Person struggling with popper addiction sitting on bed and not feeling good

Dangers of Popper Addiction

Although they have been around since the 1960s, you may not have heard of poppers or know what they are. These inhalant drugs induce a rapid but short-lived high. How dangerous are poppers, and can you get addicted? Understand the dangers of popper addiction and what you can do to treat it before it leads to serious health effects.

Addiction affects everyone differently depending on their health history, the state of their mental health, and the type of substances they use. At My 5 Palms, we create a personalized addiction treatment plan for each client to meet all their recovery needs. Learn how we can help you or a loved one overcome popper addiction by calling us at 1.844.675.1022.

What Are Poppers?

Poppers are inhalant drugs used for recreational purposes. If you are familiar with whippets, you will know how poppers are used. But unlike whippets containing nitrous oxide, the main ingredient in poppers is amyl nitrate. The drug comes as a small bottle or vial of liquid inhaled through your nose or mouth to experience a euphoric high lasting up to five minutes. 

Poppers are sometimes called:

  • Amyls
  • Buzz
  • Jungle juice
  • Kix
  • Liquid gold
  • Purple haze
  • Rush
  • TNT

Amyl nitrate, the active ingredient in poppers, was initially developed in the 1960s as a medication to treat chest pain caused by heart disease. Some people discovered they could pop open the capsules and get high off the chemical inside, hence the name poppers.

The Dangers of Popper Addiction

Although poppers are easy to access, they are far from safe. They are often marketed as room deodorizers or leather cleaners, even though most people purchasing these products do not use them for these purposes.

Poppers may not lead to addiction traditionally, but you can develop a tolerance for them over time. This means you would need more of the drug to achieve the same effects. And the more you use it, the more dangerous it can be. Some of the dangers of popper addiction or dependence include the following.

Cognitive Impairment

Amyl nitrate can cause brain damage, resulting in short-term memory loss and other cognitive problems. 

Drug Interactions

Taking poppers with drugs prescribed for erectile dysfunction (ED) can be deadly. Both of these drugs are vasodilators that reduce your blood pressure. Using them together can lower your blood pressure to dangerously low levels.

It is also risky to mix poppers with alcohol. Poppers and alcohol are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They slow the body’s functions, and when combined, you could stop breathing, or your heart could stop beating.

Heart Problems

Poppers speed up your heart rate, which can be especially dangerous for anyone with existing heart conditions. Inhaling poppers with impaired heart function can lead to a fatal heart arrhythmia, also known as sudden sniffing death.

Vision Loss

Long-term use of poppers can cause damage to your eyes, leading to vision loss.


Although it is not common, you can overdose on poppers if you inhale large doses. This could lead to unconsciousness, and if you vomit while unconscious, you risk choking to death. Poppers can also be fatal if you swallow them. 

Get Help for Popper Addiction at My 5 Palms

Poppers can be deceptively dangerous since they are easy to access. Many people who use these drugs do not realize how serious the side effects can be. If you know someone using poppers, talk to them about the dangers of popper addiction and tell them where to find help. Contact My 5 Palms today at 1.844.675.1022 for guidance and more information about our popper addiction treatment.

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