Poppers are slang for alkyl nitrates that are inhaled for euphoric pleasant effects. They are typically available in small bottles in liquid form that help produce vapor for the users to inhale. Poppers function by dilating the blood vessels resulting in a headrush and muscle relaxation. As the sphincter relaxes, it becomes easier to penetrate.
Poppers are basically drugs although you won’t need any dealer to purchase them. If you wonder what they are made of, then the answer depends on which part of the globe you belong from. The first element that came to be famous as poppers were amyl nitrate which was originally developed for treating angina.
As public health bodies became active and focused on the fact that it was being used for pleasure, the use of amyl nitrate was banned in both European and the US countries. Let’s take a look at the various provinces of Europe and the use of poppers there:
There has been a lot of discussion recently around poppers UK legislation, whereby it is not illegal to possess or supply them, but they do come under the Medicines Act and can only be bought from a chemist. In places like Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Belarus, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, reformulated poppers that contain isopropyl nitrate are sold even though isobutyl nitrite is banned since 2007. The same is the case with Czechia, Croatia, and Cyprus. It has become illegal to sell or use poppers in Denmark since 2004. But it is still available through informal means in various parts of Europe including the EU.
According to the regulations pertaining to health protection, the poppers sold in Estonia are not illegal. But amyl nitrite is considered harmful and flammable. This indicates users have to access it from online stores or erotic stores only.
On the other hand, the Finnish Center for Pharmaceutical Safety and Development classifies poppers as intoxicants and are mixed with drugs such as amyl nitrite. Therefore, users cannot order poppers from abroad without the requisite permission in Finland. Moreover, imports for sale must also be authorized under the Pharmaceutical Act.
Poppers are considered legal in France and therefore, the sale and use of the substance are also authorized over here. According to a special decree by Prime Minister Francois Fillon, users may possess poppers but their supply is banned from November 2007. But the courts eventually overturned this decree. The sale of any product that contained butyl nitrite is banned owing to the health issues it can bring about. Since 2007, the France government has entirely banned the use of any substance containing alkyl nitrites that weren’t authorized for sale as drugs.
Poppers are commonly available in online stores and across Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Russia. Users can easily access them in local shops, bars, and other erotic places.
Inhaling alkyl nitrates instantly gives some users the feeling of being drunk even though the impact lasts for a couple of minutes only. Even though they have come in and out of fashion numerous times over the years, they have continued to be associated with the gay subculture.