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. It is legal in the United States but can’t be sold as a drug or advertised for human consumption. 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 night clubs and from any of the adult shops in Lagos or Abuja. There are also persons selling the drug on Jiji. Poppers appear to be 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
Poppers use has been associated with some side effects such as a headache and a few health concerns such as the increased risk of unprotected sexual activity, but they are most likely safer to use than smoking a cigarette or downing a bottle of alcohol.
Experts have suggested that a government very concerned about health, would have to ban the use of cigarettes and alcohol first before poppers.