Complications of chronic glue (toluene) abuse in adolescents

Aust N Z J Med. 1984 Feb;14(1):39-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.1984.tb03583.x.


Recently there has been an alarming increase in the number of schoolchildren sniffing glue (toluene). The medical complications seen in 18 boys, aged 14 to 18 years, include physical and mental dependence, pulmonary hypertension with cor pulmonale, restrictive lung defect, encephalopathy, peripheral neuropathy and high frequency, continuous discharges ( neuromyotonia ) on electromyogram. Glue sniffing took place in small groups and abusers sniffed directly from cans containing glue. Lower socio-economic status, overcrowding, lack of attention by working parents, school failure and easy availability of the glue were commonly cited associated factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Psychomotor Disorders / chemically induced
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / chemically induced
  • Singapore
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • Toluene / adverse effects*


  • Toluene