Global issues in volatile substance misuse.

Department of Sociology & School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Substance Use &amp Misuse (Impact Factor: 1.23). 05/2011; 46 Suppl 1:1-7. DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2011.580169
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This special issue of Substance Use & Misuse addresses the public health issue of volatile substance misuse (VSM), the inhalation of gases or vapors for psychoactive effects, assessing the similarities and differences in the products misused, patterns, prevalence, etiologies, and impacts of VSM by examining it through sociocultural epidemiology, neuroscience, and interventions research. The Canadian, US, and Australian guest editors contend that, when compared with other drugs used at a similar prevalence, VSM has attracted relatively little research effort. The authors and editors call for further research to develop evidence-based policies and comprehensive interventions that respect culture and context-specific knowledge.

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    ABSTRACT: Voluntary inhalation of organic solvents, such as toluene, is particularly prevalent in adolescent populations and is considered to be a contributing factor to substance use and dependence later in life (Lubman, Yücel, & Lawrence, 2008; White, 2001). While inhalants are often the initial “drug” experienced during this period, alcohol is another substance readily abused by adolescent populations. Although both substances are thought to have similar actions within the brain, our understanding of the implications of adolescent inhalant abuse upon subsequent exposure to alcohol remains to be investigated. Thus, this study aimed to assess locomotor responses to acute ethanol and voluntary ethanol consumption following a period of toluene inhalation throughout adolescence/early adulthood. Adolescent male Wistar rats (postnatal day [PN] 27) inhaled air or toluene (3,000 ppm) for 1 h/day, 3 days/week for 4 (PN 27–52) or 8 weeks (PN 27–80) to mimic the patterns observed in human inhalant abusers. Following the exposure period, cross-sensitization to acute ethanol challenge (0.5 g/kg, intra-peritoneally [i.p.]), and voluntary consumption of 20% ethanol in a chronic intermittent 2-bottle choice paradigm, were assessed. Hepatic ethanol and acetaldehyde metabolism and liver histopathology were also investigated. Chronic intermittent toluene (CIT) exposure throughout adolescence for up to 8 weeks did not alter the behavioral response to acute ethanol or voluntary consumption of ethanol in adulthood, although an age-dependent effect on ethanol consumption was observed (p < 0.05). Both liver function and pathology did not differ between treatment groups. Thus, in the paradigm employed, CIT exposure throughout adolescence and early adulthood did not predispose rats to subsequent locomotor sensitivity or voluntary consumption of ethanol in adulthood.
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