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Drug info - What are the effects of inhaling rubbing isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol?

Discussion in 'Various drugs not covered by other forums' started by jackiesbaby, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. jackiesbaby

    jackiesbaby Newbie

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    Yes, I am well aware this is highly dangerous, and I have no intention of actually trying it, but i'm merely curious.

    What are the effects? When I tried googling it, it only listed the bad effects such as headache/trouble breathing/gastric problems, but what are the good effects? I mean, people like it and get addicted to it, so there must be at least one good/fun effect. I just don't care enough to try and find out myself :p
     
  2. torachi

    torachi Palladium Member

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    I'm sorry, but who is addicted to isopropyl alcohol? There aren't any good effects.
     
  3. jackiesbaby

    jackiesbaby Newbie

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    Look up "huffing isopropyl alcohol" and you'll see a lot of people who claim to be addicted/formerly addicted.
     
  4. Enlightenment

    Enlightenment Silver Member

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    Don't do that. (Sadly) There are better things to be huff'ed.

    Such as N2O

    I've heard of people putting iso (or maybe it was vodka/pure ethanol...don't take my word for it!) in their bong and taking a rip. Apparently, inhaling the fumes will allow the alcohol to be absorbed by your lungs, a la it makes it to your blood and donc you are drunk. It is highly dangerous, and far from worth it.
    I may be talking out of my ass, but alcohol is meant to be drank rather than inhaled (and for those who are bat shit crazy...IV'd).
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  5. Stimulants

    Stimulants Gold Member

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    When the web search engines are inquired about alcohol inhalation, they return results containing information on alcohol inhaler meant to substitute drinking.

    Though isopropyl alcohol is also intoxicating, drinking or inhaling it is likely to cause unpleasant side effects.
     
  6. Pino

    Pino Gold Member

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    Isopropyl alcohol is one of the less damaging alcohols. The effect should be mainly the same as ethanol. It has a couple of characteristics, which makes it more undesirable:


    • It is metabolised into acetone. This will stay in the body for a long time. While aceton isn't particular toxic, it smells. People will smell it.
    • It is two times as potent as normal ethanol. So overdose can happen even more easily than with alcohol.
    • There is a lot less research done on isopropanol.
    It shares a lot of properties with ethanol: It is an irritant. It gives euphoria. It can make you drunk. It gives problems with the stomach (and probably heighten the changes of getting stomach cancer).

    On the positive side, one could imagine, that it will give less a headache. Aceton is a mild long acting sedative. Ethanol has nastier metabolites and it doesn't lower the ph of the blood.

    But in general I wouldn't drink it. Mainly because of the lack of research.

    Inhaling seems to be a different story. It seems the stuff is quite harsh on the lungs. If you already have irritated lungs (copd, asthma, ..) it can make coughing worse. Inhaling it also causes headaches. Here is a source, which gives references and doesn't seem to focus on recreational use. So it seems to be quite neutral about the issue: http://www.livestrong.com/article/150516-side-effects-of-inhaling-isopropyl-alcohol/

    I understand it is tantalizing, why we choose this particular alcohol. Probably it is one, which occurs the most in nature, but others can be as safe as ethanol is. I made once a compilation of other solvents and their metabolites:
    http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=356980#post356980

    I think that will interest you too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  7. chibi curmudgeon

    chibi curmudgeon Gold Finger Gold Member

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    Lest anyone get the wrong idea about acetone being a sedative, while it's less toxic than formic acid, it and isopropanol are not safe alternatives to ethanol by any stretch of the imagination. Acetone may be safer than one would expect from something that dissolves nail polish (and burns like a motherfucker if you get it on a paper cut...stupid lab notes...) but don't go huffing or drinking it. Enough acetone will send you into metabolic acidosis.

    As I understand, ingesting isopropanol by either inhalation or ingestion will get you "drunk" similar to ethanol, but with more of the crappy aspects of being drunk. This is what alcoholics drink when the liquor stores and bars won't sell them ethanol. Don't sink to that level.
     
  8. Pino

    Pino Gold Member

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    I don't think SWIOP was willing to drink it. At least he stated so:

    I am willing to believe that.

    Acetone is actually somewhat safer than ethanol. 900 ml acetone, ethanol 400 ml and 240 ml of isopropanol can kill you. (Quickly calculated it. Can be off) Acetone doesn't metabolize into carcinogenic acetylaldehyde , but in glucose en acetate. Isopropanol metabolize into All these alcohols can dissolve nail polish. Acetone and Ethanol will cause acidosis. Isopropanol won't.

    I think there are different problems. Acetone has an insane half-time (30 hours), which is clearly not usable as recreational substance. Isopropanol is twice as toxic. People drink theirself with ethanol in drunken stupor. With isopropanol, they will drink till they are dead.
    Ethanol can be drunken into a social setting, which promotes safety. The other two clearly can't.

    Ethanol has a long history of use, the usage and abuse of ethanol is well documented. The health effects are known. The health effects of isopropanol are less well known. E.g:

    Another scary thing about isopropanol I found is the following blurp:

    This makes isopropanol not safe to use.

    I think the bottomline is that none of the solvents (including ethanol) are really safe to use. And no solvent is ever safe to inhalate.

    That doesn't mean that the safety of other alcohols than ethanol can't be questioned. The question is rather interesting.

    One can speculate, if a prevention forum is the right place to philosophy about these matters. I am not sure about that, but curiosity itself is not a bad thing. It is good to ask questions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  9. chibi curmudgeon

    chibi curmudgeon Gold Finger Gold Member

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    I did notice jackiesbaby said (s)he has no intention of trying it, but I'm always worried about less cautious people coming across threads like this and getting the wrong idea.

    But since isopropanol metabolizes into acetone....the danger here relates to one's particular levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase. Someone who gets a flush from ethanol could potentially end up with serious problems from drinking isopropanol. (As I understand; feel free to correct me.)

    Just curious where you heard this.
     
  10. Pino

    Pino Gold Member

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    True, I wouldn't like that either. I hope the consensus keeps: Just don't.

    Found it here, checked it against wikipedia. I am not sure, but it seems scary enough.

    http://www.natscience.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/chem/9781/Is-isopropyl-alcohol-more-dangerous-than-ethanol
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  11. Pino

    Pino Gold Member

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    I am interested in the aldehyde dehydrogenase story. Why is it more dangerous than ethanol? What is the relation of the level of aldehyde dehydrogenase?

    I find the subject rather interesting, I don't ever want to try it. It is just a particular curiosity. I am not fond of ethanol for that matter. Someone is more into hallucinogens and mild opiates. I mean, solvents are the most used drugs on the world. It is a shame that there is so little information about them.
     
  12. The_Joker

    The_Joker Titanium Member

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    Wow...it never occurred to me that a person would be able to GET any sort of high off this...

    Well for what it's worth, i spent most of the morning spray painting some posts (indoors but it was a big area in our shop so i thought it would be okay)...my nose felt weird and like it was all stuck together and i went and looked in the mirror and was horrified...I was painting the poles white and my nose all around it and up in it looked like i had been on a giant cocaine binge....I went home quick to clean up before anyone could see it, my husband was amused as it happened to him as well the day before...

    I came home and had no idea what to use so i soaked a paper towel with alcohol and used it to clean my face and up my nose... it burned but it didnt get me high...i wasnt expecting it too though (I was expecting it to burn though)

    So thats my experience with it...
     
  13. chibi curmudgeon

    chibi curmudgeon Gold Finger Gold Member

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    Ok, according to the wiki pages I looked at, many haloalkanes are alkylating agents, but isopropyl chloride (and chloroethane) aren't.

    If one can't break down isopropanol or acetone quickly enough, toxic levels of each could result. In someone with normal levels of alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase, respectively, isopropanol would be metabolized to acetone and then to acetate with no problems, same as ethanol is metabolized to acetaldehyde then acetate...and I feel like I must be getting this wrong but I'm not sure how. Fucking chemistry, always driving me to drink.

    Essentially, if drinking ethanol doesn't give you problems, such as flushing and hangovers, drinking isopropanol probably won't give you too many either. I'm guessing the biggest problems from drinking the latter would be, as I mentioned, the possibility of ketoacidosis--too much acetone and not enough water or what have you lowering your blood pH to dangerous levels.