Police warn club drug from 70s is making a comeback - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Police warn club drug from 70s is making a comeback

Huron County Sheriff's deputies found poppers in this bottle during a traffic stop. (Source: Huron County Sheriff's Office) Huron County Sheriff's deputies found poppers in this bottle during a traffic stop. (Source: Huron County Sheriff's Office)
Nancy Pommerening with Drug Awareness & Prevention warns nitrates can be very dangerous. (Source: WOIO) Nancy Pommerening with Drug Awareness & Prevention warns nitrates can be very dangerous. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A club drug from the 70s is making a comeback.

It's not hard for teenagers to get a hold of because it's not illegal to sell.

It's called Alkyl Nitrites, known as "poppers” on the streets.

The chemical is available by prescription. It's an inhalant that is also sold at head shops.

Huron County Sheriff's deputies had to do a double take when they found a small bottle inside of a car during a traffic stop recently. It was labeled “Jungle Juice” nail polish remover, but a drug they had never seen was inside.

The driver admitted there were poppers inside the bottle. Police arrested the 28-year-old man.

This drug can be very dangerous and even deadly.

“It causes your blood pressure to lower. When that happens, you get a little rush, a little sense of excitement,” said Nancy Pommerening, executive director of Drug Awareness and Prevention.

She says this isn't a new drug, it was a disco drug in the 70s.

Poppers come in liquid form and are usually inhaled through the nose.

They’re often sold at head shops as liquid incense.

One of the reasons this drug is legal is because it's used as a medicine to relieve chest pain.

“You can't really outlaw chemicals because they have a purpose in our lives. And kids have found certain chemicals, inhalants, give you the same effect as a drug,” Pommerening said.  

The high from poppers only lasts a few minutes, but it can be dangerous.

They're highly flammable and can burn your skin. And if you swallow them or suffer from a pre-existing condition when you take them, you could die.

“What I want to tell parents is nitrates are not to be taken lightly. If you slow down the heart rate, you can conceivably stop the heart from beating which can be extremely dangerous,” Pommerening said.

She says it's important parents are involved in their children's lives because something like this could really do damage.

“Because of the developing brain, these things are much more difficult than they are with an adult who decides to pick up these habits later in life,” she said.

Police say poppers are a problem in Huron County, but they haven't seen an increase in its use in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.

The drug is often found at raves and clubs.

Police do see a lot of cases of nitrous oxide or laughing gas used by teenagers.

Doctors do not believe that poppers are addictive.

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