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Research Report Series - Inhalant Abuse


Anesthetic: An agent that causes insensitivity to pain.

Central nervous system: The brain and spinal cord.

Dementia: A condition of deteriorated mental function.

Dopamine: A neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and feeling of pleasure.

Epidemiology: The sum of the factors controlling the presence or absence of a disease or condition.

Toxic: Causing temporary or permanent effects that are detrimental to the functioning of a body organ or group of organs.

Withdrawal: A variety of symptoms that occur after use of an addictive drug is reduced or stopped.


Balster, R.L. Neural basis of inhalant abuse. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 51(1-2):207-214, 1998.

Bowen, S.E.; Wiley, J.L.; Evans, E.B.; Tokarz, M.E.; and Balster, R.L. Functional observational battery comparing effects of ethanol, 1,1,1-trichlorethane, ether, and flurothyl. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 18(5):577-585, 1996.

Edwards, R.W., and Oetting, E.R. Inhalant use in the United States. In: Kozel, N.; Sloboda, Z.; and De La Rosa, M. (eds.), Epidemiology of Inhalant Abuse: An International Perspective. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph 148. DHHS Publication No. NIH 95-3831. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 8-28, 1995.

Fendrich, M.; Mackesy-Amiti, M.E.; Wislar, J.S.; and Goldstein, P.J. Childhood abuse and the use of inhalants: Differences by degree of use. American Journal of Public Health 87(5):765-769, 1997.

Jones, H.E., and Balster, R.L. Inhalant abuse in pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America 25(1):153-167, 1998.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Survey Results on Drug Use From the Monitoring the Future Study, 2004 (www.monitoringthefuture.org).

National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA InfoFacts, Inhalants, 2004.

PRIDE Surveys National Summary for Grades 4 thru 6, 2002-2003.

Riegel, A.C., and French, E.D. Acute toluene induces biphasic changes in rat spontaneous locomotor activity which are blocked by remoxipride. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 62(3):399-402, 1999.

Sharp, C.W., and Rosenberg, N.L. Inhalants. In: Lowinson, J.H.; Ruiz, P.; Millman, R.B.; and Langrod, J.G. (eds.), Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 3d. ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 246-264, 1996.

Sharp, C.W., and Rosenberg, N. Inhalant-related disorders. In: Tasman, A.; Kay, J.; and Lieberman, J.A. (eds.), Psychiatry, Vol. 1. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 835-852, 1997.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Findings From the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. SAMHSA, 2003.

Soderberg, L.S. Immunomodulation by nitrite inhalants may predispose abusers to AIDS and Kaposi's sarcoma. Journal of Neuroimmunology 83(1-2):157-161, 1998.

Soderberg, L.S. Increased tumor growth in mice exposed to inhaled isobutyl nitrite. Toxicology Letters 104(1-2):35-41, 1999.

Woody, G.E.; Donnell, D.; Seage, G.R.; et al. Non-injection substance use correlates with risky sex among men having sex with men: Data from HIV/NET. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 53(3):197-205, 1999.


Letter from the Director

What are inhalants?

What are the patterns of inhalant abuse?

What is the scope of inhalant abuse?

How are inhalants used?

How do inhalants produce their effects?

What are the short- and long-term effects of inhalant use?

What are the medical consequences of inhalant abuse?

What are the special risks for nitrite abusers?

Where can I get further scientific information about inhalant abuse?

Glossary and References


Inhalant Abuse Research Report Cover

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