Trends in substance abuse can vary from year to year or decade to decade. Sometimes, substances that were widely used in the past experience a resurgence in popularity. That’s what’s happening today with poppers, a group of inhalants not designed for human consumption. Technically, you can’t get addicted to poppers. Nevertheless, their use can trigger some of the problems widely associated with addiction. Sometimes, you may need to enter a drug detox program that helps you stop using them.
What Are Poppers?
Popper is a common slang term for a substance called amyl nitrite. This substance comes in liquid form. When exposed to air, it produces vapors that can then be inhaled. Inside your body, these vapors act as vasodilators. This means that they widen your blood vessels and increase your blood flow. As a result, you feel giddy or lightheaded. In some ways, the experience is similar to extreme drunkenness. However, its effects only remain for a matter of seconds or minutes.
There is no law in the U.S. against buying or selling poppers. However, they’re not designed for human consumption. The use of a popper for this purpose is illegal. For that reason, poppers meant for human use are sometimes intentionally mislabeled as various kinds of household products.
The Potential for Popper Addiction
The popular conception of substance addiction sometimes doesn’t align with current scientific understanding. In the U.S., addiction is part of a larger condition called substance use disorder (SUD). There are well-defined, official criteria for diagnosing this disorder. These criteria must be met before you can technically say someone is addicted.
Under these terms, popper addiction does not actually exist. However, the use of amyl nitrite can produce specific problems that are strongly associated with addiction. The first of these problems is rising tolerance to the effects of poppers. The second is a psychological dependence on popper use.
Rising tolerance requires you to use more and more amyl nitrite over time before you feel its effects. Psychological dependence can make you feel that, for emotional reasons, you need to keep using poppers. In the strictest sense, these are not dangers of popper addiction. Still, they can mimic the dangers of addiction quite closely.
Other Risks of Using Amyl Nitrite
There is no such thing as a safe dose of amyl nitrite. That’s true whether or not you’re concerned about the dangers of popper addiction. The list of health problems linked to even short-term use of nitrite products includes:
- Intense headaches
- Irritation in the lining of your throat
- Blistered or burned tissue inside your nose or mouth
- Faintness or actual loss of consciousness
- Slowed heart and breathing rates
If you keep using poppers long-term, other problems may emerge. Potential issues include such things as:
- Sores in your mouth or nose
- Unhealthy weight loss
- A reduced sense of smell
- Problems thinking clearly
- Impaired lung function
- Potentially dangerous increases in eye pressure
Chronic use of poppers may also trigger anemia. This is the term for lack of adequate red blood cells in your system.
Learn More About Popper Use and Popper Addiction at The Right Step Recovery
Want to know more about addiction-like symptoms in people who use poppers? Talk to the caring professionals at The Right Step. We can further clarify the many potential dangers of using amyl nitrite products.
Need help to halt your use of poppers? The Right Step is here for you. Our customized services support your recovery from psychological dependence on amyl nitrite. For more information on getting started, call us today at 17135283709. You can also reach us online via chat or our convenient message form.