Inhaling substances for their "highs" has a long history. This practice, of inhaling substances can be traced back to the Greeks. In the city of Delphi, in the old Greek World a priestess would inhale carbon dioxide fumes from burning laurel leaves. This practice brought on a different state of mind as well as a euphoric experience. In ancient Egypt and Biblical Palestine, strong perfumes and ointments were widely used. These were mainly used for religion. More recently, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, nitrous oxide was introduced and was being used throughout North America, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. Many reasons for drug abuse stemmed back to medical problems. Nitrous Oxide was first used in 1776 which caused people to have uncontrollable fits of laughter. It became known as the "laughing gas". In 1799, when Nitrous Oxide was observed in the reduction of pain, it was recommended to be used in surgery.
(Pownall, 2003) (Weatherly, 2003).
Inhalants, such as Nitrous Oxide are classified as Central Nervous System depressants. Nitrous Oxide affects mainly the Central Nervous System. There are numerous effects that come with the use of solvents and inhalants. Initial effects of solvent abuse include nosebleeds, nausea, sneezing/coughing, change in heart rhythm and dizziness. After a short while of using solvents and inhalants, more effects are brought upon the user. Slurred speech, constant confusion and blurred vision are just a few of the effects brought on my solvent abuse. Glue sniffers also risk developing the "sniffers rash." This rash is an ugly, reddening of the skin mainly around the mouth. Also some solvents can cause users to hallucinate. .
People who have a background of using drugs such as heroin cocaine or marijuana turn to solvent abuse. They usually turn to solvent abuse because of the cheapness, but in some cases, just to try something new. Solvent abusers become too preoccupied by the use of inhalants.