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Montrose Voice, No. 95, August 20, 1982
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Montrose Voice, No. 95, August 20, 1982 - File 013. 1982-08-20. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2979/show/2962.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1982-08-20). Montrose Voice, No. 95, August 20, 1982 - File 013. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2979/show/2962

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 95, August 20, 1982 - File 013, 1982-08-20, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2979/show/2962.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 95, August 20, 1982
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date August 20, 1982
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 013
Transcript 12 Montrose Voice / August 20,1982 Inhalants: Quick Route to Danger, Says FDA Editor's note: the following article—in an expanded version—was originally published in the "FDA Consumer, "May. 1980. Admittedly, this article contains "official" Food and Drug Administration thought. Nevertheless, we thought our readers would be interested. By Annabel Hecht Food and Drug Administration Public Affairs Staff Inhaling certain substances to get "high" has been risky all the way back to antiquity, and is no leBS dangerous in modern times. Adding to the problem today are a couple of substances that have enjoyed a certain amount of social acceptance: butyl nitrite, sold as a "room odorizer," and nitrous oxide, better known as "laughing gas." They are examined in this article. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, says it is very much concerned about the increasing abuse of these two inhaled substances. Because the respiratory system provides a quick route to the bloodstream, inhaling a volatile substance is like having it injected into the body. The effect can be immediate with loss of consciousness, heart irregularities, or even death. After a time, those who inhale substances such as solvents may develop organic brain syndrome, a condition characterized by loss of muscular coordination, lethary, irritability, confusion, or disorientation. Inhaling volatile substances also can lead to peripheral nerve injury, and liver and kidney disease. Long-range effects, which may not show up for 10 to 30 years, include an increased risk of developing cancer as well as genetic changes. The 70s saw a surge in the abuse of nitrous oxide—mainly by health professionals and college-age youth—and of butyl nitrite, close chemical kin to a drug used to treat Bymptoms of angina pectoris (a heart disorder). Just who is sniffing this array of substances? Statistically their numbers are small. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that about 7 million people over the age of 12 have experimented with or are chronic users of inhalants. In contrast, 42 million have tried or used marijuana. However, experts in the drug abuse field believe that many inhalers just don't get counted. For instance, those most likely to abuse industrial solvents, often school dropouts or truants, aren't likely to be covered in school surveys of drug abuse. In the past, surveys frequently did not include questions about inhalants, or they lumped everything under "glue sniffing." In addition, inhalant users seldom seek medical attention for problems related to their sniffing habit, so they don't often show up in emergency room reports. The picture that emerges ofthe abuse of butyl nitrite and nitrous oxide is much different than that of industrial and commer cial solvents. When amyl nitirite was made an over- the-counter drug in 1960, it became a prime candidate for abuse. Called "poppers" because of the sound made when the mesh-covered glass vials or ampules were crushed prior to inhalation of the fumes, these drugs gave the user a quick "high." FDA reclassified amyl nitrite as a prescription drug in 1969 and butyl nitrite became more readily available. First popular in homosexual communities, butyl nitrite is now used both as a sexual stimulant and euphoriant in heterosexual circles. Sold as a "room odorizer" or "liquid incense" under a variety of names that are suggestive of its odor—Banapple Gas, Locker Room, Rush, Jac Aroma, Satan's Scent, Locker Popper—butyl nitrite is available in novelty stores, some record stores, and "head" shops that cater to drug-oriented youth. How many people are using butyl nitrite is difficult to say. It is estimated, on the basis of sales data published in the press, that 4 to 10 million vials of the drug are sold each year. Primary users are older teenagers and young adults of both sexes. From what is currently known, there have been some deaths from butyl nitrite and several of these resulted from ingestion of the substance. Users generally experience headaches, dizziness, perspiration, and flushing of the face. Less common reactions include nausea, vomiting, and fainting. There is a risk that over a time the heart and blood vessels could be damaged. Inhaling nitrites could be fatal to people with heart disease. Nitrous oxide is even older than amyl and butyl nitrite. Discovered accidentally in 1773 by Joseph Priestly, nitrous oxide was one ofthe first volatile substances to be abused. In the 18th and 19th centuries "ether frolics" and demonstrations of "laughing gas" were common parlor games among the upper classes. The fact that the participants in these events were feeling no pain eventually led to the reali zation that these gases have a legitimate use in medicine. Ironically, Dr. Horace Wells, the man who introduced nitrous oxide to dentistry in 1844, died as a result of chloroform abuse. Today, nitrous oxide has a number of commercial uses including that of general anesthetic, particularly in dental offices; propellant to manufacture whipped cream; rocket fuel; and leak detector. Only the first two package forms are believed to be abused. Abuse of nitrous oxide as an anesthetic has a long history. One medical historian has recounted cases of misuse of the gas by American medical students in the late 19th centry. How many people in the health professions today may be abusing nitrous oxide is not known, but reports in the medical literature and other sources suggest that anesthesiologists, doctors, nurses, dentists, and inhalation therapists are among those who do. When nitrous oxides is a propellant for making "whipped cream," it is either in an aerosolized spray can where it is considered a legitimate food additive, or in a small 8-gram metal cylinder, intended to be used with a dispensing machine. These cylinders are popularly called "Whippets," since that is the brand name of one version of this product. The cylinders are being purchased—often at "head" shops—by young people, particularly college students, who have no intention of whipping anything edible. Paraphernalia used with cylinders include ballons from which the gas is inhaled. One man has come up with a device called a "Buzz Bomb," which combines the nitrous oxide cylinder with a pipe for smoking. Damage to health from abuse of nitrous oxides is a problem however. Death can result if the gas is inhaled with insufficient oxygen. Abuse of the gas over long periods of time can result in nerve damage, including loss of balance, leg weakness, tingling, and numbness in the fingers and toes. Shortness of breath, nausea, variations in heartbeat, and hearing loss also have been reported as side effects of nitrous oxide abuse. Studies of health professionals who are exposed to the gas in their work—dentists, dental technicians, anesthesiologists—have shown that these people have increased risk of kidney and liver disease, spontaneous miscarriages, and other serious health problems. Controlling the abused products is one approach in controlling inhalant abuse. Obviously is would be impossible to ban industrial solvents that serve a useful purpose, especially since those sniffing these substances will simply turn to something else. However, other steps can be taken such as the addition of oil of mustard to airplane glue to make it smell bad, a move made voluntarily by glue manufacturers. Warnings on labels is another way to help stop product abuse. FDA took this step in 1975 to curtail abuse of nonstick frying pan sprays. When it was determined that aerosol cooking sprays were food additives within the agency's jurisdiction, FDA called for the following warning on such product containers: "Warning—Use only as directed. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal." As for butyl nitrite, manufacturers of the so-called room odorizers follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) labeling requiremens to the letter. Despite extensive labeling and warnings such as "Avoid prolonged breathing of vapor," sales and abuse have not diminished. It would have to be proved that injury or illness occurred under recommended conditions of use—that is, as a room odorizer—before CPSC could take additional regulatory action. FDA has been aware ofthe recreational use and abuse of butyl nitrite for several years and is exploring what course of action can be taken to halt this abuse. A key issue is whether butyl nitrite is a drug within the meaning ofthe Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Determing whether it qualifies depends on how it is labeled. A butyl nitrite product properly labeled as a room odorizer would not be considered a drug, even though the person who bought it did so to get "high." However, if the manufacturer or distributor suggests in labeling that the product is an aphrodisiac or euphoriant, the product could be regulated as a drug. In the meantime, many U.S. communities are seeking to impose legal bans or at least to limit the sales of this product to adults. Georgia and Connecticut, for example, have established controls on odorizer sales, and Houston has banned their sale to minors. Nitrous oxide as a medicinal gas is regulated as a prescription drug by FDA and many of the states. Nitrous oxide as a whipped cream propellant is regulated by FDA as a food additive. Where the 8-gram cylinders fit is not so clear. As in the case of butyl nitrite, the agency is examining the options for controlling nitrous oxide abuse. In 1980, a meeting was held with manufacturers of the gaB to discuss steps that could be taken on a voluntary basis. Changes in labeling on nitrous oxide containers were being considered. Materials also were being prepared to alert the medical community to the danger or inadvertent or deliberate exposure to this gas. Whatever regulatory steps eventually are taken, FDA cautions those who have access to nitrous oxide to use it only as the manufacturer intended. Nitrous oxide is a safe anesthetic in the hands of trained medical and dental personnel and an effective aerosol propellant. But experience now proves that abuse of nitrous oxide is no laughing matter. _»■ »■■> ■ m ■.ri Midnight at the Oasis l» mmm: LIVE REGGAE BAND DIRECT FROM JAMAICA "THE YARD BAND" Friday & Saturday, Aug. 20-21 & 27-28 Tuesday is lady's night. Free drinks _0pm-2am Wednesday Happy Hour all night Thursday St Drinks _0pm-2am Sunday—the ADQ Jazz Quartet, 8-12 Harrar's Ethiopian Cuisine and Club rr«J
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