Most people think harmful drugs are found on street corners or in local pharmacies, not cleaning cabinets or garages. But sometimes items commonly found in millions of homes aren't used for their intended purposes. Some people inhale the chemical vapors produced by common household substances — known as inhalants — to get high. What many of them don't realize is how dangerous this really is.
Why People Use Inhalants
Inhalants might seem like an alternative to other mood-altering drugs because they are cheap, can be purchased legally, and are easy to obtain. But that doesn't make them safer. Household products are safe for cleaning, painting, and the other things they're meant to do. But as inhalants, they can be deadlier than street drugs.
Different Kinds of Inhalants
There are four main types of inhalants: volatile solvents, gases, aerosols, and nitrites. Volatile solvents, gases, and aerosols can alter moods and create a high. Nitrites are believed to create sexual stimulation and enhancement.
Here is what else you need to know about the types of inhalants:
Effects on the Body
People inhale chemical vapors in several ways, including sniffing, snorting or spraying the inhalant directly into the nose or mouth, putting it into a bag or other container and then inhaling from there, putting the vapor onto a rag, or inhaling nitrous oxide from balloons.
Because the high from inhalants only lasts a few minutes, some people may inhale over and over again for long periods of time to maintain the high, increasing the amount of dangerous chemicals entering and damaging the body. Inhalants can cause many changes in the body. Once the vapors enter the system, some are absorbed by parts of the brain and nervous system. All of the inhalants (except nitrites) slow down the body's functions. The effects of getting high are pretty similar to the effects of drinking alcohol — at first someone gets excited, but then gets tired, has trouble speaking clearly or walking well, gets dizzy, loses inhibitions, and may get agitated. 
 Children's Hospital Colorado