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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2002;28(1):171-87.

Inhalant abuse among American Indian, Mexican American, and non-Latino white adolescents.

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Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, USA.


The abuse of volatile solvents, or inhalants, is an enduring problem among adolescents although a number of factors obscure the nature and extent of this drug using behavior. The data presented here indicate that a number of social and perceptual correlates of inhalant use operate similarly across Mexican American, American Indian and non-Latino white adolescents. Peer factors appear to dominate, although they are somewhat less important for Mexican American and Indian youth. Increased perception of harm reduces inhalant use for all groups. Of particular significance in the findings here are the continued increase of inhalant use among females compared to males and the strong pattern of decreases in inhalant use among American Indian adolescents over the last decade. A number of implications for increased effectiveness of prevention are discussed.

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