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Introduction: inhalants like glue, paint thinner, and other petroleum-derived substances are one of the most utilized substance groups among Mexican teenagers. Recent studies have found that, along with marijuana, inhalants are the preferred substance of abuse among youth.
Objective: the purpose of the present study is to determine factors that differentiate inhalant users from other drug users and those who do not consume any drugs.
Method: data from the 2009 Student Survey for Mexico City was used, which consisted a sample of 22,980 middle and high school students.
Results: inhalant users are younger, come from locations in which drug use is more tolerated, including family and social enviroments; availability and opportunity for use were also important. In comparison with other drug users, inhalant users are more impulsive, have more friends with antisocial behaviors and had with more frequency a family member who is also a drug user.
Discussion and conclusions: results reassert the need for designing prevention programs that not only focus on drug use, but are also aimed at family and social factors related to higher risk of use.