Blog Report

Friday, June 27, 2008

Inhalant Abuse by Police Recruit

Inhalant Abuse was recently cited as a reason for a police officer’s dismissal. The Washington Post reports that a number of police recruits for the U.S. Capitol Police department were dismissed

“Capitol Police officials have declined to comment publicly. However, letters given to seven of the recruits and obtained by The Washington Post provided a range of reasons for the dismissals.

One of those trainees was also cited for using an inhalant "for the purpose of obtaining a 'high.' "

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Students to Recieve Huffing Lessons

From The Popculture Phrasebook, Tuesday, June 24th 2008

British students will get 'gas huffing' lessons in a bid to cut deaths as a result of asphyxiation. New legislation from government will see 13-18 year old pupils receiving instruction on how to get high on gas safely, minimizing risk to their health while maximizing their highs.

In a bid to half the deaths from the popular teenage pursuit of aerosol sniffing, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered school leaders to educate pupils on how best to consume the intoxicants. He wants drug education to mirror sex education, and likens unwanted teen pregnancies to unwanted teenage deaths.

"Teens don't want their young lives ruined by something as petty as death - just as they don't want to fall pregnant before they've had a chance to sniff the beautiful flower of teenage life…”
–Gordon Brown

Teen remains hospitalized after huffing incident

On Thursday, June 19th, two South Dakota teens were ingesting compressed air from a computer keyboard cleaning product, trying to get a high from the chemical vapors. One girl was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital and remained there as of Monday afternoon. Her condition is still not known. The other girl did not require medical treatment, and is being questioned about other details surrounding the case, including if there were others involved in the incident.

Police Chief Art Mabry says that the abuse of inhalants (huffing) is nothing new in Vermillion, South Dakota. “We have seen it for a couple of years, but it’s a little worse now.”

Many of the teens that abuse household products don’t realize that every time they use, they risk brain and organ damage or even death. Inhalants are popular because they are readily accessible, cheap and legal, but children need to be educated on the dangers of these products when they are used incorrectly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Woman Found Huffing in Store Restroom

From 620 WTMJ and in Wisconsin:

On June 16th, a 46-year old woman purchased two cans of compressed gas at an Office Max. “She then went to the store's restroom, where she stayed for more than an hour. When employees entered the bathroom to check up on the woman, she was lying on the floor and incoherent.”

“Employees called police, and the woman was taken to the hospital where she was medically cleared. She then was taken to the Sheriff's Department, where she was processed on a state count of disorderly conduct and released.”

Help us in reaching out to the radio station linked above to clear up the misperception that this product is "just air." All too often this misperception leads many children and adults to huff the product, thinking it cannot be dangerous since it is "just air." It is not air. The product contains chemicals that the individuals are introducing into their bodies.

Therefore, please help us in our efforts to change this misperception- or send suggestions on how we can get this preventative message out to even more communities.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Interesting new inhalant data from Carroll County, Arkansas.

The Carroll County News in Berryville, Arkansas reports that at a recent community coalition meeting, results from the 2006 Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Survey were released.

All three school districts in Carroll County have participated in the survey annually since 2002. The survey is filled out by students in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades voluntarily and anonymously during one class period.”

The survey is also broken down by “Lifetime Use” of 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades and “Past 30-Day Use” for the same grades. Percentages for all categories can be found on table 3 of the report:

6th grade county 2005 – 9.6%
6th grade county 2006 -8.33 %
State 2006 – 9.3%

8th grade county 2005 – 18 %
8th grade county 2006 -22.99 %
State 2006 – 15.41%

10th grade county 2005 -15.2%
10th grade county 2006 -19.05%
State 2006

12th grade county 2005 -10.1%
12th grade county 2006 -13.23%
State 2006


6th grade county 2005 -4.9%
6th grade county 2006 -3.89%
State 2006 -4.10%

8th grade county 2005 -7.4%
8th grade county 2006 -6.95%
State 2006 -6.53%

10th grade county 2005 -5.8%
10th grade county 2006 -4.76%
State 2006 -5.16%

12th grade county 2005 -2.2%
12th grade county 2006 -5.82%
State 2006 -3.08%

Between 2005 and 2006, inhalant use has increased for lifetime: 8th, 10th, and 12th graders and for 30-day use, it has increased for 12th grade. The percentage increase for all these grades is significant.

In addition, for lifetime inhalant use, county inhalant use compared to state is higher for 8th, 10th and 12th. For 30-day use, county use is higher than state for 8th and 10th grade. Here, the most dramatic difference between county and state numbers was for 8th grade lifetime use. County use is 22.99% while state use is reported at 15.41%.

Inhalant Abuse in Fargo ND

From the Grand Forks Herald:

Ten police officers from Fargo, ND have just completed a two week course and certification process in order to become drug recognition experts.

Officer Chet Decker discussed inhalant abuse. “Officers usually do not encounter a lot of people using inhalants, but there has been an increase in the number of people inhaling spray products used to clean computer keyboards.”

Friday, June 20, 2008

Check out ACE's new and improved social networking sites!

Hello everyone! This is Tori, ACE’s summer intern. I’d like to let everyone know that as an ongoing summer project, I will be updating ACE’s myspace, facebook and other new media sites. If you already have a profile in any of these social networks, please “friend” ACE, invite your friends and let me know what you think of the page.

All the pages are still very new, but if we can get more people checking them out and joining as friends, we will be able to get a full network together, and get the word out about inhalant abuse to a younger audience. I have recently been working on our myspace, facebook and squidoo pages, so please spread the word, invite your friends, and stay safe. Thanks and I’ll talk to you soon!

Lafayette Teens –Update

The Journal and Courier in Lafayette Indiana has updated readers on the status of the three girls injured in a huffing related incident last month.

The three girls have now been released from the hospital.

Detective Shumaker of the Lafayette Police Department is reported as saying "They are all doing pretty well….They are all pretty much recovered… But the girls do have some visible facial scarring and injuries."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Man High from Huffing Scares Family

From the Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach, Florida:

After “huffing the contents of a dust remover canister” a 44 year old man from Texas scared a woman and her two children as he jumped into the passenger of their SUV.

The article notes that the woman was loading her car with groceries when the man “ran in front of the vehicle "acting strange" and then hopped into the passenger seat.” “She screamed and one of the kids screamed and cried, according to a report.”

The man “left after much yelling, then told investigators he had heard the woman arguing with another person and came over to see what was wrong. He said he thought he only leaned into the SUV, and if he actually sat in it, he couldn't remember.”

Monday, June 16, 2008

Less Inhalant Risk in North Dakota

From the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota:

More than 9,750 North Dakota students in grades nine through 12 recently took part in the 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey is “conducted every two years by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and the North Dakota Department of Health.”

The survey results were released earlier this month and revealed: “North Dakota students are at less risk, however, of lifetime inhalant use — sniffing glue, breathing in contents of aerosol cans, inhaling paints or sprays — with about 11 percent saying they’ve tried it, to 13 percent nationwide.”

New Local Illinois Data.

From the Urbana/Champaign News-Gazette in Illinois:

“The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board learned from a student survey about the exposure some of their students have had to drugs and alcohol and their experiences with bullying.”

The survey revealed that 13% of the school’s 8th-graders had tried inhalants.

“The Illinois Youth Survey is given each year to students in the sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades. The focus of the survey is to follow student trends – this year, those concerning drugs and alcohol.”

More information on the statewide survey, including results from the mid 90s through 2006 can be found on the Illinois Youth Survey Site.

D.A.R.E. Graduation in Florida

Following up on the previous post, 5th graders in Santa Rosa Florida also recently celebrated their graduation from D.A.R.E.

The Santa Rosa Press Gazette in Florida printed the local winning D.A.R.E. essay. Upon completion of the program the students are required to write an essay detailing what they learned in the sessions. "A top winner is selected from each of the fifth grade classrooms, and from those winners one essay is selected as the best."

The winning essay includes a few mentions regarding inhalant abuse:

Winning D.A.R.E. Essay
by Destiny Redd
  • "I learned a lot of important things that I never knew in D.A.R.E. Now I know how to make healthy choices. It also helped me to make good decisions in any situation. I learned how to get out of risky situations."

  • "Facts about inhalants: Headaches, muscle weakening, abdominal pain, severe mood swings, and violent behavior. Numbness and tingling of hands and feet, decrease or loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, and lots more effects could happen. Hundreds of legal household products can be sniffed or huffed to get high. All inhalants can be toxic"

  • "So all of these different types of drugs, I never would of thought that they could do so much harmful things to your body. Especially the inhalants because a little kid could sniff one of the inhalants and that little kid could get high"

  • "I am so excited that I learned these facts about tobacco, marijuana, alcohol and other drugs that hurt our body. But if my friend ever tried to make me do something like all that stuff, I would just tell them “If you are my friend you wouldn’t try to make me do something I don’t wanna (sic) do.” And I’d walk away. The kids and teens that do tobacco, marijuana, alcohol and other bad drugs, they are not very smart because they’re messing up their life. I don’t care if I’m cool or not, but I think the people that do that stuff are the ones that are not cool. I’m glad I learned about things. So I thank you D.A.R.E."

NH Children Learn About Inhalants

From the Rockingham News in Exeter, NH:

Approximately 120 children recently attended a local D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) field day in New Hampshire.

From the following statement within the article it seems inhalant abuse was part of the discussion and the preventative message reached the children. Thank you D.A.R.E.

“As they wandered from exhibit to exhibit, Fremont fifth-graders Cameron Breton and Matt Dupras said they "learned a lot" in D.A.R.E."We learned how to say no to drugs," Matt said. And they learned why: "Drugs can affect your whole body," he said.Cam added, "Inhalants can kill you the first time you use them."

Friday, June 13, 2008

12 Year Old Boy Severely Burned After Huffing

From the Sunday Star Times (New Zealand) earlier this week.:

A 12 year old boy “huffed flyspray through his jacket” and then set himself on fire using a lighter. He suffered severe burns and remains in the hospital.

The article notes: “They could see "ice cubes" of residue on his clothes from the spray. "He was high and he was just being stupid," says the 12-year-old who passed him the lighter. "I told him not to do anything stupid... Then he lit the shirt... It just started out as a little patch." The fire quickly spread and the group started yelling at the boy to "stop, drop and roll". But he panicked, running away from them.

The shirt “burned for about 45 seconds” before his 14 year old friend caught him and ripped the shirt from him. The article quotes the 14 year old as saying, "I carried him on my shoulders to the fountain. He had bubbles all on his chest. His whole chest was burned. He was like, `take me home, take me home'."

Instead, the 14 year old carried the 12 year old from the foundation to the “Aquatic Centre next door, put him in a cold shower, and rang for an ambulance.”

Inhalant Abuse- Likely Cause of Developer’s Death

According to the Oviedo-Winter Springs Voice in Oviedo, Florida, a local developer’s death on the evening of June 3rd was most likely attributable to inhalant abuse.

Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Cannaday stated that the 40 year old male “likely died of a heart attack after inhaling the contents of aerosol cans.” The preliminary autopsy findings noted "cardiac arrest due to fluorocarbon toxicity in the bloodstream.”

The article further reveals that he was found unresponsive and several cans of compuer dusting spray "were found littering his home and in the room where his body was found.”

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Partnership Releases New Parent Data

Yesterday morning at a virtual press conference (webinar) the Partnership for a Drug-Free America announced a new resource for parents. At the same time it also released its Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) Parents 2007 Report.

PATS is “an annual study that is the largest drug-related attitudinal tracking study in the country.” The 2007 study included 1,045 parents or caregivers of children ages 10-19 (margin of error +/-3 percent).

The report includes one section regarding inhalant abuse: Chart 3 on page 8.
  • “Only 1 in 4 (25%) of parents feel “extremely prepared to know the types of household products that children/teens inhalant to get high.”

Huffing Related Crash in Michigan

According to the Midland Daily News, earlier this week a 16 year old male was huffing computer dusting spray while driving.

He then passed out behind the wheel and caused a crash that injured his passengers.The car "went off the roadway, destroyed an information sign, and crashed into a stand of pine trees." The driver was "ticketed for reckless driving and released to his parents."

The article quotes Midland Acting Police Chief Bob Lane. "It's a very dangerous situation....The kids have no clue what this stuff does to you."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Binge Drinking and Inhalant Abuse

In this morning’s news alerts, we came across an interesting item regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s new campaign “Let’s Make it a Safe Summer. Don’t Serve Alcohol to Teens.”

Towards the end of the release, an interesting note caught our attention: “Teens who drink are at more likely than nondrinkers to ride with a drinking driver; have unwanted, unintended, and unprotected sexual activity; use tobacco; experience interpersonal violence; consider or attempt suicide; and use marijuana, cocaine, or inhalants.”

Called over to the FTC’ Bureau of Consumer Protection and they were extremely helpful in sending the citation to support this statement. “J.W. Miller et al., Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk Behaviors Among High School Students, 119 Pediatrics 76-85 (2007).

The table includes “current inhalant use” (which is defined as “sniffed glue, breathed aerosol spray, or inhaled paints one or more times during the past 30 days”)

TABLE 3 (last line) Prevalence and AOR of Risk Behaviors Among US High School Students According to Drinking Status, 2003

  • All respondents: 4% current inhalant use.

  • Non-drinkers: 1% current inhalant use.

  • Current Drinkers Who Did Not Binge Drink: 2.7 % current inhalant use. (Adjusted odds ratio: 3.2%)

  • Current Drinkers Who Binge Drank: 8.8% current inhalant use. (Adjusted odds ratio: 12.3%)

The correlation between binge drinking and increased inhalant use is indeed startling.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

$200,000 damage in Huffing Related Crash

The West Central Tribune in Minnesota updated readers on the May 2nd huffing related crash.

At 1:15 am on May 2nd, an officer was called to the location for reports of an alarm. He noticed that a van had “crashed through the garage door, damaged walls, spilled oil and footprints leading out the door.” The van had veered off the road “struck a sign, passed over a grassy area and parking lot and went through the garage and into the wall opposite the garage door.”

The 18 year old driver “returned to the scene, was limping, covered with oil and was bleeding from his nose.” He indicated there were four other passengers in the vehicle at the time and that they had been huffing- but he “denied huffing the cleaner. The four other passengers disputed this and one claimed the van swerved off the road when she tried to grab the driver’s arm or the can from his hand.

“According to the petition, Peterson submitted to a blood test after the crash. The sample tested positive for difluoroethane, a chemical found in electronics cleaning and consumer aerosol products.”

One of the passengers suffered a broken leg. Additionally, “some of the spilled oil reached the city’s storm sewers and was contained by booms placed in a nearby county ditch. The day after the crash, shop officials estimated the damage to the building at more than $200,000.”

New Mexico Huffing Case

The Clovis News Journal (Clovis, NM) just released their June 10th local police plotter. Included within the incidents was an inhalant-related one:

”About 9:30 a.m. June 2 an officer responded to a vehicle accident in the 900 block of South Prince Street. Emergency responders told the officer they found a vehicle against a fence with the engine running. They said the female driver was huffing dust remover spray. They took the can away from her and turned off the engine. The woman was arrested at the request of her probation officer.”

Signs Parents Should Watch Out For

Sue Scheff, in her “Is Your Child in Trouble” blog post notes:

“This article from the American Chronicle by Genae-Valecia Hinesman lists and details several signs that parents should watch out for, as they may indicate problems in your child's life. Many of these signals are also applicable for inhalant abuse, but this is a great article to read for any parent.”

She highlights seven signs to be aware of and number six ("Finding Unusual Possessions") specifically mentions inhalant abuse.

“Recently, even glue, industrial products, and cleaning supplies have been used as inhalants (known among teens as "huffing") by kids seeking to get "high"-- often with fatal results. Finding these in your child´s room, pockets, or belongings is just as serious as finding a weapon. More than a red flag, this is a screaming siren!"

Monday, June 9, 2008

Huffing Inhalants in the Military

This morning's news alerts held a sad piece that happened to reference inhalant abuse in the military - specifically with a specific company in Iraq:

“Seems like a pretty good company on the surface, but there are a lot of issues that have come out recently which would make you think otherwise,” McKinney wrote to a friend in an e-mail. “I’ve got guys getting drunk in sector, dudes taking drugs, huffing inhalants, stealing and one who will probably get court-martialed.”

Friday, June 6, 2008

New CDC Youth Inhalant Data

Yesterday, the “Surprising Trends for Youth Risk” post notes, “The figures from the CDC report indicate that youth behaviors are actually improving in many regards. With the exception of inhalant use, the CDC summary indicates that the use of drugs has dropped over the past several years, following increases between 1991 and 1999.”

The report that he is referring to is the recent Centers for Disease Control’s “2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).” And, the inhalant data is indeed startling.

Page 17 of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report’s “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance” outlines the issues in more details. The reporting period covers January – December 2007 and the report “summarizes results from the national survey, 39 state surveys, and 22 local surveys conducted among students in grades 9–12.”

Under “Lifetime Inhalant Use” (page 17 of the report, 19 on your PDF reader) a quick summary of their findings:

  • Nationwide 13.3% of students (grade 9-12) have used an inhalant in their lifetime
  • Lifetime inhalant use was higher for female (14.3%) than male (12.4%) students
  • Lifetime inhalant use was higher among white female (15.6%) than white male (13.1%) students
  • Lifetime inhalant use was higher for 9th-grade female (17.2%) and 10th-grade female (16.6%) than 9th-grade male (13.0%) and 10th-grade male (12.5%) students, respectively
  • Overall, the prevalence of lifetime inhalant use was higher among white (14.4%) and Hispanic (14.1%) than black (8.5%) students
  • Lifetime inhalant use was higher among white female (15.6%) and Hispanic female (15.5%) than black female (7.9%) students.
  • Lifetime inhalant use was higher among white male (13.1%) than black male (9.2%) students.
  • Prevalence of lifetime inhalant use was higher among 9th-grade (15.0%), 10th-grade (14.6%), and 11th-grade (12.5%) than 12th-grade (10.2%) students
  • Lifetime inhalant use was higher among 9th-grade female (17.2%) and 10th-grade female (16.6%) than 11th-grade female (12.4%) and 12th-grade female (9.7%) students
  • Prevalence of lifetime inhalant use ranged from 9.8% to 19.2% across state surveys (median: 12.8%) and from 6.9% to 17.4% across local surveys (median: 10.0%)

The survey also provides a good summary in Power Point Slides

While all the findings are alarming, particualrly disturbing are how high the percentages are for the younger grades. Discuss inhalant abuse with your children and encourge as many members of your community to be informed of this issue as possible. Together, we need to see these numbers decline, not increase.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New SAFE Data in Virginia

SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment), a nonprofit organization in Chesterfield County, Virginia, recently issued their Prevention Needs Assessment: Youth Survey Results.

In November 2005, the group surveyed youth in grades 8, 10, 12 and in 2007 the group conducted a follow-up study to measure against the 2005 numbers. The 2007 survey was given to 4,500 students and contains interesting inhalant data regarding 8th, 10th, and 12th grade inhalant use.

  • Lifetime inhalant use was down 40% (from 19.8 to 11.7 percent).
  • Past 30-day inhalant use was down 44% (from 8.2 to 4.6 percent).
  • Lifetime use of inhalants by 8th grade students fell from 20% in 2005 to 12% in 2007.
  • Past 30-day inhalant use for 8th grade students fell from 8% in 2005 to 5% in 2007.
  • Past 30-day inhalant use for 10th grade students fell from 3% in 2005 to 2% in 2007.

The Chesterfield Observer reports, “The 2005 survey indicated eighth-graders had a "much higher problem with inhalants than the national average," and SAFE developed a program to address it." Wayne Frith, executive director of SAFE, “presented the group’s findings late last month at a school board meeting, telling school board members school is a safer environment than home. "It's a community problem, not a school problem," he assured them.”

SAFE's prevention model for inhalant abuse prevention has proven effective and we looking forward to hearing from Mr. Frith on tips we can share with you for implementation in your own communities.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lafayette Teen Update

The Journal & Courier just reported that the three teens involved in the car explosion last week still remain hospitalized.

Capt. Bruce Biggs of the Lafayette Police Department notes that two of the 17-year-olds remain in critical condition, including one who is on a ventilator. The third teen is expected to be released soon. The article also notes that the three could "face charges for inhaling toxic vapors, a Class B misdemeanor."

For more information on this incident, please visit our previous post this week.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Teens Injured in Car Explosion

From the Journal and Courier in Lafayette, Indiana regarding an alarming inhalant-related incident this past weekend:

Three 17 year old females were taken to the hospital after their car exploded on Friday night. According to Lafayette Police Lt. Jim Taul, the three females had been huffing from an aerosol can inside a parked Honda Accord "when one of them decided to light a cigarette." The flame ignited the fumes, causing an explosion that blew the windows out of the car, he said. "People heard the explosion a block away."

Lafayette Police Officer Perry Amos, a school resource officer, was also interviewed. Officer Amos cautioned that huffing can be fatal- even the very first time an inhalant is used. Additionally, he urged all parents to “watch for the warning signs” of use.

For more info on warning signs for inhalant abuse, visit our main informational site. Download the informational brochure and inhalant kit so that you can have this preventative conversation with your child. Having this conversation could possibly save their life.