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Inhalants Most Popular Drugs for Pre-Teens

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, March 14, 2008 2:51 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Toxic Substances, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Teenagers, Defective Drugs

Inhalants are the most popular choice of drugs among 12 year olds, expecially girls.


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse on Inhalants here
  • National   Inhalant Prevention Coalition web site    here
  • Injuryboard on teens here

IMAGE SOURCE: © creativecommons.org/ user: Omegatron 

For kids on the brink of becoming teenagers, a high from inhalants seems to be the drug of choice.

Inhalants can include nail polish, paint solvents, hair sprays, aerosol air fresheners, shoe polish, glue, gasoline, keyboard cleaners and lighter fluid, among others.

The new study findings from the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition were presented at a news conference Thursday.

Adolescent girls are taken to the hospital from inhalant abuse more than boys.  

The report finds in the past year among 12-year-olds, 3.4 percent used an inhalant, 2.7 percent tried a prescription medication and 1.1 percent tried marijuana.

At 13, the number of experiments jumps to 4.8 percent, but by 14 other drugs such as marijuana and painkillers are preferred.

Among hospital admissions, the reports find 41 percent involved teenage girls. That number drops to 30 percent of hospital admissions involving girls for other drugs.

It’s estimated that 1.1 million 12 to 17 year olds used inhalants to get high last year with another 600,000 who start to use annually.

The high includes dizziness, nausea and lack of coordination. Internally, chemical inhalants can cause permanent lung damage, neurological changes or sudden death from cardiac arrest and lack of oxygen.

45 percent of teens using inhalants suffer from psychiatric disorders, says the report.  Other drugs led to 29 percent of psychotic effects.

The statistics say that among 12-17 year olds, almost 21 percent are using illegal drugs and among that group, nearly half used inhalants.   Painkillers are the second most popular drug of choice for young teens followed by marijuana 28.4 percent and other drugs.

Within the 14 to 15 year old crowd, 25.1 percent used inhalants. 

The numbers of users drop as kids age.

Among 16 and 17 year olds 12.4 percent used inhalants, while more than 80 percent used marijuana.  The 17 year olds favor something called whippets, nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas.

The report suggests that parents must be able to communicate clearly to their young teens that inhalants are drugs with possibly poisonous effects and use of them is abuse.

Next week is the 15th annual National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW), March 18 - 24, 2007. This annual community mobilization and awareness effort gathers the forces of 2,000 community organizations to fight inhalant use through education and outreach.  #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by Lynsey Moseman
Friday, March 21, 2008 2:37 PM EST

the actual source for this information?
I am a 16 year-old and find some of this information slightly inflated due to other research I have conducted for a school project.
I very much like to know if that link is in fact the original source, and perhaps someone would contact me with their own opinions and stories related to any of the following:
Illegal Drugs
Abuse of Medications
Abuse of Household Products
Underage Drinking
Irresponsible Adult Drinking
Sexually Transmitted Infections

Thanks for your time.
-Lynsey Moseman

Comments for this article are closed.

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