VOLATILE SUBSTANCES

RELATED TERMS: WHIPPETS, VOLATILE SUBSTANCES, TOOTING, SOLVENTS, PETROL, INHALANTS, HUFFING, GLUES, GLUE SNIFFING, GASES, GAS, DUSTING, CHROMING, BUTANE, AEROSOLS.

A wide range of glues, gases and aerosols contain volatile substances which, when breathed in or sniffed, get you high. Breathing in a volatile substance can make you feel uninhibited, euphoric and dizzy. But the effect they have on your heart can cause death, even if it’s your first time (known as Sudden Sniffing Death).

Most glues, gases and aerosols have the same effects and the same risks, but there are a very small number – poppers and laughing gas – which have slightly different effects and/or levels of risk.

Abusing glues, gases and aerosols is sometimes called Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) or Volatile Substance Misuse (VSM).

Appearance

There are lots of glues, gases and aerosols which, when abused, can cause you harm. Many are normal household products – such as, gas lighter refills, aerosols containing hairspray, deodorants and air fresheners, tins or tubes of glue, some paints, thinners and correcting fluids, cleaning fluids, surgical spirit, dry-cleaning fluids and petrol.