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Inhalants are substances or fumes from certain products like spray paints and glues that are sniffed to cause a high. A chronic abuser may experience loss of memory and decreased reasoning abilities.

Inhalant abuse can increase the chance of death due to accidents, suffocation, and abnormal heart rate or rhythm. Other risks may include permanent damage to the:

  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Bone marrow

Sudden Sniffer's Death is due to an abnormal heart rhythm that can happen immediately after inhalation.

Some physical warning signs of inhalant abuse include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Chemical odors on clothing or breath
  • Red eyes or runny nose
  • Often seem drunk or dizzy
  • Paint stains on face and hands
  • Sores around nose or mouth
  • Large amounts of empty aerosol cans

Some personality changes may include:

  • Noticeable difference in eating and sleeping habits
  • Loss of interest in school or work
  • Negative attitude toward school, family, and friends
  • Always tired or lethargic

For more information about inhalants, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse at:

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with questions about inhalants.

Carolinas Poison Center    P.O. Box 32861    Charlotte  NC    28232-2861    1-800-222-1222  •  © 2015