Inhalants; The True Gateway Drug

Inhalants, also known as the “true gateway drug” are a popular form of drug used amongst young adolescents throughout America. The category of inhalants is reserved for a wide variety of substance including solvents,aerosols,gases and nitrates. ¬†Although it has been known that adolescents often partake in this behavior, it is also true that they are an age group that isn’t often studied or understood. A study conducted by the Department of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California was designed to attempt to try and better understand this age group and the correlation between delinquency and substance abuse throughout the course of a year.

Data was collected from over 7,000 adolescents between the ages of 12-17 over the course of 10 years (2002-2012) via the National Survey of Drug USe and Health (NSDUH). The results of the study helped researchers develop a six-class solution comprised of classes of users characterized by the following: low substance use/low delinquency, high substance use/low delinquency, low substance use/fighting, cigarettes/alcohol/marijuana, high substance use/high delinquency, and cigarettes/alcohol/marijuana/opioids.moderate delinquency. These categories provide insight into the mind of an adolescent and also lay the framework for an early detection system when it comes to the use of illegal substances such as alcohol. It goes without saying that if an adolescent’s’ behavior can be properly monitored and tracked you can seek out and observe warning signs that may help prevent the consumption of illegal substances in the residence hall areas.¬†In conclusion it is important to get to know the adolescence present in your life so that you may be aware of signs present that point to substance abuse.

Nakawaki, B., & Crano, W. (n.d.). Patterns of Substance Use, Delinquency,and Risk Factor Among Adolescent Inhalant Users



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