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Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse. 1990;9(1-2):149-65.

Relative addiction potential of major centrally-active drugs and drug classes--inhalants and anesthetics.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284-7838.


The inhalation of a wide variety of substances for recreational purposes is a health problem of worldwide proportions. The inhalation of non-narcotic agents, such as volatile inhalants (e.g., solvents and glues), anesthetics and nitrites, adds significantly to the growing number of substance abusers. This is of particular concern because it affects the younger members of the population, and the substances abused are, for the most part, legally obtainable. The toxicity of these inhaled substances are reviewed and compared, as are their potentials for addiction and dependence.

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