Poppers, a street name for the group of chemicals known as alkyl nitrites, became quite popular in the club scenes of the 1970s, discos of the 1980s and raves of the 1990s. They are legal party drugs associated with an enhanced sexual experience. Like any other inhalants, poppers also exhibit their effects on physical and mental health of a person.
Available in the form of a liquid chemical, the specific types of alkyl nitrites include butyl nitrite, isopropyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite and amyl nitrite. Except in the case of angina pain or as an antidote to cyanide poisoning, the effects of amyl nitrite can barely be considered having any therapeutic essence. In fact, inhalation or nonmedical use of such drugs has been associated with numerous health hazards.
Some of the prevalent side effects and injuries inflicted by poppers include skin and tracheobronchial irritation, acute toxicity mediated by hypokinetic anoxia, methemoglobinemia, and associated disorders of the blood and blood-forming organs. Furthermore, the persistent abuse of poppers leads to the development of a substance use disorder (SUD).
The impact of amyl nitrite or poppers has been documented since the early 1900s. Besides providing the user an exhilarating experience, inhalation of these drugs can trigger a cluster of effects by elevating heart rate and dilating blood vessels. Some of the adverse repercussions of poppers are as follows:
A number of toxic effects have been documented for using inhalants like amyl nitrite. These include muscle weakness, disorientation, lack of coordination and depression. Such inhalants also lead to irreversible damages to the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain. As a result, the users suffer from cognitive problems, such as memory impairment, diminished intelligence, etc. Instead of inhaling the vapor, swallowing can kick in serious effects like cyanosis, unconsciousness, coma, etc. that can eventually produce complications leading to death. There are also evidences of an increased risk for temporary retinal damage among the popper users.
Poppers are inhaled directly from an open bottle. Unfortunately, the effect is immediate and lasts only for a minute or two. As a result, users have to repeat their doses, enough to get the desired effect. Since 1920, the drug amyl nitrite has been used as a psychedelic drug. By the 80s, this rapidly acting and inexpensive substance found its place on the dance floor.
Since then, its influence has increased in clubs, parties and raves. In fact, the practice of using poppers in such parties continues without any fear. Apparently, poppers augment the effects of loud and fast-paced music and lightings in clubs.
Partygoers believe that socializing with people or enjoying a dance becomes a satisfying experience due to the loss of inhibition triggered by poppers. One is able to completely immerse himself or herself with the flow of the party by pushing all thoughts aside.
When used to enhance a sexual encounter, about three to four doses are enough to boost up the course. However, this depends on the length of the act and one’s preferences. As stated by a user, “Poppers can make mediocre sex good, and good sex spectacular. Instead of being ‘me having sex’, I become sex itself, and the experience can be overwhelming.”
Poppers intensify one’s sexual desires to such an extent that they surge a raw, animal-like sexual feelings in people. The drug decreases inhibitions, increases sensitivity in the body, and produces a sense of exhilaration, acceleration and focus.
An addiction to any form of substances can cause serious health consequences, both physically and mentally. Therefore, it is necessary to seek medical assistance when suffering from addiction related problems. Despite the dangerous consequences, poppers continue to be marketed in the name of room odorizers. Therefore, people, especially youngsters hopping from one party to another, stand vulnerable to such drugs. Besides adequate consultation, one can successfully overcome an addiction problem through a proper detox therapy.
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