Fewer teens are sniffing glue, lighter fluid, spray paint, shoe polish, and other easy-to-find substances, says a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study reported by the Associated Press. The study said the number of adolescents who abuse inhalants – as opposed to just trying them – remained stable between 2002 and 2007, suggesting the need for continued prevention and treatment efforts.
Most parents don’t realize how dangerous inhalants can be,” said Ed Jurith of the White House Office of Drug Control Policy. “These products – found in every home in America – are among the most popular and deadly substances that kids abuse.” Almost 1 million youths aged 12 to 17 used some kind of inhalant in 2007. That represents 3.9% of adolescents, compared with about 1.1 million – or 4.4% – in 2006. The rate of “initiation,” or teens trying inhalants for the first time, was also slightly lower in 2007 – 2.1% of teens, down from 2.4% in 2006.