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FDA Comes Out Hard Against Huffing Poppers

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The US Food and Drug administration issued a very unusual and out-of-the blue alert last week discouraging people from inhaling amyl nitrite, more popularly known as ‘poppers.’ The agency pounded home the message that they have seen an “increase in reports of deaths and hospitalizations” they attributed to the party-huffing drug that makes getting rammed in the ass a more comfortable and pleasurable experience.

“The FDA advises consumers not to purchase or use nitrite ‘poppers’ because these products can result in serious adverse health effects, including death, when ingested or inhaled,” the agency said in a release. “‘Poppers,’ which are sold online or at adult novelty stores, may be marketed as nail polish removers but are being ingested or inhaled for recreational use or to enhance sexual experiences.”

The FDA does not cite any information about this “increase in reports of deaths and hospitalizations,” they just say it’s happening. (And if people are “ingesting” instead of inhaling poppers, well, maybe that’s the problem? You just huff them!) They also say symptoms of popper poisoning include “severe headaches, dizziness, increase in body temperature, difficulty breathing, extreme drops in blood pressure, blood oxygen issues (methemoglobinemia) and brain death after ingestion or inhalation of nitrite ‘poppers.”

As Vice notes in their informative article A Brief History of Poppers, amyl nitrite was originally used in the late 1800s to treat chest pains and seasickness. It fell out of favor in the medical community, but GIs returning from Vietnam bought poppers back home into their various subcultures, and head shops started selling them as “air fresheners.” Poppers were briefly blamed for the spread off HIV in the mid-80s, but have remained a part of gay subculture, and there is now even a monthly subscription service for poppers.

It’s true that there’s probably some risk to mixing poppers with either alcohol or Viagra/Cialis, as these do affect your blood pressure. The problem may be more that people are actually drinking their poppers. These days they are labeled similarly to energy drinks, which is probably creating some confusion for the uninitiated.

Oxford University tells of a case this year where a guy went to the ER after drinking poppers. The “patient admitted that he bought one and thought he was supposed to drink it as he had planned some intimate activities with his wife. When he did not see any results, he quickly went back to the adult store and bought a second one. He managed to pay for it prior to collapsing.”

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.