Volume 24, Issue 1 (January 1979)
A Review of NIDA Research Monograph 15, “Review of Inhalants: Euphoria to Dysfunction”
Inhalation of certain volatile chemical substances to induce euphoria became popular with the discovery of anesthetic gases early in the nineteenth century. In modern times, the youth of this country have discovered the euphoric properties of components of glue, fuels, aerosol propellants, and others. These substances have toxic properties in varying degrees and sometimes result in death. This NIDA Research Monograph includes 13 chapters dealing with these inhalants and their use as euphoriants. Medical practitioners, psychologists, pharmacologists, and sociologists have contributed sections on many aspects of solvent abuse. Much useful information is provided by this collection, some of the most valuable being the sections on the detailed pharmacology and toxicology of various solvents and gases, including benzene derivatives, aliphatic hydrocarbons (such as gasoline), aliphatic nitrites, and others. A separate chapter by D. M. Aviado deals with the halogenated propellants and solvents; these agents are the most frequent source of inhalant-related deaths. Cardiac arrhythmias were found to result with as little as 0.3% of trichlorofluoromethane (Freon® 11). Chronic use of hydrocarbon inhalants results in nervous system damage, and cases are described by L. Prockop and D. Couri.