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Study suggests early intervention to curb adolescent inhalant abuse.

Programs aimed at reducing inhalant abuse among American adolescents should target elementary school-age children, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International and Columbia University.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse, suggests that adolescents who abuse inhalants likely represent a subgroup of troubled youths who would receive the most benefit from early intervention strategies.

The most commonly used inhalants reported were glue, shoe polish and gasoline. Other inhalants used by the participants included nitrous oxide, lighter fluid, spray paints, correction fluid, and paint solvents.

In the study, researchers examined the prevalence and characteristics of inhalant use, abuse and dependence among 36,859 adolescents age 12-17 who participated in the 2000 and 2001 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse (recently renamed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Of those surveyed, 9 percent--representing about 2 million adolescents nationwide--reported having used inhalants. Among those who reported using inhalants during the past year, 11 percent met the criteria for abuse or dependence.
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Publication:Policy & Practice
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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