NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
Find NIDA for Teens on: NIDAnews on Twitter NIDANIH on YouTube Facebook NIDA-NIH on Flickr Sara Bellum Blog RSS
Inhalants

Can You Die If You Use Inhalants?

Yes, using inhalants can cause death, even after just one use, by:

  • Sudden sniffing death—heart beats quickly and irregularly, and then suddenly stops (cardiac arrest)
  • Asphyxiation—toxic fumes replace oxygen in the lungs so that a person stops breathing
  • Suffocation—air is blocked from entering the lungs when inhaling fumes from a plastic bag placed over the head
  • Convulsions or seizures—abnormal electrical discharges in the brain
  • Coma—the brain shuts down all but the most vital functions
  • Choking—inhaling vomit after inhalant use
  • Injuries—accidents, including driving, while intoxicated