Solvent abuse, also known as volatile substance abuse, is the inhalation of volatile substances that contain chemicals such as butane or propane gas, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and acetone. These chemicals are often found in products such as glues, aerosols, gas refills, hairspray, nail polish remover and paint thinners etc.
Please note possession of nitrous oxide is now illegal unless the possession is in line with one of the legitimate statutory exceptions. Nitrous oxide is a Class C drug and consequences for unlawful possession could include an unlimited fine, a visible community punishment, a caution and for repeat serious offenders, a prison sentence.
Solvent abuse can kill, even if it's the first time they are used. Users can suffocate, choke and suffer heart attacks.
The effects of solvent abuse vary, in the short term, effects can include hallucinations, blackouts, sickness, dizziness, disorientation and headaches. Accidents caused due to suffering these effects also contribute to a number of deaths. Long term abuse can cause damage to the brain, heart, lungs, liver, muscles and kidneys.
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