Why Are Poppers Banned?

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By Kaleem Ullah

Poppers is the street name for a class of drugs that derive from a category known as alkyl nitrites. The most common variety of the drug is known as amyl nitrite. They have a history that goes back to the latter half of the 19th Century when they were developed as a treatment for use in patients with chest pain.

Poppers are taken by those who use them through inhalation. They are inhaled directly from the small bottles that they are packaged in. This class of drug is often sold at sex shops under the guise of sexual enhancers. Poppers are also commonly marketed as leather cleaners and room deodorizers. This marketing is used as a way for companies that produce them to get around laws that ban their use as a recreational drug.

The use of poppers is often associated with the gay community. The reality is that they are used by individuals from many different backgrounds and sexual orientations. Those who use poppers do so seeking the intense but brief high that the drug provides. They are often used as a way to relax an individual for sexual activities.

Many people who use poppers do so simply because they desire the euphoric, relaxing effects that they provide. Regardless of why an individual is using them, it is important to note that poppers can have severe, adverse side effects that can potentially result in death.

What Are Poppers From a Medical Standpoint?

From a medical standpoint, poppers are classified as alkyl nitrites. They act as vasodilators that can create a highly relaxing effect for those that take them. Users often describe the effects of poppers are a warming sensation that they experience across their entire body. Their use causes the body’s smooth muscles to relax. Poppers online are used and combined with drugs for erectile dysfunction can lead to a drop in blood pressure that can reach dangerous levels. Other negative effects of poppers can include mild allergic reactions, increased heart rate, fainting, and possible loss of consciousness.

Where Are Poppers Purchased From?

Poppers are most commonly found for purchase in sex shops across many regions of the world. They can also be purchased from many different online shops for home delivery. As previously mentioned, the ban on the use of these drugs in many areas of the globe has led to them being marketed for other purposes. In some countries such as Australia, recent changes in legislation will now allow for poppers to be sold in pharmacies. 

Why Do Poppers Have Such a Negative Reputation?

There are several key reasons why poppers have historically carried a negative reputation. They do present possible negative side effects that can lead to serious medical complications. This is one key reason why their reputation is often negative. Another reason for the negative reputation is related to their association with the gay community and the bigotry that this community has historically faced from the general public. There are also concerns that popper use can lead to individuals practicing unsafe sex.

What Countries Have Banned Poppers?

Poppers are banned for recreational use in many countries across the globe. Though they are legal in many parts of Europe, they are often prohibited from being marketed for human consumption and are sold under the guise of alternative uses. They are also banned for human use in the United States and banned outright in Canada.

As has been demonstrated, the use of poppers has traditionally carried with it a lot of controversy. On a positive note, poppers are not considered to be a major risk in terms of users developing a dependency on them.