What are Poppers? Statistics, Effects, Addiction & Overdose
Poppers Drug: What are poppers?
Poppers is a slang term used to describe psychoactive drugs in liquid form that give off vapors that are inhaled to get high. The first poppers created 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 vapors straight from the bottle or use a cloth as with huffing.
Initially, poppers drugs were often used among the gay community for their ability to relax muscles for anal sex, but their use has been expanded because of their 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.
Poppers Drug: Statistics
According to the scientific research ‘Use of nitrite inhalants (“poppers”) among American youth’, among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, 1.5% reported any lifetime use of nitrite inhalants. The prevalence of lifetime nitrite inhalant use increased to 12% and 14% among adolescents who were dependent on alcohol and any drug in the past year, respectively. Many nitrite inhalant users used at least three other types of inhalants (68%) and also met the criteria for alcohol (33%) and drug (35%) abuse or dependence.
Increased odds of nitrite inhalant use were associated with residing in nonmetropolitan areas, recent utilization of mental health services, delinquent behaviors, past-year alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, and multi-drug use. Adolescents who had used nitrite inhalants at least once in their lifetime tend to engage in delinquent activities and report co-occurring multiple drug abuse and mental health problems in the past year. 
Poppers Drug: Implications of poppers consumption
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), health care providers are reporting increases in deaths and hospitalizations related to intentional ingestion or inhalation of nitrite products for recreational use, including sexual experience enhancement. Commonly referred to as “poppers,” these products contain chemical substances similar to the prescription medication, amyl nitrite, which is prescribed for the relief of chest pain. However, poppers durg have not been evaluated by the FDA for safe use. These products are not safe to ingest or inhale. 
Poppers are often packaged in small bottles similar to energy shot beverage products and commonly sold online, in adult novelty stores, and at other locations and are marketed as:
- Air fresheners
- Liquid incense
- Leather cleaners
- Nail polish removers
“Make no mistake, ingesting or inhaling poppers seriously jeopardizes your health,” Judy McMeekin, Pharm. D., Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, said. “These chemicals can be caustic and damage the skin or other tissues they come in contact with, cause difficulty breathing, extreme drops in blood pressure decreases in blood oxygen levels, seizures, heart arrhythmia, coma, and death. Do not ingest or inhale under any circumstances.” 
Additionally, manufacturers are packaging and labeling these products in a way that may mislead consumers into thinking the poppers are safe or intended to be inhaled or ingested by drinking. They are often packaged in the same style of bottles as energy shots/drinks and labeled with names like:
- Super Rush
- Jungle Juice
- Locker Room
- Iron Horse
“Don’t be fooled. These poppers, often purchased online or in novelty stores, are unapproved products and should not be inhaled or ingested, regardless of how they are packaged, labeled, or displayed,” McMeekin said. “Used as a recreational drug, they can cause serious health issues. They are not worth your life.”
Poppers Drug: Effects
Poppers work very quickly, producing an almost instant high or “rush” of warm sensations and feelings of dizziness, similar to sensations of extreme alcohol intoxication. The effects come on very quickly after inhaling the drug, but unlike drugs such as alcohol, only last for seconds or minutes. While some people find the effects of poppers pleasurable, others find it extremely disorienting and unpleasant.
Poppers are vasodilators, meaning that they dilate the blood vessels. As a result, blood pressure drops rapidly, leading to lightheadedness, sometimes resulting in a brief loss of consciousness and muscle strength, known as syncope. At the same time, the heart speeds up, even if the person using poppers is relaxed, known as tachycardia.
Another effect of these drugs is the relaxation of the anal sphincter. For this reason, poppers are sometimes used to facilitate anal sex. In addition, some users find that using poppers during sex increases sexual sensations and intensifies orgasm.
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 excent of harmful side effects.
The dangerous effects of popper abuse may include:
- Allergic reactions
- Retinal damage
- Skin lesions, especially around the face
- Respiratory problems
- Heart attack
Skin lesions will likely go away when popper use stops, but retinal damage may never be entirely reversed. 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.
Poppers Drug: Side Effects
Several negative effects of poppers have been identified. Poppers drug can potentially lead to a variety of skin irritations around areas exposed to poppers, such as the nose, mouth, lips, and face. These can be misdiagnosed as impetigo or severe seborrheic dermatitis. These skin problems usually heal within seven to 10 days of stopping the use of poppers.
Poppers are also quite irritating and can cause sinusitis. They can also trigger allergic reactions accompanied by wheezing and breathing difficulties. As poppers can be scented, allergic reactions can also be triggered by inhaling the perfumes in poppers. Headaches can often occur, which can range from mild to severe. Poppers have been reported to contribute to eye damage in certain individuals.
Poppers Drug Addiction
Poppers are not physically addictive but they are psychologically addictive, people can develop tolerance. After frequent use, some men had reported feeling psychologically dependent on poppers to have or enjoy sex.
Poppers Drug Overdose
Inhaling poppers too much or too often can lower blood pressure and cause unconsciousness or heart attack. This risk increases significantly when poppers are used with erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. Together, these drugs can cause a severe drop in blood pressure and heart failure. Several deaths have occurred from co-using poppers and Viagra. Large doses of poppers can cause methemoglobinemia, a potentially fatal reduction in the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Swallowing poppers can be lethal.
Reclaim your life from poppers drug dependence
Poppers Drug dependence is a serious condition that can cause major health and social problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up California Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this by detoxification with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can give you further information about the abuse of this drug. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.