Blog Report

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Update on Oregon Case involving Huffing Fatality

From the Statesman Journal: An update on yesterday’s blog post

The 23 year old driver “told deputies that she took a hit from a nitrous oxide canister while driving Monday before blacking out and crashing her vehicle.” The report also notes that she was “traveling about 45 mph to 50 mph at the time.”

She was “arraigned Wednesday on charges of first-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and driving under the influence of inhalants.” She is being held without bail.

An interesting statement from the spokeswoman for the Sherriff’s Dept. The spokeswoman said, “incidents involving inhalants are rare in Marion County because most teens understand its risk factors.”

Do you agree with this statement? We would love to hear your feedback on this.

Some state-specific information also included in the article:

  • “On April 23, 2007, Nickolas Shane Brown, 14, of South Salem died after inhaling the contents of a can of computer dust cleaner, police said.”
  • “Reports of inhalant use in Marion County are slightly lower than statewide figures, said Jeff Ruscoe, a prevention specialist for the Oregon Department of Human Services Addictions and Mental Health and Division.”
  • “Asked in 2005 and 2006 about past substance use in a 30-day period, 5 percent of eighth-graders reported using inhalants, and 2.5 percent of 11th-graders reported using them, according to studies.”
  • “In 2007, 6.1 percent of eighth graders statewide reported using inhalants and 3.1 percent of 11th-graders reported using inhalants.”

Notice that the number of both 8th graders and 11th graders using inhalants increased from 2005/2006 to 2007.

12 Year Old Girl Killed From Huffing

From the Hannibal Courier Post in Missouri:

This past Wednesday a memorial service was held at the home of a 12 year old girl who died after huffing inhalants.

Sierrah Yarbrough was “found in her bed on Sunday, where she had apparently been inhaling aerosol hair spray. Found by her sister, emergency crews were summoned and Sierrah was taken to Columbia for medical care. She failed to regain consciousness, according to the source, and died on Wednesday.”

The community was deeply saddened by the loss of Sierrah. Some of their emotional concerns follow below:
  • "We’re failing our kids"
  • “She learned huffing from somewhere. It was a common can of hair spray. She inhaled so much her brain started to die.”
  • "As a mother of teens myself, my ears have always been to the ground. Now my eyes are definitely more open."
  • “She was a very special girl, the kids hung out together, watched the flood water, and just walked around and played. If I’d known what she was doing, I would have done something. My 11-year-old doesn’t understand why Sierrah died."
  • “The community needs to be aware. An EMT told me this is a real problem in the school."

Help us reach more communities before it's too late. Visit our website and download the necessary materials to talk with your children about this issue.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Huffing Causes Fatal Car Wreck

From yesterday’s Salem News:

On Monday evening, a car containing four individuals ranging from 17 to 23 years of age veered off the road into a tree. The article notes, “Investigators have determined that more likely than not (the driver) had inhaled Nitrous Oxide gas prior to the crash.”

The 17 year old passenger in the right rear seat was rushed to the hospital where she “later died of her injuries at approximately 1:08 AM (August 26th).”

The front seat passenger “sustained at least a fractured leg” and the second rear seat passenger “sustained internal injuries.” Both were admitted to the hospital.

The 23 year old driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at the hospital and released. She was then transported to the county jail “where she was lodged on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree; Assault in the Second degree (two counts); and Driving While under the Influence of Inhalants.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Law Enforcement in Nebraska concerned about huffing

From the Sun Telegraph last Friday:

A Sidney Police Probation Officer noted that inhalant abuse is a threat that is “growing significantly among local youths. He continued, “Instead of (using) alcohol or drugs, kids are inhaling aerosol cans and gasoline. This has become a major problem in Sidney.”

The officer references a recent case where the judge sentenced the individual to write an essay on huffing. “After writing the paper, she discovered that it has become an epidemic. She since has agreed to help educate local fifth-graders on the dangers of inhaling toxic chemicals.”

A few more interesting points from the officer:

  • “I am scared to death for these kids. We don’t want anything to happen to them.”
  • “This seems to be making a comeback”
  • “People are dying right and left. If people knew what kids in the community were doing this, they would be shocked.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Australian Students Caught Huffing

From LiveNews.Com.Au in Sydney, Australia:

Five students, in 7th -9th grade, were expelled and two were suspended from Sydney's Pymble Ladies College after they were allegedly caught inhaling aerosols.

The Principal noted, "Pymble Ladies’ College takes seriously any issue that has the potential to harm the health and well-being of its students."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New resource for parents in Calloway County, Kentucky

According to the Murray Ledger & Times, the Calloway County Sheriff's Department just released “Let's All Work to Fight Drug Abuse: Prevention through Education.”

The 35 page magazine contains information for “parents, teachers or anyone wanting to know more about the most commonly used drugs and what signs to look for should drug or alcohol abuse be suspected.”

Intervention's Inhalant Segment

There have been a number of posts on various blogs regarding A&E's Intervention episode that involved inhalant abuse. However, the comments following's post yesterday are particularly interesting.

Increase in Inhalant Abuse Rates in Singapore

From the Strait Times:

The article notes, “There were 352 inhalant abusers caught in the first six months, about the same as last year's 347 arrests.”

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has established a “formal Case Management Reporting Framework” for schools “to report all inhalant abuse cases to the anti-narcotics agency.” The article continues, “Inhalant abuse will, for the first time, be the main focus of the National Council against Drug Abuse's annual anti-drug campaign.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

McCann Inhalant Abuse Treatment Center— Follow up

From Secretary Mike Leavitt’s Blog, August 6, 2008

Mike Leavitt is the Secretary of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in late July he toured a Western Alaska village to see first hand what problems some Native communities face today.

Along his scheduled tour, he paid a visit to the Yukon Kuskokwim-Health Corporation (YKHC), a tribal health organization. Located on the outskirts of Bethel, Alaska, a YKHC facility called the McCann Inhalant Abuse Treatment Center sits. Secretary Leavitt uses his blog to share his eye opening experience:

"The building houses a truly unique program for boys and girls that have become addicted to inhaling substances. This program responds to what is truly a terrible problem. In many remote parts of Alaska, people, desperate to escape their lives, seek intoxication by inhaling gasoline, glue, aerosols or any number of other household products with ingredients capable of producing such an effect. These toxic products are used as a substitute for alcohol or other drugs, which are both expensive and not as readily available to youth in remote Alaska.

"The existence of this problem is symptomatic of an epidemic of suicide in Alaska. In the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, 13% of all deaths are from suicide. This is over four times the national average.

"This little Center serves the entire state of Alaska and is perhaps unique countrywide. The population of patients is boys and girls under 18 years old. By my observation, the average age is much lower than 18. The director said that the population of residents continues to represent more and more severe problems coming at younger and younger ages.

"I briefly attended two classes where I had a chance to meet the students. I want to be very careful not to compromise anybody’s privacy in the way I describe this, so I will just say it broke my heart. Seeing 14 to 16 year-old boys (there were not girls enrolled during my visit) who have clearly affected their long-term cognitive outlook was painful. Although I know they are getting help to move forward in a better way, the damage is already significant and there are many more who are not being served.

"In a direct way, the scene paints a picture so many children in remote Alaska face. Alcoholism is everywhere. I’m told incest and other forms of abuse are prevalent. Children looking for an escape inhale toxic substances for relief and become hopelessly addicted.
One of the workers told me of a conversation she had with a young boy who said he couldn’t stay away from inhalants. His words, as she reported them, were poignant. “When I think about it,” he said, “I am like metal to a magnet.”

"The Center is named the McCann Treatment Center after a man who stood in a town meeting with then Senator Frank Murkowski and, in desperation, pleaded for help with his grandson. The Senator knew there were thousands more like him and sought money to build the Center. It serves the few well, but the many continue in their quiet desperation, too many of them ending up as part of the 13% suicide rate.

"Once the brain has been damaged by inhalation it is permanent. However, they can prevent further damage and prevent premature deaths. The students are provided with a small-class-size environment, and taught skills consistent with the subsistence lifestyle they live in their villages. For example, they have a fishing camp where they are taught to catch, process and dry fish.

"I asked Jamie, the director of the Center, if the boys have trouble at that age being away from home for that long (the program can be as long as two years). He said that some of them struggle at first, but over time they begin to trust and open up. “They begin talking about the issues that motivated their destructive behavior in the first place. Watching them go through it is hard, but I love every one of these boys and I’m committed to helping them as best we can.”"

5 Ways Teens Might Cheat on Drug Tests & How to Catch Them

From U.S. News & World Report August 6, 2008

We receive a lot of phone calls, emails, inquiries on our Inhalant message board asking if there are any over the counter tests for inhalants. Unfortunately, no such test exists. This article explores drug tests, and 5 ways teens (and adults) try to cheat them.

Shockingly, bullet #3 explains how in order for a drug not to show up teens switch drugs to ones harder to detect (i.e. inhalants)- not realizing it may be considerably more hazardous. The article goes on to explain how "inhaling is acutely more dangerous than marijuana" and it how inhalant abuse “can trigger a lethal heart problem known as "sudden sniffing death" in otherwise healthy adolescents, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Surprising Reasons for Student Drug Use

From , August 4th, 2008

A New York study reveals new insight into the reasons why teens use drugs.

The study shows that of 6,511 polled teens, 73% report that school stress and pressure is the main reason for drug use. “Ironically, only 7% of parents believe that teens use drugs to cope with stress.”

Over the past decade, studies have indicated a steady changing trend in what teens perceive as the motivations for using drugs. The "to have fun" rationales are declining, while motivations to use drugs to solve problems are increasing.

On the positive side, the study confirms that overall abuse remains in a steady decline among teens. Marijuana, ecstasy, inhalants, methamphetamine alcohol and cigarette usage continue to decrease.

Another Update on Glue-Sniffing in Fiji

From The Fiji Times Online

Police say glue-sniffing is becoming more serious with 2-3 students apprehended daily by police. The youngest student caught was only 9 years old.

Fiji Police Force deputy director ASP Anare Masitabua says the problem is that there was no law against sniffing glue, even though the force was trying its best to enforce relevant legislation.

The seriousness of the problem, he said, forced police to form a committee under the national substance abuse advisory council to formulate an Act to enable users of glue to be charged. "The Act will make glue a controlled substance so there are certain provision so some people like shoe makers will be allowed to buy it. The legislation will vet who the substance is sold to and what will be required to have access to it," he said.

Cologne Huffing Boy Attacks Mom With Candy

From The Kitsap Sun Police Blotter

A 16-year-old male was arrested for assaulting his mother and for interfering with a 911 call on July 29th. According to police, the mother had taken all of the boy’s cologne, believing that he had been spraying it into bags and inhaling it to get high. The boy became angry when she wouldn’t return the cologne. He threw a piece of candy at her, striking her eye glasses. He then broke a glass bowl against the floor. The boy tried to grab the phone his mother was using to call police. He was transported to the Kitsap County Juvenile Detention facility.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New UK data from Re-Solv

From Re-Solv in the UK:

A report released today by the Division of Community Health Sciences at St George’s, University of London, reveals that altogether in 2006 there were 49 deaths in the UK associated with volatile substance abuse. The report "Trends in Death Associated with Abuse of Volatile Substances 1971-2006", which was prepared for the Department of Health, describes trends in death associated with the abuse of gas fuels, aerosols, glues, anaesthetic agents and other solvent based products.

In 2006, butane from all sources accounted for 33 of the 49 deaths and of these butane cigarette lighter refills formed the largest group.

Five deaths in 2006 were as a result of asphyxia associated with the inhalation of nitrous oxide.

In under-18 year olds there were six deaths resulting from volatile substance abuse in 2006, compared with eight in 2005. Two of these deaths were associated with butane cigarette lighter refills, the sale of which to under-18s is prohibited by legislation.

Deaths were generally sudden and in 2006 were three times more common in males than females. Of the 49 deaths in 2006, ten were suicides involving the inhalation of a volatile substance.

For both adults and children volatile substance abuse leading to death usually took place in the home.

Friday, August 1, 2008

19 Year Old Found Huffing in Wal-Mart


On July 20th, a 19 year old man from Warminster, PA was found huffing dust remover while at Wal-Mart. The article quotes police, “He needed the support of the cart to support his body while he was huffing and eventually fell down."

The man was charged with "disorderly conduct and public drunkenness."