Volatile solvents

Volatile solvents are liquids that vaporize at room temperature. Industrial or household products include:

  • Art or Office Supply Solvents
    • Correction Fluids
    • Felt-Tip Marker Fluid
    • Electronic Contact Cleaners
    • Glue
  • Degreasers
  • Dry-Cleaning Fluids
  • Gasoline
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Paint Thinners or Removers


These are sprays that contain propellants and solvents. Household aerosol propellants in items such as:

  • aerosol computer cleaning products
  • fabric protector sprays
  • hair or deodorant sprays
  • spray paints
  • vegetable oil sprays


Gases are found in household or commercial products and used as medical anesthetics, such as:

  • Butane Lighters
  • Medical Anesthetics
    • Ether
    • Chloroform
    • Halothane
    • Nitrous Oxide
  • Propane Tanks
  • Refrigerant Gases
  • Whipped Cream Aerosols or Dispensers (Whippets)


Nitrites are a special class of inhalants that are used primarily as sexual enhancers. Organic nitrites are volatiles that include cyclohexyl, butyl, and amyl nitrites, commonly known as poppers. Amyl nitrite is still used in certain diagnostic medical procedures. When marketed for illicit use, they are often sold in small brown bottles labeled as video head cleaner, room odorizer, leather cleaner, or liquid aroma.

Adolescent Inhalant Use

Adolescents tend to abuse different products at different ages. Among new users aged 12 to 15, the most commonly abused inhalants were glue, shoe polish, spray paints, gasoline, and lighter fluid. Among new users aged 16 or 17, the most commonly abused products were nitrous oxide or whippets. Nitrites are the class of inhalants most commonly abused by adults.