History

The quality and quantity of data elicited will depend on the practitioner’s sensitivity to the client. The practitioner’s communication style is adapted to specific circumstances. If the client is intoxicated, the interview may have to be conducted after detoxification. Completing a history may be difficult and frequently must be carried out over a period of time. This is necessary to distinguish between manifestations that are due to intoxication versus long-term complications. Information must be collected on the inhalant abused; the manner, duration, and frequency of abuse, and the use of other chemicals—such as alcohol—in addition to the inhalant. Sample questions include:

In addition to obtaining a medical history that asks questions pertaining to the effects of inhalants, it is recommended that the person who is performing the assessment obtain information pertaining to childhood disease, history of injuries and acute or chronic infections (including STDs). Clients under the influence of chemicals often do not take precautions to protect themselves from sexually transmitted disease. Additionally, the client should be requested to sign a release of medical information. Depending on the age of the client, some of the data may need to be obtained from a parent /guardian. The following collaborative information is helpful:


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