Use of nitrite inhalants ("poppers") among American youth

J Adolesc Health. 2005 Jul;37(1):52-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.06.007.


Purpose: We examined the patterns and correlates of nitrite inhalant use among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.

Methods: Study data were drawn from the 2000 and 2001 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse. Logistic regression was used to identify the characteristics associated with nitrite inhalant use.

Results: Among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, 1.5% reported any lifetime use of nitrite inhalants. The prevalence of lifetime nitrite inhalant use increased to 12% and 14% among adolescents who were dependent on alcohol and any drug in the past year, respectively. Many nitrite inhalant users used at least three other types of inhalants (68%) and also met the criteria for alcohol (33%) and drug (35%) abuse or dependence. Increased odds of nitrite inhalant use were associated with residing in nonmetropolitan areas, recent utilization of mental health services, delinquent behaviors, past year alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, and multi-drug use.

Conclusions: Adolescents who had used nitrite inhalants at least once in their lifetime tend to engage in delinquent activities and report co-occurring multiple drug abuse and mental health problems in the past year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Amyl Nitrite / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Social Class
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Amyl Nitrite