Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

A Comparative Study of Treatment-Seeking Inhalant Abusers across Two Cohorts from a Tertiary Care Center in India

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine

A Comparative Study of Treatment-Seeking Inhalant Abusers across Two Cohorts from a Tertiary Care Center in India

Article excerpt

Byline: Yatan Pal Singh. Balhara, Rohit. Verma, Smita. Deshpande

Context: Inhalant abuse is the deliberate inhalation of a volatile substance to achieve an altered mental state. Inhalants continue to be a poorly recognizable risk for morbidity and mortality globally. Aims: The current study explores the pattern of inhalant abuse across different year groups among the individuals seeking treatment form the de-addiction center of a tertiary care hospital. Settings and Design: The study was conducted at a tertiary care multi-specialty hospital. Materials and Methods: The current study is a chart review of the cases with inhalant abuse/dependence presenting to the clinic. All the treatment records of the de-addiction clinic were reviewed and information was gathered regarding patients with inhalant abuse/dependence. The comparisons have been made across two different year groups. The two groups were compared for various continuous and categorical variables using the independent sample t test and ? [sup]2 test/Fisher's exact test, respectively. The level of statistical significance was kept at P<0.05 for all these tests. Results: The two study groups have been found comparable for various socio-demographic and inhalant use patterns. Conclusions: The findings of the current study suggest that the pattern and parameters associated with inhalant use among those presenting to a tertiary care drug dependence center tend to remain stable.

Introduction

Inhalant abuse is the deliberate inhalation of a volatile substance to achieve an altered mental state. [sup][1]

Inhalants continue to be a poorly recognizable risk for morbidity and mortality globally. [sup][2] However, their abuse has been reported from different regions of the world. These substances assume a greater significance as most of the users tend to be younger-children and adolescents. Monitoring the Future survey found the lifetime prevalence of inhalant use to be 20.5%, 18.3% and 15.2% in 8 [sup]th , 9 [sup]th and 10 [sup]th grade students, respectively. Studies from US have found the peak age of inhalant abuse to be 14-15 years. The onset has been reported among children as young as 5 or 6 years. Another common observation is a decline in use at 17-19 years of age, but it can continue into adulthood. [sup][3]

Based on their pharmacological actions, inhalants could be grouped as volatile solvents (toluene, acetone, methylene chloride, ethyl acetate), fuels (butane, propane, gasoline), anesthetics (ether, halothane, enflurane), nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and volatile alkyl nitrites (cyclohexyl nitrite, isobutyl nitrite, butyl nitrite). [sup][3]

The current study explores the pattern of inhalant abuse across different year groups among the individuals seeking treatment from the de-addiction center of a tertiary care hospital. The Department of Psychiatry and De-addiction provides out-patient as well as in-patient services for substance abuse related problems. The previous reports on inhalant use from India have been from Das et al ., [sup][4] Pahwa et al . [sup][5] and Shah et al ., [sup][6] In the current study, we aim at exploring the change in pattern of correlates of inhalant abuse among patients presenting to drug dependence treatment center of the hospital.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted at a tertiary level multi-specialty hospital. The study reports finding of the chart review of the subjects seeking treatment from the drug dependence treatment clinic. The patients presenting to the treatment clinic are assessed in detail and offered an individualized management plan.

The current study is a chart review of the cases with inhalant abuse/dependence presenting to the clinic. All the treatment records of the de-addiction clinic were reviewed and information was gathered regarding patients with inhalant abuse/dependence.

Information was collected on the socio-demographic parameters including the age, sex, marital status, educational level, occupation, income, family type, religion, place of residence, and support system, among others. …

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