Bad news for recreational drug users: Think twice before snorting poppers up your nose, lest you suffer from “sudden sniffing death.”
A new study has found that poppers just ain’t what they used to be. That is, they aren’t made with the same kind of nitrites as back in the day. Instead, many now contain things like household glues, aerosols, and other icky chemicals that were never intended to be consumed by humans.
Researchers at UCLA warn:
Gay men can easily be introduced to these products by sexual partners without being aware of the dangers, and physicians also need to understand the dangers and alert their patients, according to a research team led by Dr. Timothy Hall of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Doctors “are taught almost nothing about regular nitrite poppers,” Hall said in a news release. “They’re little more than a footnote at the back of most addiction textbooks, lumped in with sniffing glue and huffing aerosols, even though the physiologic effects are quite different.
“Gay and bisexual men, on the other hand, have little exposure to huffing but tend to think of nitrite poppers as fairly benign,” he added. “There’s a real risk here for [gay men] to be taking a much more harmful substance than they’re expecting, and for clinicians not to recognize the difference.”
In other words, you might snort the new poppers, have a bad reaction, and your doctor won’t know what the hell to do about it.
So what are the risks exactly?
Well, you could develop a deadly heart rhythm disorder called “sudden sniffing death,” which a person can’t know they are prone to it until it’s too late.
Researchers suggest that you don’t do poppers. Or, if you d0, at least don’t accept any without knowing what kind they are.