Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse
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While inhalant abuse is a significant problem among Canada’s Aboriginal (indigenous) people, it is poorly understood. This study was conducted in response to these issues. The authors followed 78 Aboriginal young people who received treatment for inhalant abuse in a program established by the federal government. Data were based on a secondary analysis of case files as well as follow-up information from community workers.
Seventy-four percent of the 78 young people tracked during follow- up relapsed after discharge from treatment. Many of the young people came from backgrounds marked by isolation, poverty, family violence and substance abuse. The average age these young people started using solvents was 9.72 years. Gasoline was the most common inhalant used. Inhalant use was often accompanied by alcohol and drug abuse. A logistic regression model predicting who would relapse indicated that young people who abused inhalants immediately before admission, those who were described as unmotivated in treatment and those who were hospitalized during treatment had the greatest risk of relapsing during follow-up. Implications are discussed.