harm. Over time, you can develop a tolerance to poppers. You would require higher drug doses to achieve the same relaxing effects. Continually increasing your dosage puts you at a higher risk of dangerous side effects.

What Are the Dangers of Popper Addiction?

Even though you can quickly obtain poppers from a local shop or online, they can be particularly hazardous to your health. Before trying poppers or continuing to use them, consider some of the following dangers of popper addiction:

  • If you have an existing heart condition, popper abuse can raise your heart rate significantly. This can cause sudden sniffing death, the term given to an inhalant-induced fatal heart arrhythmia.
  • Frequently inhaling amyl nitrite vapors can cause lesions around your lips and nose.
  • Inhaling poppers can impair respiratory function, leading to chronic conditions like sinusitis and bronchitis.
  • Abusing poppers or other inhalants can deteriorate cognitive function, leading to memory loss and difficulty concentrating.
  • Poppers can cause headaches and allergic reactions, especially in those sensitive to fragrances, which are often added to the drug.
  • Inhaling large doses of poppers can lead to overdose, sometimes fatal.
  • Using poppers can increase eye pressure, potentially leading to vision loss.

It is also important to note that the high from poppers is very brief, lasting only up to about five minutes. This may make people more likely to take additional doses of the drug to extend the high, increasing the chances of developing a tolerance. 

Find Support for Popper Abuse at Promises Brazos Valley 

When someone abuses poppers, there may be more going on beneath the surface. People who turn to drugs often struggle with mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. Promises Brazos Valley provides dual diagnosis treatment to address the effects of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Get help by filling out our online form or contacting Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086.

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