SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
March/April 2011, Volume 19, Number 2 

Inhalants Update

Over 1 million adults abuse inhalants each year

Inhalant abuse is now a multi-generational problem. "Huffing," or intentionally inhaling a chemical vapor to get "high," was thought to be a life-threatening risk primarily among children and adolescents. However, a recent study from SAMHSA shows that 54 percent of treatment admissions related to inhalants abuse in 2008 involved adults age 18 and older.

Cover of SAMHSA’s recent Spotlight report on inhalants. (PDF, 114KB) - click to view publication

Findings from the study reveal that 52 percent of these adult admissions involved people age 18 to 29, 32 percent involved people age 30 to 44, and 16 percent involved people age 45 and older.

SAMHSA announced the study’s findings in collaboration with the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) at National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week in March. The SAMHSA study was based on data collected from treatment facilities across the country.

Use of Inhalants

Inhalants can produce mind-altering effects. Chronic use of inhalants can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys, and lungs, as well as death.

The magnitude of the inhalant problem among adults is also highlighted in the latest figures from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which shows that an estimated 1.1 million adults over age 18 used inhalants in the past year.

"Inhalant abuse is an equal opportunity killer that does not discriminate on the basis of age, background, or gender," said H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

The SAMHSA Spotlight Study, Adults Represent Majority of Inhalant Treatment Admissions, is based on data from SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set, a reporting system involving treatment facilities from across the country. The study was developed as part of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Data, Outcomes, and Quality.


  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Preventing Suicide on College Campuses

Preventing Suicide on College Campuses

College can be a stressful time, and the numbers bear that out.


  From the Administrator  
Suicide Prevention Is Top Priority

Suicide Prevention Is Top Priority

Suicide prevention is top priority at SAMHSA. Read more.


  Children & Trauma  
Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day focuses on trauma.


  Grants  
Block Grants: Changes Open for Comments

Block Grants: Changes Open for Comments

Have a comment on the recent changes to the block grants?


  Art & Prevention  
How Art Can Raise Awareness

How Art Can Raise Awareness

SAMHSA commissioned a painting by Sam English.


  Awards Season  
PRISM Awards & Voice Awards

PRISM Awards & Voice Awards

Two awards galas honor accurate depictions of mental health and substance abuse issues.


  Suicide Prevention  
National Action Alliance & High-Risk Groups

National Action Alliance & High-Risk Groups

Nat’l Action Alliance’s new task forces, ER reports on antidepressants, drug-related attempts.


  Alcohol Awareness Month  
From SAMHSA’s Blog

From SAMHSA’s Blog

Who’s at risk? Read SAMHSA’s blog. Videos by states on underage drinking.


  Also in this Issue  
Healing Beyond Borders

Healing Beyond Borders

SAMHSA-Iraq Initiative focuses on mental health.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

An advisory from SAMHSA’s CSAT.


  Statistics & Data  
Inhalants Update

Inhalants Update

Inhalants are dangerous. Who is “huffing”?


  Women & Substance Abuse  
Young Mothers

Young Mothers

Age 15 to 19 is a vulnerable time.


  Visit the SAMHSA Store  

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SAMHSA Store Video Tour

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