Items in AFP with MESH term: Solvents
ABSTRACT: Inhalant abuse is a prevalent and often overlooked form of substance abuse in adolescents. Survey results consistently show that nearly 20 percent of children in middle school and high school have experimented with inhaled substances. The method of delivery is inhalation of a solvent from its container, a soaked rag, or a bag. Solvents include almost any household cleaning agent or propellant, paint thinner, glue, and lighter fluid. Inhalant abuse typically can cause a euphoric feeling and can become addictive. Acute effects include sudden sniffing death syndrome, asphyxia, and serious injuries (e.g., falls, burns, frostbite). Chronic inhalant abuse can damage cardiac, renal, hepatic, and neurologic systems. Inhalant abuse during pregnancy can cause fetal abnormalities. Diagnosis of inhalant abuse is difficult and relies almost entirely on a thorough history and a high index of suspicion. No specific laboratory tests confirm solvent inhalation. Treatment is generally supportive, because there are no reversal agents for inhalant intoxication. Education of young persons and their parents is essential to decrease experimentation with inhalants.