NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Drug Facts

Are Inhalants Addictive?

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Some people, particularly those who abuse inhalants a lot and for a long time, report a strong need to continue using inhalants. Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur. In fact, this is consistent with recent research in animal models showing that toluene can affect the brain in a way that is similar to other drugs of abuse (e.g., amphetamines). Toluene increases dopamine activity in reward areas of the brain, and the long-term disruption of the dopamine system is one of the key factors leading to addiction.