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Lecture 24

NROSCI 0081 Lecture 24: Inhalants and Alcohol

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April Dukes

Lecture 24 31317 Inhalants (cont.) CNS depressants Gases o Found in domestic or commercial products Ex. Whipped cream (nitrous oxide), propane tanks, lighters, refrigerators o Nitrites Recreational use Different from the other categories because used to heighten sexual functionarousal, not for their euphoric effect o Ex. Amyl nitrite (poppers), butyl nitrite, cyclohexyl nitrite Medical Primarily cause vasodilation and muscle relaxation Relieves the pain of angina (chest pain) attacks It works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload Chemical structure: all small, noncharged, lipophilic particles Behavioral effects o Rapidly absorbed from lungs and enter the brain easily o Drug effects very similar to alcohol intoxication o Biphasic effects Euphoria, stimulation, disinhibition Drowsiness and lightheadedness o Reported to produce delusional ideas such as the ability to fly Sudden sniffing syndrome: sudden death due to cardiac arrest after use of inhalants They have to have a warning on them, some you have to be 18 to buy Can lead to loss of brain tissue o Decreased cortical layers o Ventricles are enlarged, also indicating subcortical neuronal loss Toluene used a lot in experiments Inhalants and brain damage o Inhalants abuse causes a variety of serious sensory and psychological disorders o Cerebral cortex inhalant abuse causes personality changes, memory loss, hallucinations, and learning disabilities o Cerebellum inhalants abuse causes loss of coordination, slurred speech, chronic tremors, and uncontrollable shaking o Ophthalmic nerve inhalants abuse can cause serious sight damage, including blindness Alcohol CNS depressant Second only to caffeine, most widely used psychoactive substance in the world, huge part of culture
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