Inhalants are a broad range of drugs whose volatile vapors are taken in via the nose and trachea. They are taken by volatilization, and do not include drugs that are sniffed after burning or heating. For example, amyl nitrite and toluene are considered inhalants, but tobacco, marijuana, and crack are not. While some inhalant drugs are used for medical purposes, as in the case of nitrous oxide (a dental anaesthetic), this article focuses on inhalant abuse as recreational drugs that are used for their intoxicating effect. Inhaling volatile substances because of their intoxicating effect is called huffing. Inhalants can be classified by the intended function. Most inhalant drugs that are used non-medically are ingredients in household or industrial chemical products that are not intended to be concentrated and inhaled. A small number of recreational inhalant drugs are pharmaceutical products that are used illicitly. Inhalants can also be classified by chemical structure.
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