Poppers (A complete review)

In this article, we will discuss the effects and legal status of Poppers, as well as the potential for addiction. 

What are poppers?

Poppers are known by various names which include TNT, Liquid gold, Lockerroom, Stud, Rush, Isobutyl Nitrite, Butyl nitrite, and Amyl Nitrite among others.

They are chemical drugs with psychoactive properties.

The name poppers first came into light in the 1960s referring to amyl nitrite drugs that were used for heart-treatment.

They were packaged in capsules form and sold as prescription drugs. 

NOTE: do not attempt to use poppers for self-medication against heart-related problems unless it’s a prescription from a physician. 

What are the effects of Poppers?

How do poppers work in the body once used? Let’s find out. Poppers are chemical drugs that are known to produce vasodilation effects.

In simple terms, they promote the expansion of blood vessels that result in an immediate decrease in blood pressure. 

Therefore, when sniffing this drug, the immediate effect is a head rush that takes a couple of minutes to subside.

The head rush is as a result of blood vessels vasodilation and blood rush into the brain. 

Are there health benefits to using Poppers? 

Are there benefits from using poppers? Yes, they are.

However, you have to weigh between benefits versus harm to determine whether you should opt for it or not.

Some of the benefits you can gain from using these drugs include: 

Sexual release and arousal: due to the psychoactive properties of these drugs, they are closely linked with sexual arousal and sexual release.

Also, due to vasodilatation properties on blood vessels and other muscle tissues, they are known to relax the muscle sphincter of the rectum. 

Heart condition treatment: there is a time when these drugs were popularly used as medication on patients with heart conditions. 

Cyanide remedy: if you are poisoned with cyanide, then this Amyl nitrite is a perfect remedy.

However, you will have to seek assistance from a professional medical practitioner. 

Blood pressure remedy: Poppers have vasodilatation properties on blood vessels.

As a result, they expand when one uses these drugs, in response, the blood pressure drops. 

NOTE: Self-medication is not safe and therefore, you need to seek advice from a professional medical practitioner before using. 

What are the side effects of taking poppers?

Some people use this drug for pleasure and feeling of euphoria or intoxication.

Others use it for medicinal purposes such as heart-treatment or as a remedy for erectile dysfunction.

However, some will experience a feeling of disorientation and unpleasantness. 

As mentioned above, poppers primarily promote vasodilation of blood vessels.

As a result, you will end up experiencing side effects such as:

·      A feeling of warm sensation in your body

·      Lightheadedness due to blood rush in the brain

·      The heart rate will increase

·      A feeling of dizziness

·      Immediate decrease in blood pressure

When there is an excessive drop of blood pressure below the normal threshold, loss of consciousness or fainting is inevitable.

What’s more, this drug relaxes the rectal muscles and for this reason, some users rely on it for sexual enhancement.

However, it can also promote erectile dysfunction.

This means it will be hard for a male user to achieve an erection from the continuous use of this drug. 

Some of the other unwanted effects that this drug can cause include:

Eye pressure: since it’s an active vasodilator when taken, this drug increases the fluid level in the users’ eyes.

As a result, it creates an intraocular pressure.

Therefore, if you have health conditions related to your eyes such as glaucoma, it can pose a serious threat.

Allergies: poppers with scents are very lethal to people with a sensitive respiratory system due to irritation from chemicals that creates such fragments. 

Crusty skin and lesions: this is a common side effect to long term users although it does not exclude new users.

You will notice this around the nose, lips, and other areas that are in direct contact with the fumes from these drugs. 

Respiratory reactions: the fumes from these drugs are concentrated and very strong.

Thus they can negatively impact breathing as well as other respiratory functions.

The result from this is often wheezing and sinus complications

Headaches: since amyl nitrite results in vasodilation blood vessels, including those in the brain, headaches may result.

They can occur in different magnitudes and may persist when the drug stimulation or euphoric effects wear off. 

Other adverse effects: apart from the above side effects, other adverse effects that you should watch out for include: nosebleeds, poor coordination, nausea, and chest pains.  

Who should use poppers?

These drugs have various uses whether it’s medical or for pleasure. at one time, it was a prescription medication for patients with heart complications. But nowadays, it’s a drug against cyanide poisoning. 

Also, the use of these drugs has been closely associated with the LGBTQ community. 

Maybe because it enlarges the rectal muscles and facilitates sex.

Also, it’s closely associated with sexual release and sexual arousal even though it may cause erectile dysfunction in some cases. 

According to a scientific study in 2010, the use of amyl nitrite was constant among minority men from 2002 to 2007 in New York.

And this is despite a reduction in the use of drugs such as ketamine and ecstasy. 

In terms of race, sex, and age, all people under this category use these drugs.

According to the study of people involving the medical students from Britain, at least 10% claimed to have used the drug in one given time. 

And on another study in France, there was a drastic rise in the use of these drugs from 2000 to 2010.

The use was common in teenagers as well as adults. As a result, it was second rank to cannabis. 

You may be surprised that these drugs are not among those covered under the federal act of legal psychoactive substances.

Recreationally, these drugs have been within the public’s reach since the 1970s but their labels indicate applications not related to human consumption. 

And this is because it’s illegal to sell and market them for human consumption.

They are often flammable with the strong and unique solvent smell. 

Can you take poppers along with other drugs?

Yes, you can, but you will be increasing the risk of health complications. Also, there are factors to consider before mixing more drugs.

These include the strength, type of drug, and quantity you will be taking. 

For instance, taking poppers along with alcohol reduces the supply of oxygen to the vital organs in the body.

This may cause death or a state of unconsciousness.

On the other hand, combining these drugs with Sildenafil or any other drug for erectile dysfunction is fatal and can interfere with your blood pressure. 

Finally, the use of poopers together with illicit drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogen, and methamphetamines for high enhancement is very dangerous.

These along with other pleasuring drugs can cause physiological and psychiatric issues such as heart strain, dehydration, and overheating of the body. 

What are the chances of addiction?

While there is no factual proof that these drugs are psychologically and physically addictive, they are dangerous with the potential to cause death.

Thus, it’s very important to seek professional help when detoxifying. 

Compared to similar types of drugs, you will not suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

And this is because nitrite doesn’t cause any form of addiction. Thus there is no rehabilitation regime or treatment.

But since poppers are often taken along with other drugs, one can benefit from counseling and dependency treatment programs. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about poppers:

How are poppers taken?

The common means of using these drugs is through inhalation of the vapor they produce.

These can be done straight from the bottle or through absorbents such as a sleeve or cloth.

Are poppers harmful to use?

Whether poppers are safe to use or not relies on how you weigh between the pros and cons of using these products.

However, if you consider the negative impacts that arise from using this product alone, it can cause some harm to your body.  

You will experience euphoria at first, but when it fades away, dizziness, lesions on nose and lips, persistent headaches, cheek damage, and respiratory complications among other side effects. 

Are there psychological effects of using poppers?

Since it’s a drug with psychoactive properties, thus psychological effects are inevitable.

Some of the effects include delusions and hallucinations, more confidence and lower inhibition, more sensual responsiveness, a feeling of aggressiveness and agitation.

Lastly, you may exhibit impaired judgment, disorientation, and confusion from using this product.

How will you know a particular drug is a popper?

If you are unaware of what these drugs look or smell like, then you are about to find out.

It’s a yellow liquid but clear and flammable.

It comes with a fruity and sweet scent while fresh but dump and smells when stale like socks with sweat. 

In the market, you will get them in liquid state packaged in small bottles for retailing to recreational users. 

Usage involves inhalation of the vapor when the bottle is opened. 

Can you drive after taking these drugs?

It’s unsafe and illegal to drive after taking these drugs.

When you are found intoxicated with these drugs while, you may end up losing your license, fined or sentenced for a given term in jail. Since it’s a psychoactive drug with euphoria effects, impaired judgment is inevitable.

Therefore, protect yourself by avoiding driving under the influence of these products. 

What can happen when you overdose?

Death or extreme health complications when you overdose these drugs through inhalation.

Swallowing, on the other hand, is also fatal as it can interfere with oxygen transportation in the blood.

In some cases, you may die from swallowing these products.

Lastly, inhalation of the actual drug rather than its fumes is also fatal and can generate devastating medical problems. 

Is it safe for breastfeeding and pregnant women to use these drugs?

In the case of a pregnant woman, the consumption of these drugs is very fatal to the unborn baby.

During intake, the drug is known to cause immediate vasodilatation of blood vessels; this, in turn, causes a drastic reduction of blood pressure. 

As a result, blood circulation across the cord is interfered with and can generate adverse effects that can affect the unborn baby.

So, if you are on these drugs, whether it’s self-medication or prescription, you should seek medical advice from your practitioner when pregnant.

For pregnant women, you are also not in a safe zone. Consumption of drugs is very risky for your babies.

When taken, it gets into the blood where it finds a way into the milk that your baby takes during lactation.

Therefore, it is very important to seek medical advice from a professional if you intend to use these drugs while breastfeeding. 

How can you respond in emergencies related to poppers?

An emergency can occur while using these drugs.

This is whether it’s out of combining different drugs, overdosing, or perhaps due to physical injury as a result of impaired judgment.

Therefore, you need to know how to respond to it.

First, you have to notify emergency services and then let them know what the patient has taken for fast treatment.

Inhalant, Whippet, and Popper Abuse, Carolyn De Carlo


Poppers: What do they Actually Do to You?. Healthline. February 26th, 2016. 

Consistency and change in club drug use by sexual minority men in New York City, 2002 to 2007. American Journal of Public Health. October 2010. 

Is Amyl Nitrate Safe? Medical News Today. January 7th, 2020. 

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