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Inhalant Abuse: a Study from a Tertiary Care De-addiction Clinic

Objectives: Inhalant use has been considered one of the most dangerous forms of substance abuse leading even to serious accidents and death. The current study explored the correlates of inhalant abuse in subjects from a drug de-addiction clinic.

Methods: The study was conducted at a tertiary-level multi-specialty hospital in India, which entailed a chart review of patients with inhalant abuse / dependence presenting to the clinic over a 2-year period. All the treatment records of the de-addiction clinic were reviewed and information gathered regarding these patients.

Results: The study involved the records of 36 subjects, with a mean age of 16 years (standard deviation, 4; range, 11-26 years). Most subjects (86%) were adolescents; three-quarters of whom had no family history of substance abuse. The mean (standard deviation) age of initiation of inhalant use was 14 (4) years. The commonest cause of first use reported by the subjects was experimentation (94%), and 97% of them came to know of inhalant from their inhalant-using friends.

Conclusions: These findings provide important information on a relatively under-researched area.

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