What are poppers?
‘Poppers’ is the slang name given to amyl nitrate, a liquid drug which can provide users with an instant high upon inhaling. Some of the other terms used to describe poppers include Liquid gold poppers and butyl nitrate, but they are all the same thing. Poppers generally come in small brown bottles with screw-top lids and are known for the side effects which they provide – offering quick effect which come almost instantly, which can include but are not limited to dizziness, warm sensations and an increased heart rate.
Poppers safety warnings
Although poppers can be lots of fun, and are incredibly popular within the sex and party industries a lot of research has been conducted surrounding them, and it is nor important for people to ensure that they don’t overdo it with poppers, and that they limit the amount that they inhale.
Inhaling an abundance of poppers on a regular basis can in fact be harmful, therefore it is suggested to keep poppers use for special occasions. Inhaling poppers can cause very serious and severe side effects, and can even be fatal, in some cases even causing a syndrome called ‘sudden sniffing death’.
Here are just a few ways in which poppers inhaling can be dangerous when done too much, whether that be too much in one sitting, or too often:
- Poppers can cause methemoglobinemia which is a life threatening disease which occurs when the then body produces excess methemoglobin (a substance found in our bodies red blood cells)
- Poppers overuse can lead to serious brain and eye damage, with some studies suggesting that poppers may even be toxic to the brain and be detrimental to learning and memory. Poppers can even cause people to go blind, but this is generally when poppers instruction are not followed and the liquid touches someone’s eye
- Taking poppers can ultimately lead people to carrying out risky sexual behaviour, therefore users should always ensure that when taking poppers, they are only with people they trust
- The increased risk of risky sexual behaviour when taking poppers can also link to an increased risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
- When mixed with erectile dysfunction medication such as Viagra poppers can increase the risk of cardiovascular complications among users, which can again be fatal, therefore when using poppers people are always advise not to use any other substance, whether it be legal or illegal. Poppers should not even be used with alcohol
Other possible side effects of using poppers, which can be harmful but are not as serious as the above include:
- A sudden drop in blood pressure
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- An increased heartrate
- Warm sensations throughout the body
- Respiratory reactions
- Crusty skin lesions
- Pressure in the eyes
If you are going to continue using poppers we urge you to think about the amount that you inhale, it is OK to have fun, but it is important to stay safe.