An analysis of the use of inhalants in the united states in medical research

Inhalant users inhale vapors or aerosol propellant gases using plastic bags held over the mouth or by breathing from an open container of solvents, such as gasoline or paint thinner. Nitrous oxide gases from whipped cream aerosol cans, aerosol hairspray or non-stick frying spray are sprayed into plastic bags.

An analysis of the use of inhalants in the united states in medical research

Household survey that captures dropouts and truants, but misses institutionalized populations and respondents younger than The MTF indicated that more 8th- and 10th-grade girls than boys, and more 12th-grade boys than girls, had used an inhalant Johnston et al.

Inhalant, use disproportionately afflicts subpopulations including the poor, mentally ill, and juvenile- and criminal-justice involved Howard et al. For example, studies have documented inhalant use rates of: The earlier that individuals had initiated use and the more frequently they used, the higher the likelihood that use was associated with significant psychosocial dysfunction; In addition, 10 percent of adult substance abusers surveyed in a treatment center had used inhalants more than five times Compton et al.

Efforts have been made to identify subtypes of inhalant users, which could facilitate the identification of at-risk individuals, assessment, and treatment planning Perron, Vaughn, and Howard, ; Vaughn, Perron, and Howard, These latter youths exhibited significantly more polydrug use, psychiatric comorbidity, and antisocial behavior than did two other classes of adolescent inhalant users.

Low monetary cost and ease of access probably contribute to the concentration of inhalant use among younger children and adolescents; low-income and unemployed adults; people living in isolated rural or reservation settings; and people housed in institutions such as psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and residential treatment centers.

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Inhalants can also be purchased and used without arousing the suspicion of parents, sales-people, school or law enforcement professionals, social service workers, or health care providers Anderson and Loomis, Few people, for example, think of butane cigarette lighters, computer air dusters, nail polish, nail polish remover, or paint thinner as items that can be abused for their psychoactive effects; if challenged, young people can often offer plausible benign explanations for having these items.

In nationally representative surveys, youths reporting symptoms that would permit a diagnosis of inhalant abuse or dependence have included 0. The past-year prevalence of inhalant use disorder among adult participants in the — National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions was 0.

Motor deficits observed in mice exposed to toluene imply long-lasting brain damage. At the lower end, an analysis of NCS data yielded an estimate that 7.

An analysis of the use of inhalants in the united states in medical research

Similarly, Wu, Pilowsky, and Schlenger found that 6 percent of to year-olds who reported past-year use on the and NHSDA surveys met criteria for past-year inhalant abuse, and 4 percent met criteria for past-year dependence.

Higher estimates for rates of inhalant use disorders among individuals with histories of inhalant use include: Louis, Missouri Ridenour, Bray, and Cottler, The wide divergence in prevalence estimates may reflect the presence of elevated-risk groups in some samples.

For example, Howard and Perron found a 47 percent prevalence of inhalant use disorders among juvenile justice-involved inhalant users in Missouri. In the Wu, Pilowsky, and Schlenger NHSDA-based studyadolescents who had initiated inhalant use before age 15 were five to six times as likely as those who had started later to be diagnosed with inhalant dependence in the year prior to the survey.

Acute Effects Inhalant intoxication produces a syndrome similar to alcohol intoxication, consisting of dizziness, incoordination, slurred speech, euphoria, lethargy, slowed reflexes, slowed thinking and movement, tremor, blurred vision, stupor or coma, generalized muscle weakness, and involuntary eye movement APA, Inhalant intoxication also increases the risk for fatal injuries from motor vehicle or other accidents Bowen, Daniel, and Balster, Neurological and Cognitive Effects Studies of occupationally exposed workers laid the foundation for much of what we know about inhalant-related cognitive deficits.

Even a single occupational exposure leading to inhalant intoxication can produce long-term memory problems and processing speed impairments Stollery,an ominous finding given that inhalant abuse is characterized by exposures to neurotoxins at much higher levels than those typically incurred in occupational exposures Bowen, Wiley, and Balster, Early research with recreational inhalant users noted that, similar to the findings with occupational exposures, these individuals have memory, attention, and judgment deficits compared with controls and polydrug users Hormes, Filley, and Rosenberg, ; Korman, Trimboli, and Semler, Maruff and colleagues found that current inhalant users performed worse than former users and controls in a test of visual-spatial memory that challenges the test taker to remember the location in which a symbol briefly flashed on a computer screen.

Tenebein and Pillay found diminished brain activity in response to visual and auditory events, a possible marker for neurological dysfunction, in 8 of 15 inhalant users 9 to 17 years of age, even though the youths had no clinical evidence of neurological abnormalities.

Subsequent studies have disclosed that recurrent inhalant intoxication can lead to neurological disorders, including Parkinsonism, impaired cognition due to degradation of brain cells encephalopathy or loss of brain cells cerebral atrophyand loss of muscle strength and coordination due to damage to the cerebellum cerebellar ataxia e.

Imaging studies of inhalant abusers have documented thinning of the corpus callosum the band of nerve fibers joining the cerebral hemispheres and lesions of the white matter that facilitates communication between brain cells Finch and Lobo, ; Gautschi, Cadosch, and Zellweger, Regional reductions in cerebral blood flow are observable with functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI after 1 year of inhalant use Okada et al.

Lubman and colleagues reviewed recent clinical and neuroimaging studies of chronic inhalant abusers, documenting significant cognitive deficits, structural abnormalities in specific brain areas e.

Animal models have been helpful for studying acute and chronic biobehavioral effects of inhalants. They have shown that toluene and other inhalants can have reversible disruptive effects on response rates in behavior modification protocols; most of these effects appear to be greater after binge patterns of exposure than after lower levels of exposure see Bowen et al.

In one of the few animal studies to examine the impact of binge-pattern exposures on higher cognitive processes, Bowen and McDonald reported that mice exposed to high concentrations of toluene 3, and 6, parts per million for 30 minutes per day for 40 days similar to the amounts chronic abusers inhale demonstrated long-lasting motor deficits on a waiting-for-reward task.

This result implies the presence of long-term brain damage, possibly resulting from cerebellar insult or cortical cell loss. Additional preclinical studies suggest that toluene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane TCE impair learning, memory, and attention e. Effects on Organs Other Than the Brain Evidence is mounting that inhalants can cause chronic medical problems affecting multiple organ systems Figure 2.

Animal studies, case reports, and small clinical investigations have implicated inhalant use in liver, heart, and kidney toxicity; bone demineralization; bone marrow suppression; and reduced immunity T-cell responsivity e. Diminished plasma and red blood cell levels of selenium and zinc have also been noted, potentially impairing immune function and increasing the risk for infectious disease Zaidi et al.

Inhalants can also cause peripheral neuropathy leading to chronic pain and vision-impairing optic nerve damage e.Inhalant use is especially prevalent among antisocial youth and can have serious health consequences.

However, the extant literature has not investigated how use of various inhalants may co-occur among incarcerated youth. This study begins to address this gap in the literature by using latent class.

Scientific research has revealed much about the nature of drug use and its consequences in the United States. Illicit drug use is a public health issue that jeopardizes not only our well- 4 National Drug Control Strategy Data Supplement 78 CHAPTER 3: Patient Admissions to Treatment for Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs in Appalachia, – Introduction Thousands of public and private treatment facilities are available across the United States .

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An analysis of the use of inhalants in the united states in medical research