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Eldon:
Hello Lost, it is Eldon.

Is the Rush Worth the Risk?

Here's the Lowdown on Poppers

People who use poppers face certain risks -- and for critical health reasons it's important users know what those risks are.

"Poppers" -- fluids containing butyl or isobutyl nitrite that are often sold in bottles labeled "leather cleaner" or "room deodorizer" -- are inhaled, and the fumes of poppers trigger an immediate, short-term sensation.

The sensation, that of euphoria and muscular relaxation, is caused by blood vessel expansion, accelerated heart rate and blood rushing to the brain. This creates an intense short-lived "rush" experience. Poppers are used mainly as a recreational drug and are often combined with other drugs such as Ecstasy and speed. When used during sex, poppers can enhance orgasms and also may relax the muscles of the anus. However, they can also cause some people to lose their erection.

Individuals who use poppers should also know about the risks involved. They include:

Poppers dilate blood vessels and can increase the risk of tears in the anal tissue, increasing the opportunity for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to enter the body. Users can minimize their risk by putting a condom on before inhaling and by using plenty of lubricant.

Avoid using Viagra and poppers together as they both work to reduce blood pressure and can cause an individual to lose consciousness or even cause death.

Chronic use of poppers inhibits the immune system, impairing the body's natural ability to fight infection and disease. One study showed that the immune suppression effect could last for up to five days before the immune system returned to normal. People with anemia, glaucoma or heart conditions should avoid using poppers.

Regular use of poppers can cause sores in the mouth and nose, reduced sense of smell and cause lung damage. Excessive use may also result in a life-threatening reduction of oxygen in the blood. If swallowed, the drug can cause death.

Finally, poppers are highly flammable and should be kept away from any type of cigarette or flame.

Source: San Francisco AIDS Foundation.


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