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NCJ Number: 229512 Find in a Library
Title: Age of Inhalant First Time Use and Its Association to the Use of Other Drugs
Journal: Journal of Drug Education  Volume:39  Issue:3  Dated:2009  Pages:261-272
Author(s): Kele Ding; G. Andy Chang; Ron Southerland
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 12
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a representative sample of 12- to 65-year-olds in the U.S. population, this study examined the trajectories of drug use among multiple drug users who had ever used inhalants.
Abstract: This study used the existing dataset collected by the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to obtain information about age of first time inhalant use and first time use of other drugs, and found that of the 55,230 cases, 12.9 percent (n=6,833) used inhalants at least once in their lifetime. The results also showed that among lifetime inhalant users, the age of inhalant onset was 15.6 years, regardless of the number of drugs co-used. This age was older than that of first time use of tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana but less than that for use of other illicit drugs. For inhalant users who used multiple drugs, only 4.2 percent of inhalant users used inhalants prior to the use of both classic gateway drugs and other illicit drugs. In addition, 38.1 percent of the users started using inhalants after having used classic gateway drugs, indicating that inhalants are not gateway drugs. This finding does not support the theory that inhalants are gateway drugs, similar to alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Using descriptive statistical analyses and a multiple regression test, this study analyzed the existing dataset collected by the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to compare the age of inhalant first time use and its association to the use of other drugs. Recommendations for future research are discussed and include developing a better criterion for classifying drugs as gateway drugs, and comparing the effectiveness between drug prevention programs whose targets, strategies, and messages include gateway drug concepts and those which do not. 3 tables, 1 figure, and 24 references
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Drug abuse causes; Drug use; Intoxicant inhalation; Juvenile drug abusers; Marijuana; Tobacco use
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