Consequences of Inhalant Use
Death from using inhalants
can occur from several factors:
- Injury - Impaired
judgment is a consequence of inhalant abuse. Inhalers have been known to try
and swim across a river or fly off a building. Fatal burns have occurred from lighting a cigarette while continuing
- Asphyxiation and Suffocation
- According to NIDA (2005) Asphyxiation is caused
from repeated inhalations, which lead to high concentrations of inhaled fumes
that displace oxygen in the lungs. Suffocation has been known to occur when inhaling fumes from a plastic bag placed over
the head. http://www.nida.nih.gov/ResearchReports/Inhalants/Inhalants4.html
- Choking - Users
can aspirate their own vomit.
- Suicide - A frequently
used method of inhalation is for the abuser to place a plastic bag over the
head or wrap the body in plastic with the inhalant enclosed. As a result,
the inhaler passes out from the inhalant and suffocates to death.
- Sudden Sniffing Death -
NIDA (2005) Sudden Sniffing Death (SSD), can result from a single session of
inhalant use by an otherwise healthy young person. SSD is
particularly associated with the abuse of butane, propane, and hydro-carbon propellants.
According to Ridenour, Bray, and Coulter (2007) “Sudden Sniffing Death syndrome” can occur during inhalant intoxication when an inhalant users is startled. This appears to be due to release of large amounts of catecholamines, which induce ventricular fibrillation.
According to the National Medical Society (2002)"Sudden Sniffing
Death," as it is called, is responsible for more than half of all deaths
due to inhalant abuse. Additional information can be obtained from the following Web Sites:
“Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome” can occur during inhalant intoxication when an inhalant users is startled.