Inhalants are any gases or fumes that can be inhaled for the purpose of getting high. These include many household products—including glue, nail polish remover, gasoline, solvents, butane, and propellants used in certain commercial products such as whipped cream dispensers. Unlike nearly all other classes of drugs, their use is most common among younger adolescents and tends to decline as youth grow older. The use of inhalants at an early age may reflect the fact that many inhalants are cheap, readily available (often in the home), and legal to buy and possess. The decline in use with age likely reflects their coming to be seen as “kids’ drugs,” in addition to the fact that a number of other drugs become available to older adolescents, who are also more able to afford them.
Over 80% of 8th and 10th grade students say that they would disapprove of even trying an inhalant. (The question was not asked of 12th graders.) There was a very gradual upward drift in this attitude among 8th and 10th graders from 1995 through about 2001, with a gradual falloff since then in both grades, although the decrease appears to have halted.
If you or a loved one is suffering from inhalant use, there is help. Please have no hesitation to call us at 213-80-SOBER for immediate assistance.