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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inhalant Abuse Study Yields New Data

A study released Monday shows several trends in inhalant abuse over a 15-year period. Using National Poison Data System data from 60 U.S. poison centers, the journal Pediatrics published the"Inhalant Abuse: Monitoring Trends by Using Poison Control Data, 1993-2008" examines 35, 453 inhalant abuse cases reported from 1993 to 2008. Of these cases, people reported over 3,400 different products that were then divided into 200 individual categories.

The data indicates the following:


  • Among 12-17-year olds users, 14-years old was the year of peak use
  • Male users accounted for 73.5% of cases reported
  • Propellants were abused more among 12-17 age group
  • 6-11 year olds more commonly abused gasoline
  • Propellant use doubled between 2002 and 2007 among the 12-17 age range, up from 7.6 %to 14.6%
  • Teenage use dropped one third
  • Lifetime use among teens was between 10%-15%

Products misused most often

  • Alcohol (23%), marijuana (12.8%) were most commonly mixed with inhalants
  • 1993: paint was most reported; 2008: propellants (i.e. duster)
  • Propellants, gasoline, and paint accounted for 39% of cases reported


  • Propellant reporting increased threefold between 2003 and 2008. Duster accounted for 58% of these cases.
  • 67.8% of reports were managed in health care facilities
  • Butane (58.1%), propane (25.9%), air fresheners (21.8%) abuse had the highest fatality rates
  • 2003 reported the lowest number of cases, down 54% from 1993
  • UT, NM, WY, SD and WV reported the most cases
  • Reporting remained steady after 2003

You can view the abstract here.

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