Are Over the Counter Inhalers Abused?


In his March 2022 newsletter, Tall Cop Jermaine Galloway wished to provide information regarding environmental scans in retail stores. He stated that many have noticed that inhalers have become more popular and that heading into the warmer weather, they may be noticed more.

“In all actuality, inhalers have been popular for quite a few years and are items that can be purchased for low price points or simply stolen,” said Galloway.

Reviewing some of the different inhalers, the Tall Cop explained that the Benzedrex brand contains the drug Propylhexedrine or “Propyl.” This drug is not considered a controlled substance and is sold over the counter at most pharmacy and grocery stores.

This inhaler is generally located in the pharmacy or medicine section and it has been stated that this drug, when used in its intended way, is very effective. On the other hand, those that have abused the inhaler have highlighted that when used in high doses, it can provide a high that is similar to methamphetamine.

Galloway explained that when trying to achieve a high, they are using the drug in an unintended manner, such as breaking it open to chew on it and other methods.

Menthol inhalers that are found in multiple brands may be used to “bump” the high of street drugs, opening the airways and increasing the euphoric feeling of the high. Tall Cop stated that a good example of a common drug that is used to enhance the experience this way is ecstasy or LSD.

The last inhaler that Galloway spoke on was Levmetamfetamine, which is also found in multiple store brands. He explained that a common method to get high from this drug is to use it orally instead of through the nose to achieve an “upper”-type high.

“All of these inhalers serve a medical purpose, but when drug seekers look to use them in their non-recommended dose or manner, they can work very differently for some individuals,” said Galloway. “Also, keep in mind, many of these items are sold at your local stores and are readily available for youth to buy.”

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