Everything to know about using poppers in Nigeria

What are poppers?

Poppers are a type of recreational drug containing alkyl nitrites. Poppers were initially made of amyl nitrites but isopropyl nitrite is mostly used today. Before their popular use as poppers, alkyl nitrites were medically used to relieve angina (chest pain) and other heart-related symptoms.

Poppers are known for their muscle-relaxing ability and are mostly used to facilitate anal or vaginal intercourse. The chemicals in poppers are able to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow, thereby relaxing muscles of the anus or vagina during intimacy. Users report a more satisfying and pain-free intimate activity after the use of poppers.

The new brands of poppers can also make you feel high. Some users describe this highness as “short and intense”. There are also reports that the use of poppers helps men to achieve stronger erections and last longer during the activity.

Are poppers legal?

Poppers are illegal in some countries and sometimes have to be marketed under the labels “room deodorizer” or “VHS cleaner” in sex stores. In some places like Australia, only some licensed pharmacies are allowed to sell it. Alkyl nitrites are legal in the United States but can’t be sold as a drug or advertised for human consumption. The FDA also advises people to avoid buying and using poppers due to the health risks associated with them.

In Nigeria, there is currently no specific ban imposed on poppers or its active ingredient – alkyl nitrites. The government might not even know of its existence as poppers are not readily available in Nigeria. You can’t walk into any store and find poppers.

A user of the drug we interviewed said he got his poppers during a recent trip to the United States.

“I use it more as medicine,” he said. “It relaxes my heart. I get chest pain a lot.”

Where to get poppers in Nigeria

Right now, there are very few places poppers are sold in Nigeria. You can get poppers from agents in some nightclubs and from any of the adult shops in Lagos or Abuja. There are also persons selling the drug on Jiji. Poppers are currently unavailable on major Nigerian online stores – Jumia and Konga.

Price of poppers in Nigeria

Due to low availability, poppers can be quite expensive in Nigeria. While prices usually start at around $5 a bottle in the United States, a bottle of poppers could cost between N10,000 to N15,000 in Nigeria.

Poppers and safety

While they are often used to enhance sexual experiences or as a party drug, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with the use of poppers.

Here are some of the possible health risks of using poppers:

a. Cardiovascular Effects

Poppers can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. This can be particularly dangerous for individuals with cardiovascular conditions or those taking medications that affect blood pressure.

b. Respiratory Issues

Inhaling poppers can irritate the airways, leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Poppers can also cause chemical burns if they come into contact with the skin or mucous membranes.

c. Headaches and Dizziness

Poppers are known to cause headaches and dizziness, which can range from mild to severe. These effects are typically short-lived but can be unpleasant.

d. Interaction with Medications

Poppers should not be used in combination with medications that lower blood pressure, such as Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs. Combining these substances can result in a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

e. Vision Impairment

Some users have reported temporary vision problems, such as blurred vision or changes in color perception, after using poppers. These effects typically resolve once the drug wears off, but they can be concerning.

f. Allergic Reactions

Poppers can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, ranging from mild skin rashes to more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and swelling of the face, lips, or tongue. These allergic reactions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

g. Chemical Burns

Poppers are highly flammable and can cause chemical burns if they come into direct contact with the skin. Spilling or leaking poppers on the skin can result in painful burns and irritation.

It’s essential to note that research on the long-term effects of poppers is limited. However, given their potential risks and adverse effects, it’s generally recommended to avoid using poppers, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications that may interact negatively with the drug. If you have concerns about your drug use or its impact on your health, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and support.

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