NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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How Many Teens Use Inhalants?

Inhalants are often among the first drugs that young adolescents use. In fact, they are one of the few classes of drugs that are used more by younger adolescents than older ones. Inhalant use can become chronic and continue into adulthood.

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Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Inhalants for 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and 12th Graders; 2014 (in percent)*
Drug Time Period 8th Graders 10th Graders 12th Graders
Inhalants Lifetime 10.80 8.70 6.50
Past Year 5.30 3.30 1.90
Past Month 2.20 1.10 0.70

Data suggest that inhalant use is most common among 8th graders. One of the reasons may be that, according to the 2012 Monitoring the Future study, nearly 66 percent of 8th graders don’t think trying inhalants once or twice is risky, and 41 percent don’t consider the regular use of inhalants to be harmful. Young teens may not understand the risks of inhalant use as well as they should.

For more statistics on teen drug use, see NIDA’s Monitoring the Future study.