Citation: AlternateTraverse. "Psychological Warfare: experience with Inhalants (Chloroethane) (ID 47860)". Erowid.org. Dec 9, 2007. erowid.org/exp/47860
[Erowid Warning: Our understanding of the literature is that there is no such thing as safe use of volatile solvents, aerosols and other street inhalants: their psychoactive effects are inseparable from nerve and organ damage. We have chosen to include these reports to help document the real world use of inhalants, but their inclusion is not intended to imply that they are anything but dangerous.]
Ethyl chloride is a haloalkane with a chemical formula of C2H5Cl. It has an ether-like odor, but is not an ether (some describe the odor as chloroform-like, but I've never smelled chloroform). Ethyl chloride is sometimes used as a local anasthetic because it deadens tissues on contact. But it is also used by some as an inhalant with effects similar to extreme alcohol intoxication.
As a student of organic chemistry, I'd heard of ethyl chloride and a little about its psychoactive qualities. A friend of mine had a can of the substance and sprayed a very small amount on a rag. I inhaled deeply, the odor was not terribly unpleasant. In a few seconds, I felt a deep relaxation and a sense of euphoria. That was about to change.
I believe I entered a state of anasthesia (my friend said I just closed my eyes and continued to inhale). My next recollection is of a sub-visible purplish flash (I know, purple is visible but its my hallucination). A sound commenced in my head that was not unlike the recharging of the flash on a camera, but a million times more intense. The sound quickly became sub-sonic and continued in intensity with subharmonics adding to the chaos.
I believed that I had blood dripping from my nostrils and ears. My thought was that someone had developed some new weapon that could kill with sound. I asked myself, 'Who would do this?' I had the distinct thought that I was going to die and felt sorrow that everyone in the world was experiencing the same horrible death. I was sad that I couldn't say goodbye to friends and family before I died. Then I remembered the ethyl chloride...
I was relieved to come out of that. My friend and I went out and had a few beers and the rest of the night was uneventful. I was, however, deeply shaken by the ethyl experience. I would not recommend inhalation of ethyl chloride to anyone. Yes, the early part of the experience was pleasant - but the end of the experience was nightmarish and had elements of psychosis.
The problem with huffing is that dosage can't be reliably regulated. I took way too much, saw no reason to stop until it was too late and I'm not sure that stopping was in my control at that point. I think I was probably lucky to have regained consciousness.
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