Inhalant use is the intentional inhalation of vapors from commercial products or specific chemical agents for the purpose of achieving intoxication. Inhalants are among the most common and pernicious forms of substance use and the least studied of the major drugs. Diagnosis of inhalant dependence, according to the DSM-IV [Weintraub E, Gandhi D, Robinson C. Medical complications due to mothball abuse. South Med J 2000;93:427-9] excludes inhalant withdrawal symptoms, as expert opinion has suggested that an inhalant withdrawal syndrome is neither common nor clinically significant. This article draws from multiple sources of data to suggest that withdrawal symptoms can be part of inhalant dependence and are clinically significant. This hypothesis needs rigorous evaluation to ensure the diagnostic validity of inhalant use disorders.
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