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What Are Rush Poppers?


What are rush poppers? Rush poppers, also known as nitrite “poppers”, are legal to buy and can be purchased online and in adult novelty stores. They are sold in small 10-40 mL bottles that resemble energy shots. Manufacturers market the product as nail polish removers, air fresheners, and cleaning products. However, that is not how people use them.

Poppers are a type of psychoactive inhalant developed and intended for recreational usage. People use them frequently for sexual enhancement and a temporary euphoric head “rush” effect. As such, the “high” from poppers is over within seconds to a few minutes. Afterward, a person may feel dizzy, faint, sick, and nauseous or, most commonly, have a headache.

How do Rush Poppers Work?

Rush poppers are the slang term for the chemical class called alkyl nitrites. The small bottles of liquid are covered with caps. So, a person simply removes the lid and inhales the vapor from the bottle to achieve the desired effect. Also, some poppers are packaged in a container with a sprayer. As a result, a user can spray it under the tongue for a rapid head rush. Today, amyl nitrite is rarely used to treat angina. However, poppers are still widely used as a recreational drug, especially among the gay community.

Amyl nitrites were originally developed from alkyl nitrites in 1844 to treat chest pain from angina. The substance came in the form of a crushable capsule. People could crush or pop them between their fingers and inhale them quickly. Hence, the term “poppers”.  Amyl nitrite works by relaxing blood vessels. As a result, there is an increase in the heart’s blood and oxygen. In addition to blood vessels, it also relaxes smooth involuntary muscles throughout the body. For example, the throat, lungs, gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts, including the anus and vagina. Seeking safe detox options through the Retreat of Broward can help those struggling with rush popper addiction to find lasting relief from their dependency.

What are Rush Poppers Effects?

Individuals may experience different effects based on many factors. Rush Poppers include nitrites, an agent known to relax smooth muscles throughout the body. Also, it relaxes other muscles and has a calming effect. Users may experience heightened sensitivity throughout the body due to the increased heart rate and blood flow. Consequently, the substance will cause a sense of heat with increased libido. As a result, enhanced sexual experience is a common reason people use poppers. Other effects of rush poppers are:

  • head rush
  • euphoria
  • relaxation
  • hot flashes
  • nose bleeds
  • rashes
  • reduced inhibitions
  • nausea
  • headache

What Makes Poppers Unique?

What are rush poppers and how are they unique? Rush poppers are one of several inhalants that people misuse. Inhalants are gas or vapors inhaled through the nose, mouth or both. These substances include solvents, aerosol sprays, gasses, and nitrites. Additionally, inhalants can be products that are easily accessible such as spray paint, glue, markers, and cleaning fluids. Not only can these volatile inhalants cause a person serious and permanent harm but many can lead to death.

According to the Merck Manual, there is little evidence of significant risks from nitrite inhalants. However,  they can be very dangerous when combined with other substances such as medications to treat erectile dysfunction. Also, if someone ingests poppers it can be fatal. There is also plenty of documentation of severe consequences for people with heart conditions who use poppers. And there is evidence of harm from poppers due to additives.

Who is Using Rush Poppers?

Many who are asking, “What are rush poppers?”, may also want to know who is using them. Recreational use of poppers was part of the club culture during the 1970s disco era. Then again during the 1980s and 1990s rave scene. 

Poppers have been very popular among the LGBTQ community. The relaxation of smooth muscles after using poppers may assist some people in having anal intercourse. In addition, it can increase sexual excitement and enhance orgasms.

Despite a significant decline in the use of other forms of “club” drugs, such as ecstasy and ketamine, amyl nitrite usage has stayed stable. Rush poppers have become a popular trend among straight people and are used recreationally at parties and clubs. 

Let’s wrap up the discussion here!

So, what are rush poppers? To summarize, rush poppers are recreational inhalants that deliver an intense but brief high. They can be fatal if ingested or cause chemical burns on the skin. Poppers are not as deadly as some other volatile inhalants. Regardless, they still pose risks to users. Some people can have major adverse reactions which can become life-threatening. The best solution is to avoid using poppers because of the potential negative consequences. The hazards of using poppers exceed the short-term highs. 

Substance Use Disorder Treatment in South Florida

Often, people who are misusing rush poppers are combining them with other substances. Youth who start out experimenting with poppers may go on to misuse alcohol or other substances. Consequently, people who inhale rush poppers may end up huffing more volatile substances to achieve a high. The result can be fatal. The Retreat of Broward understands the complex issues surrounding substance use disorders. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

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