PubMed paper - Native American Indians - Gasoline abuse
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Can J Psychiatry 1984 Feb;29(1):31-5 - Gas sniffing as a form of substance abuse; Remington G Hoffman BF.
The authors review the existing literature on inhalation of gasoline fumes, highlighting the acute and chronic physical and psychological effects.
The clinical picture of gas sniffing includes visual hallucinations, changes in consciousness, euphoria, nystagmus, dizziness, weakness and tremors. There is the possibility of rapid recovery, sudden death or brain damage with chronic abuse.
When leaded gasoline is abused then blood and urine lead levels and erythrocytic delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydrase (ALAD) levels may be helpful. Although the treatment of acute and chronic gas sniffing syndromes is often supportive and non-specific, when lead levels are high, chelated therapy is indicated including British anti-lewisite, calcium disodium versenate or D-penicillamine.
We also report our findings on an isolated native [American] Indian population where intentional gas sniffing has reached epidemic proportions. Ten percent of the total population and 25% of the children between 5 and 15 years of age had been identified as gasoline inhalation abusers. In this population, the most important etiological factors included environmental, family and cultural components. The authors emphasize the need to correct the family and social deficiencies in such communities if the incidence of gas sniffing is to be decreased.