Languages:

Volatile solvents (as a drug)

Similar term(s): inhalants.

Definition:

Volatile solvents are liquids that vaporize at room temperature.

These organic solvents can be inhaled for psychoactive effects and are present in many domestic and industrial products such as glue, aerosol, paints, industrial solvents, lacquer thinners, gasoline, and cleaning fluids.

Some substances are directly toxic to the liver, kidney, or heart, and some produce peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage usually affecting the feet and legs) or progressive brain degeneration.

The most frequent users of these substances are young adolescents and street children. The user typically soaks a rag with inhalant and places it over the mouth and nose, or puts the inhalant in a paper or plastic bag which is then put over the face.

Signs of intoxication include agressiveness, lethargy, impaired movement, euphoria, impaired judgement, dizziness, rapid involuntary movement of the eyes, blurred vision or double vision (diplopia), slurred speech, tremors, unsteady gait, overactive reflexes, muscle weakness, stupor, or coma.

Source: GreenFacts, based on WHO Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms 

More:

Volatile solvents are powerful psychoactive substances. They are inexpensive and readily available. The effects of volatile solvents are like instantaneous alcohol intoxication. Regular abuse of these substances is especially common among teenagers and the poorest members of society.

Source: Centre québécois de lutte aux dépendances 

Related words:

Depressants

To read about this term in context:

GreenFacts Summary on Psychoactive Drugs Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Substances:

Related publications:
    
FacebookTwitterEmail
  • ABC - DEF - GHI - JKL - MNO - PQRS - TUV - WXYZ
  • Themes covered
    Publications A-Z
    Leaflets

    Video