Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 117-120

Inhalant abuse: A clinic-based study

Department of Psychiatry, Drug De-addiction and Treatment Center, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.42399

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Background: There are very few studies reporting inhalant abuse/dependence from India. Materials and Methods: Consecutive treatment seeking inhalant abuse cases ( n = 21) were studied for the sociodemographic and clinical profile by using a semi-structured interview schedule. Results: A typical case profile was: unmarried male (100%), mean age 19 years, government school background (76%), unemployed (43%) or student (38%), urban nuclear family (86%), middle socioeconomic status (76%), and poor social support (62%); inhalant dependence (81%), inhalants being the only substance of abuse (33%) and of first or second preference (76%). Duration of inhalant use ranged 6-60 (mean 16) months. All subjects abused typewriter erasing fluid by sniffing (67%), huffing (19%) or bagging (14%). Initiation was out of curiosity (62%), under peer pressure (24%), or as a substitute (14%). Craving was more common (90%) than withdrawal (57%). Almost half of the cases (48%) had a family history for substance dependence. All cases were impaired, more so in family and educational/occupational domains. Conclusions: The results depict that easy availability, cheap price, faster onset of action, and a regular high makes inhalant a substance of abuse especially among the urban youth.



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