1 Solvent abuse is not a new phenomenon--it has been practised by children and adolescents in America and elsewhere since the 1950s. 2 It was in November 1970 that police in the west of Scotland first identified the problem in a local industrial area. Since then there appears to have been an enormous increase in the size of the problem throughout Britain. 3 This paper deals with a review of 400 cases of solvent abuse referred to the investigator between 1975 and 1981. The substance used, the methods employed and the many and varied clinical effects resulting from solvent misuse in these cases are reviewed and discussed.