Skip to main content

About Drugs

All drug use affects the brain and the body.

How the brain and body are impacted differs depending upon the type of drug used, the amount used and the frequency of use.

Different types of drugs impact the brain and body in different ways depending upon the type of drug used and the frequency of use. Learn more about drug types below.


 What is it?

"Inhalants" refers to the various substances that people typically take only by inhaling. Inhalants includes solvents (liquids that become gas at room temperature), aerosol sprays, gases and nitrates (prescription medicines for chest pain). Common inhalants are found in household items such as paint thinner or removers, dry cleaning fluids, art supplies (such as correction fluids and glue), spray paints, hair/deodorant sprays, butane lighters and whipped cream aerosols.

 What does it do?

Inhalants produce a quick, intense high that feels like alcohol intoxication. The initial pleasure experienced by the user is followed by drowsiness, lightheadedness, and often agitation. As the amount of inhalant used increases, the likelihood for loss of senses and unconsciousness also increases.

 Side effects

Inhalant use cuts off the flow of oxygen to the brain. In the long term, inhalant use can damage the liver and kidney, cause hearing loss, bone marrow damage, nerve damage leading to loss of coordination and limb spasms, brain problems that delay behavioral development, and brain damage.

A person is able to overdose on inhalants; an overdose occurs when a person uses too much of a drug, causing harmful effects on the body and brain, sometimes resulting in death.


Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Inhalants. Retrieved June 09, 2017, from


Inhalants are commonly referred to using the following slang terms: "aimies, rush, dusting, poppers."


Learn More  

Want to find help on your own?

Your Life Iowa is always here to help you find resources near you. However, we understand that sometimes you’d like to look for help on your own. Our map will let you do just that.

Find a local provider

Would you like a substance use treatment professional to contact you?

Fill out a simple contact form and a professional will reach out to you.

Submit your email

Are you family or friends with someone who is having problems with their drug use?

Find out how Your Life Iowa can provide support for them -- and you.

Get Help

Not finding what you're looking for?

Additional Resources on Drugs