Amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite, rush, stud, locker room, liquid gold, rock, TNT
Poppers are the name given to a group of chemicals called Alkyl Nitrites. They are yellow flammable liquids that evaporate very quickly and are commonly sold in little brown bottles. Poppers are usually inhaled straight from the bottle or from an absorbent material such as a cloth.
One sniff is usually regarded as a single dose which is often repeated several times during a session. Poppers have a very distinctive and strong smell similar to stale sweat or a mouldy room, hence the 'Locker room' moniker.
One of the most common chemicals in the poppers group is Amyl Nitrite and was originally used in the treatment for angina (a heart condition).
Poppers produce a head rush which comes on almost immediately after sniffing them and lasts a couple of minutes. This rush or high is caused by the body's blood vessels dilating (opening) and blood rushing to the brain.
Once the rush is over people can experience pounding headaches, dizziness or light headedness due to a drop in blood pressure.
Poppers can be used in sex as they are believed to enhance orgasm and may increase the size of a man's erection for a few minutes after sniffing the drug. They also relax the sphincter muscles in the bum.
Common side effects of using poppers include; headaches which can last for days after a heavy session, dizziness, nausea, hot flushes, and rashes around the nose, lips and cheeks due to chemical burns from the poppers.
Side effects usually disappear after use of the drug stops although recovery may take a few days. There is no evidence of long term physical or psychological damage as a result of sniffing poppers. Poppers are not addictive although many users report cravings when out clubbing or during sex.
- Be careful not to spill poppers on your skin or to drink them as they will burn.
- Poppers are highly flammable. Keep away from any naked flames such as cigarettes, matches, lighters, joints, candles, fires etc.
- Try to avoid inhaling constantly or mixing with other drugs (especially alcohol) as this can cause a lot of stress to the body's vital organs.
- If you suffer low blood pressure, heart trouble or have had a stroke be extremely careful using poppers as they could make your condition worse.
Possession and use of poppers is currently not illegal.
Amyl and Butyl Nitrite are controlled under the Medicines Act 1968 and supply can be an offence.