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Different Types of Inhalant Drugs

different types of inhalants

Inhalant drug abuse is the practice of breathing in (or inhaling) vapors, fumes, gases, or aerosol sprays to get high.

Many inhalant drugs are common household products like cleaners or air fresheners. People who abuse inhalants live in both rural and urban areas, and this form of drug abuse is a common practice among people ages 25 and younger.1 As a substance abuse treatment center in Pompano, we know that inhalant drug abuse is very common among children as young as 10 and can progress into a more dangerous form of substance abuse in the future. Below are the different types of inhalant drugs and the symptoms they cause when abused.


What Are Inhalant Drugs?

Inhalants are drugs that people take only by inhaling. These products can be easily purchased in different stores and found around the house or workplace, such as spray paints, markers, glue, and cleaning products. Because inhalants are usually products that are used to clean or paint, they often contain different chemicals that cause psychoactive side effects, such as hallucinations and disorientation. These products are not usually thought of as drugs of abuse because they’re not intended for getting high, but many people use them specifically for that reason. When commonly used products like Febreze or glue are used to get high, they’re then referred to as inhalants.

Some common side effects of inhalant drugs include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Headache
  • Lack of coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Abusing inhalants for a long time can lead to more severe side effects, such as:

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Inhibited behavioral development (especially in children)
  • Brain damage (from repeated lack of oxygen to the brain)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Limb spasms and twitching (caused by nerve damage)

The abuse of inhalants results in various health problems, including physical dependence. A person who’s dependent on drugs or alcohol needs to keep using these substances to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Over time, this pattern of behavior can lead to addiction, a chronic and progressive disease that usually requires comprehensive treatment. Banyan Treatment Centers Pompano offers different drug and alcohol rehab programs that focus on a variety of substances. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, we can help.


What are the Different Types of Inhalant Drugs?

Inhalants are drugs inhaled through the nose or the mouth, usually by sniffing, snorting, huffing, or bagging. Despite the short-lived high that inhalants cause, people often attempt to make these symptoms last by continuously using inhalants over several hours. Below are common inhalant drug examples.


  • Paint thinners or removers
  • Dry-cleaning fluids
  • Degreasers
  • Gasoline
  • Lighter fluid
  • White-out or other correction liquids
  • Marker fluid
  • Contact cleaner for electronics
  • Glue


  • Spray paints
  • Hair sprays
  • Deodorant sprays
  • Fabric protector sprays and cleaners
  • Aerosol cleaning products for computers
  • Vegetable oil sprays


  • Butane lighters
  • Propane tanks
  • Whipped cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets)
  • Cooling system fluids
  • Ether
  • Chloroform
  • Halothane
  • Nitrous oxide

Nitrites (“Poppers”)

  • Video and audio head cleaner
  • Air fresheners (like Febreze or Glaze)
  • Leather cleaner
  • Liquid aroma
  • Amyl nitrite
  • Butyl nitrite Cyclohexyl nitrite

Frequently abusing these products can not only cause the side effects previously listed, but they can also cause a condition known as “sudden sniffing death,” which is an inhalant overdose. An inhalant drug overdose can occur when a person inhales a high dose of these drugs in one sitting. This cuts off oxygen flow to the brain, which can cause the heart to stop beating suddenly. Drug abuse affects the white matter and gray matter in the brain as well, which can disrupt learning, memory, and overall cognitive development.


Long-term inhalant abuse can lead to several other health problems. In addition, the more comfortable a person becomes with one form of substance abuse, the more willing they may be to experiment with harder drugs, like cocaine, meth, or heroin. If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, call Banyan Pompano now at 888-280-4763 to learn about the levels of care we offer at our facility.


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.