U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Qualitative Study of the Social Contextual Use of Alkyl Nitrites (Poppers) Among Targeted Groups

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 28 Issue: Dated: Pages: edition (Winter 1998)-76
R French; R Power
Date Published
20 pages
This article examines the social contextual use of alkyl nitrites among young recreational drug users (students), polysubstance users receiving treatment in a methadone program, homosexual men, and homeless persons.
Nitrites are volatile liquids that are inhaled by those seeking a near instantaneous "rush" that can last from a few seconds to 5 minutes. Nitrites were a popular recreational and social drug, most commonly taken in nightclubs to enhance both music and the effects of other recreational drugs or taken to enhance sexual experience. Its legal status, low cost, and easy availability added to its popularity, particularly among younger people. Nitrites appeared to be commonplace in mainstream nightclubs, having previously been confined to nightclubs catering more to a homosexual clientele. Despite this fact, nitrites were still associated with gay culture. There was no evidence that nitrite use led directly to use of illicit drugs. References