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Published by: losangeles on Sep 30, 2007
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Inhalant Use among Youths:2002 Update
In 2002, more than 2.6million youths aged 12 to 17had used inhalants at leastonce in their lifetime
Among youths, the rate ofpast year inhalant use wasabout the same for boys(4.6 percent) and girls(4.1 percent)
Youths who had used aninhalant in the past yearwere more likely to usemarijuana, hallucinogens,cocaine, and prescriptiondrugs nonmedically thanthose who had not usedinhalants in the past year
The NSDUH Report 
The NHSDA Report
) is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental HealthServices Administration (
). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permissionfrom
. Additional copies of this report or other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are available on-line:http://www.DrugAbuseStatistics.samhsa.gov. Citation of the source is appreciated.
March 18, 2004
In Brief
he 2002 National Survey on Drug Useand Health (NSDUH), formerly theNational Household Survey on Drug  Abuse (NHSDA), asks respondents aged 12 orolder to report on their use of inhalants or otherillicit drugs during the past year and in theirlifetime. Inhalants are defined in the survey as“liquids, sprays, and gases that people sniff orinhale to get high or to make them feel good.”The categories of inhalants asked about in thesurvey are (a) amyl nitrite, “poppers,” lockerroom odorizers, or “rush”; (b) correction fluid,degreaser, or cleaning fluid; (c) gasoline or lighterfluid; (d) glue, shoe polish, or toluene; (e)halothane, ether, or other anesthetics; (f) lacquerthinner or other paint solvents; (g) lighter gases,such as butane or propane; (h) nitrous oxide or“whippets”; (i) spray paints; and (j) other aerosolsprays. This report focuses on past year inhalantuse, but also presents information on the lifetimeuse of specific inhalants.
Lifetime Prevalence of Inhalant Use amongYouths
The 2002 NSDUH estimates that 10.5 percentof youths aged 12 to 17, or more than 2.6million youths, had used one or more inhalantsin their lifetime. The category of inhalants most
NSDUH REPORT: INHALANT USE AMONG YOUTHS:2002 UPDATEMarch 18, 2004 or Older26 to 3421 to 2518 to 2016 or 1714 or 1512 or 13Lacquer Thinner orOther Paint SolventsHalothane, Etheror Other AnestheticsLighter Gases(Butane, Propane)Other Aerosol Sprays
Amyl Nitrate, “Poppers,” LockerRoom Odorizers, or “Rush”
Nitrous Oxide or “Whippets”Correction Fluid, Degreaseror Cleaning FluidSpray PaintsGasoline orLighter FluidGlue, Shoe Polishor Toluene0.
Figure 2. Percentages of Persons Aged 12 or OlderReporting Past Year Use of Inhalants, by DetailedAge Category: 2002
frequently reported by youths wasglue, shoe polish, or toluene (4.5 per-cent) (Figure 1). About 3.5 percentof youths had inhaled gasoline orlighter fluid in their lifetime, and 2.5percent had inhaled spray paints. Approximately 2 percent had in-haled correction fluid, degreaser, orcleaning fluid; 2 percent had usednitrous oxide or “whippets”; 2 per-cent had used amyl nitrite, “pop-pers,” locker room odorizers, or“rush”; 2 percent had used otheraerosol sprays; 2 percent had usedlacquer thinner or other paint sol- vents. Among youths who had usedan inhalant, 53 percent had usedmore than one type in their lifetime.
Past Year Inhalant Use
In 2002, 4.4 percent of youths aged12 to 17 reported using an inhalantduring the past year. The rates of past year inhalant use peakedamong 14 or 15 year olds (4.9 per-cent) (Figure 2). Among youths aged12 to 17, the rates of past year inhal-ant use were similar among males(4.6 percent) and females (4.1 per-cent) (Figure 3). However, among adults aged 18 to 25, males weremore likely to have used an inhalantduring the past year (3 percent) thanfemales (1.4 percent). Among youths aged 12 to 17,whites, American Indians or AlaskaNatives, and Hispanics were morelikely than Asians or blacks to haveused an inhalant during the past year, though not all of the differ-ences between these racial/ethnicgroups were statistically significant(Figure 4).
Whites were signifi-cantly more likely to have used aninhalant in the past year than either Asians or blacks; Hispanics weresignificantly more likely to have usedan inhalant in the past year thanblacks. American Indians or AlaskaNatives had relatively high rates of past year inhalant use, but becauseof the small sample of American In-dians or Alaska Natives, none of thecomparisons with other racial/ethnicgroups were statistically significant.
Use of Inhalants and OtherIllicit Drugs
 According to the 2002 NSDUH, youths aged 12 to 17 who had usedan inhalant during the past yearwere more than 3 times as likely tohave used other illicit drugs thanthose who had not used inhalantsduring this time period (60 vs. 19percent) (Table 1). For example, youths who had used an inhalant inthe past year were more than 3times as likely to have used mari- juana in the past year as those whohad not used an inhalant (47 vs. 14percent). Youths who had used aninhalant in the past year were morethan 4 times as likely to have usedpsychotherapeutic drugs nonmed-ically in the past year comparedwith youths who had not used an in-halant (39 vs. 8 percent). Youthswho had used an inhalant in thepast year were more than 7 times aslikely to have used hallucinogens inthe past year compared with youthswho had not used an inhalant(23 vs. 3 percent).
Figure 1. Percentages of Youths Aged 12 to 17Reporting Lifetime Use of Inhalants, by InhalantType: 2002

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