Street names: Gas, Sniff, Toot, Squirt, Glue, Aerosols, Petrol, Huffing

Similar drugs: Volatile substances (substances that can evaporate), glue sniffing

Drug type: Solvents vary between being stimulating, depressing and hallucinatory, It depends on the solvent being used, the dose and individual user.

Are solvents legal?

Legal status: Solvents are legal. However, it is illegal for someone to sell substances that can evaporate to anyone under the age of 18 years if they suspect it may be used for intoxication.

What are solvents?

What is it? Solvents include gases (butane), glues, aerosols (anything in a can, including deodorants and furniture polish), lighter fuel, varnishes and polishes, correction fluid, cleaning products and petrol.

How does sniffing solvents make you feel?

How it can make you feel: Inhaling solvents can make you feel drowsy, dizzy and intoxicated, similar to being drunk. They can also make you slur your speech and give you hallucinations and/or a headache. They can make your heart rate increase or give you an irregular heartbeat, and make you forgetful and irritable.

What are the long term effects of solvent misuse?

You'll feel the effects of solvents almost immediately, but they will only last about 20 minutes. You could get a 'hangover' after using them.

Solvent misuse effects & risks

The risks: Although legal, solvents are very risky for both new and experienced users. Theeffects of solvents & inhaling them can cause heart failure or freezing of your windpipe so you can't breathe. You could also have a fit and choke on your own vomit. You're more likely to have an accident if you're high too, and this could involve fire because solvents are highly flammable.

Solvents also cause skin sores, and long-term damage to your brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Solvents image courtesy of Talk to Frank, Crown Copyright.