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The Harmful Effects of Poppers

Harmful Effects of Poppers

Many people are always looking for new ways to get that strong high.

Although legal in some instances, poppers come with an immediate rush and some possibly dangerous side effects.

What Are Poppers?

Poppers is a slang term used to describe psychoactive drugs in liquid form that give off vapors that are inhaled in order to get high. The first poppers contained amyl nitrites, a drug originally used in heart medications, but now these drugs can contain a multitude of chemicals including butyl nitrite, amyl nitrite, and isopropyl nitrite. Poppers usually come in small bottles, giving them another nickname, liquid gold, but they may also come in small capsules that can be crushed to release the vapors. People will recreationally inhale the vapers straight from the bottle or use a cloth as with huffing.

Initially, poppers were often used among the gay community for its ability to relax muscles for anal sex, but its use has been expanded because of its many other euphoric effects. Using poppers is a form of inhalant abuse, and recreational use of these drugs is illegal in the United States. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these regulations, and poppers can sometimes still be purchased online or in sex shops depending on where you are in the world.

Popper Effects to Be Aware of

While many people will use these drugs for their euphoric properties, popper side effects can be dangerous. The effects of poppers are usually almost immediate and create a fast high that may only last a few minutes.

Some of the initial euphoric effects of poppers may include:

  • Warm sensation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Relaxed anal muscles

People will use poppers for these euphoric effects, but these drugs are not without some harmful side effects. The dangerous effects of popper abuse may include:

  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Allergic reactions
  • Retinal damage
  • Skin lesions, especially around the face
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart attack1,2

Skin lesions will likely go away when popper use stops, but retinal damage may never be entirely reversed.2 The respiratory and heart problems can also lead to other lasting issues. While poppers may not be physically addictive like many other drugs that are abused, people may come to rely on them psychologically or start to turn to harder drugs. It is important to get into a drug rehab center before these problems escalate.

At Banyan Philadelphia, we know that addiction does not discriminate, and we want to help everyone get the treatment they deserve. We offer LGBTQ addiction treatment that includes special accommodations for the gay community, including safe housing options and tailored therapy programs to meet each person’s specific needs.

If you or someone you care about needs help for a substance abuse problem, reach out to us today at 888-280-4763.


Sources & References:

  1. SagePub - Poppers, A New Recreational Drug Craze
  2. Science Daily - New chemical composition of 'poppers' linked to retinal damage
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Harmful Effects of Poppers
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