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Inhalants Notes.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2020A/B
Professor
Riley Hinson
Semester
Winter

Description
INHALANTS - Popular among young drug users, particularly in impoverished areas or countries - Pattern of use resembles that of cannabis  around 10% in the 1970’s, drops low, back up to around 10% recently, and a small gradual decline - Age 15+ o Lifetime Use = 1.3% o Past Year = too low for a reliable estimate to be made - OSDUHS o Past Year = 6% o Gr. 7’s: 12%--Gr. 12’s: 4% Anesthetic Gases - ETHER o 1275: Raymundus Lullius distilled alcohol and sulphuric acid together producing what he called ―sweet vitriol‖ o Experiments on chickens showed that sweet vitriol induced sleep and eliminated pain o Late 1600’s: sweet vitriol was introduced into medicine under the name Anodyne by Friedrich Hoffmann o 1730: Frobineus gave sweet vitriol the name Ether o Recreational use dates to the 1700’s in the form of ―ether frolics‖ o Ether may be inhaled or drunk, although it is difficult to swallow, burns the mouth, and often causes vomiting o Easier to take orally when combined with alcohol o ―Medicinal‖ form in late 1800’s and early 1900’s was Hoffmann’s Drops—3 parts alcohol, 1 part ether; popular tonic among women who were forbidden to consume alcohol in public o Ether historically used as a substitute for alcohol when alcohol was in short supply o During anti-alcohol campaign in England in the 1800’s, tablespoons of ether, at one penny each, were used to get drunk  Where the term ―penny drunk‖ came from  Effects very short lived o Ether abuse increased in Canada & the US during the period of alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s o Abuse occurred in Germany during WWII o Abuse is rare today - CHOLOROFORM o Synthesized in 1831 o Similar to, but more potent than, ether - NITROUS OXIDE o ―Laughing gas‖ o Discovered in 1776 by Sir Joseph Priestly o Many early chemists synthesized it for recreational use o Sir Humphrey Davy speculated about selling it to compete with alcohol o Produces euphoria that lasts for several minutes followed by a general sense of well being that may last for a few hours o Other effects: analgesia, giddiness, dreaminess, loss of consciousness for a few seconds, ringing in the ears, sense of ―flying‖ o Has been used as a propellant in various foodstuffs – users often inhale the gas from the cans o Commercially available nitrous oxide canisters for use in restaurant whip cream dispensers—called ―whippets‖ o In some cases a balloon is inflated with nitrous oxide and passed around o Part of drug use culture in late 1960’s and through the 1970’s o Use declined in the 1980’s and until recently was very low o Common street name is ―hippie crack‖ o Some potential dangers:  Hypoxia – if the user is not careful about ensuring an adequate oxygen supply  Nerve damage – may occur after extended exposure to high levels o Evidence of physical dependence in rats and mice o Convulsions occur shortly after cessation of chronic exposure o Endogenous opiate system is suggested to be involved in the analgesic effects of nitrous oxide – but is not involved in dependence o Not likely that humans would expose themselves to levels that produced dependence in rats o All anesthetic gases…  Increase the inhibitory action of GABA  Enhance effects of inhibitory transmitter glycine  Reduce effectiveness of NDMA receptor for excitatory transmitter glutamate o Clear evidence of a conditioned place avoidance, but also some evidence for self administration o Clear evidence of a nitrous oxide induced taste aversion o Does not produce state dependent learning o Impairs the original learning of material o Little research on the discriminative cue properties of nitrous oxide Solvents - Variety of household products  hobby glue (toluene, methyl benzene, trichloroe
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