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Brief Description

Many products readily found in the home or workplace—such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids—contain volatile substances that have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties when inhaled. People do not typically think of these products as drugs because they were never intended for that purpose. However, these products are sometimes abused in that way. They are especially (but not exclusively) abused by young children and adolescents, and are the only class of substance abused more by younger than by older teens. Learn more

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Statistics and Trends

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Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Inhalants for 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and 12th Graders; 2015 (in percent)*
Drug Time Period 8th Graders 10th Graders 12th Graders
Inhalants Lifetime [9.40] [7.20] 5.70
Past Year 4.60 2.90 1.90
Past Month 2.00 1.20 0.70

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National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Trends in Prevalence of Inhalants for Ages 12 or Older, Ages 12 to 17, Ages 18 to 25, and Ages 26 or Older; 2015 (in percent)*
Drug Time Period Ages 12 or Older Ages 12 to 17 Ages 18 to 25 Ages 26 or Older
Inhalants Lifetime 9.60 9.10 13.10 9.60
Past Year 0.70 2.70 4.10 0.30
Past Month 0.20 0.70 0.90 0.10

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This page was last updated December 2012

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NIDA (2011). Inhalants. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/inhalants

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Provides scientific research on the nature and extent of inhalant abuse, its potential health consequences, and hazards of chemicals found in commonly abused inhalants.

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