Alkyl Nitrites

Street names: Ram, Thrust, Rock Hard, Kix, TNT, Liquid Gold.

Similar drugs: Nitrites like amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite.

Drug type: Cardio-vascular dilator

Are poppers legal?

Legal status: Amyl nitrite is controlled under the Medicines Act. Possession is not illegal but supply can be an offence. There have been cases where the Medicines Act was used to fine shops for selling them, but they're still sold as Room Deodorisers in sex shops and some clubs.

What are poppers?

What are they? Nitrites originally came as small glass capsules that were popped open, hence the name. Now, they're likely to be in small bottles.They dilate the blood vessels and allow more blood to get to the heart. Poppers are sniffed from the bottle with immediate effects which fade after a couple of minutes.

What poppers do to you

How it can make you feel: Poppers give an initial head rush that lasts a couple of minutes. Some people say that sniffing poppers during sex makes their orgasms feel like they last longer. And other people say it enhances their erections. Poppers may also help to relax anal sphincter muscles.

Side effects of Poppers

The risks: The side effects of Poppers can include extreme headache. The effects don't last very long and can leave people feeling sick, faint and weak. Especially if taken while dancing.

Taking poppers can be dangerous for people with chest or heart problems, anaemia or glaucoma (an eye disease). It is also dangerous to take poppers if you are taking medication to lower blood pressure, or when using viagra; as they can cause your blood pressure to fall dangerously.

Some people get a rash around their mouth and can burn the skin of they come into contact. Poppers are toxic and can kill you if you swallow them.

Poppers image courtesy of Talk to Frank, Crown Copyright.