Inhalant Abuse and Dependence Among Adolescents in the United States
Objective: To examine the patterns of inhalant use and correlates of the progression from inhalant use to abuse and dependence among adolescents aged 12 to 17.
Method: Study data were drawn from the 2000 and 2001 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse. Multinominal logistic regression was used to identify the characteristics associated with progression to inhalant abuse and dependence.
Results: Inhalant use was common among the studied adolescents. Among adolescents aged 12 to 17, 0.4et DSM-IV inhalant abuse or dependence criteria in the past year. Inhalant abuse and dependence affected adolescents regardless of gender, age, race/ethnicity, and family income. The progression from inhalant use to abuse or dependence was related to early first use, use of multiple inhalants, and weekly inhalant use. Adolescents with inhalant use disorders reported coexisting multiple drug abuse and dependence, mental health treatment, and delinquent behaviors.
Conclusions: Adolescents with an inhalant use disorder may represent a subgroup of highly troubled youths with multiple vulnerabilities. Because early use is associated with progression to abuse and dependence, prevention programs should target elementary school-age children.