Who Uses Inhalants
There is inhalant use/attitude data for teens and adolescents from the late 1990s to 2017 from several survey sources. Unfortunately, most of it involves small populations enrolled in a limited number of schools in the U.S. Although this information was current at the time and year it was compiled, some of it is “historic” in 2019 and doesn’t depict the current situation. The profile of inhalant users coming from low income families in rural areas, or having mental illness and poor social skills, is no longer the case. Teens often use inhalants as a party drug and many times are good students from middle class homes with educated and employed parents. The inhalant use problem is transitioning from a teen abuse situation, to an adult (over the age of 18 years) epidemic.The most prominent surveys measuring drug use (which includes inhalants) of teens in the U.S. are: The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” (high schools 1995 to 2019); The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIH) “Monitoring the Future;” and the “National Survey of Drug Use and Health.” Inhalants are not always the primary focus of these surveys, therefore limited information is provided. Additionally, these findings are not to be viewed as the actual situation taking place in the U.S.
There is also data collected and evaluated from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPC) along with inhalant death numbers from Medical Examiner Annual Reports in several states. Although numerous organizations state there isn’t data available on inhalant use, there actually is but it needs to be located and presented.