Certain epidemiologic factors are associated with the likelihood of a person abusing volatile inhalants. Unfortunately this is a form of abuse that is not limited to one group or age.

Epidemiologic Factor



typically 10 to 15 years of age, but may start as young as 7 years of age; it may persist in adults who lack social contacts or economic resources to obtain other drugs


typically males, but females also involved

ethnic group

recent immigrants, indigenous peoples

socioeconomic status


psychosocial problems

high levels of family dysfunction, juvenile delinquency

school performance


availability of alternative agents of abuse

often use tends to be transient, with users progressing to alternative forms of intoxication; less often a person may become a regular or chronic user

group dynamics

often done as a group activity among peers


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