Blog Report

Monday, September 29, 2008

Four Females Charged with Huffing

From the Pocono Record in Pennsylvania:

A 19 year old woman and three minors (females aged 14, 14, and 16) are now “facing charges of drug possession and illegal ingestion of inhalants.”

A police officer “patrolling the park came upon a parked vehicle with the four inside, police said. The vehicle’s occupants appeared “unusually nervous” and gave conflicting reasons for being in the park.”

When he searched the car, he found a can of computer duster and the occupants of the car noted they “intended to huff” the product.

Woman Found Dead in Her Car- Duster in Hand

From Asheville Citizen in North Carolina:

A 47 year old woman was found in her truck and police say that their “belief is that she overdosed on huffing canned air that she purchased at Wal-Mart the day before.”

A half empty can of computer duster was “found in the victim’s hand, while seven empty cans were discovered in the truck.”

The police sergeant also noted that “last year he caught an 18-year-old woman huffing in her car. He charged her with possession of a toxic substance and inhaling a toxic substance.”

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Jersey program addresses inhalants

From the Daily Journal in Vineland, NJ:

The Southwest Council, an alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention and education agency with offices in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties, will host a conference on inhalants on Oct. 10. Isabel Burke, Director of the Health Network, will be the key speaker.

Why is New Jersey putting on such a program?

In 2005, New Jersey's "Youth Risk Behavior Survey" reported that 10.1% of New Jersey students said they used inhalants to get high!

"Inhalants are the 4th most-abused substance after alcohol, tobacco and marijuana," said Joe Williams, executive director for The Southwest Council. He goes on to say that "[m]ost parents don't know that inhalants, because they are cheap, legal and accessible products, are as popular among middle school students as marijuana."

To learn more about this program click here

Mom Changes Building Code To Prevent Inhalant Abuse

From WBBH in Fort Myers, Florida
Mona Casey lost her 15 year old son Charles to inhalant abuse two years ago.
Since his death, his mother has been “working to make sure the same doesn't happen” to other children.

“An AC unit could be your child's ticket to getting high. The valve comes right off and inside, you can find the cooling agent, refrigerant, which some people have also used as an inhalant.” Mrs. Casey notes, "There is very easy access to something that was very dangerous that should have been out of reach to children a long time ago."

Mrs. Casey began working to change this and this week, the “International Code Council, which governs all the states' building codes, approved Casey's request to tighten the rules on AC units.”

“Starting in 2010 in Florida, all new AC units will have to come with a special valve that can only be taken off with a special tool. The move will make it nearly impossible for kids to get into an air conditioning unit.”

The article quotes the county building manager as saying, “"It's a major accomplishment, major," "I'm shocked, very surprised, and very happy she was able to do it," and that he has “never heard of an average citizen able to change the nation's building code.”

Mona Casey also remarks, "These are children that don't even understand what this stuff does to your body and I just want to give them a chance.”

Woman Arrested for Huffing Steals Police Car

From Reiten Television KXMB in Bismark, ND

This past Thursday, a 23 year old woman was arrested for huffing.

The Sheriffs Deputy found her on a walking path that goes under a highway. “He handcuffed her and put her in the squad car then went to get the evidence.”

“As he was processing the evidence, he heard his engine rev up and his car drive away."

He guesses that she “slid out of the handcuffs and went through the gate, window into the front seat inside the vehicle."The car was soon found and the woman was arrested at a local bar.

The woman “faces DUI and Theft of a Vehicle charges.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

18 Year-old Found Unconscious After Huffing Gasoline

From the Kitsap Sun in Washington:

An 18 year old man “fell unconscious at a football game Friday night.”

A school custodian found him “lying face down in a hallway of the high school.” Fire and Rescue responded along with two police officers who were working security at the game.

The police report notes, “While they were giving aid, the man stirred about and began struggling with medics, trying to run away. He said he "thought there were people out to kill him." It also notes that when he “regained consciousness, he became combative and told aid crew members he thought he was at a Seattle Seahawks' game."

He “appeared to be hallucinating, and his pupils were dilated. But he had no drug paraphernalia or narcotics on him.” He was brought to the hospital where re[portedly en route he mentioned he had been “huffing gasoline.”

Friday, September 19, 2008

21 Year-Old Pleads Not Guilty to Huffing Related Crash

From In-Forum in North Dakota:

On Thursday, the man pleaded not guilty "to a felony reckless endangerment charge in connection with an August accident downtown, where he crashed his pickup into a light pole, a car and a business."

Court documents note that he "told police he was huffing dust remover before the accident."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Man Hangs Himself as Result of Addiction to Inhalants

From the Phuket Gazette in Thailand:

Last Saturday in Thailand, 26 year old man hung himself in prison. Police attributed his apparent suicide to his “unstable mental condition, the result of a long-term addiction to inhalants.”

The man was “found hanging by a meter-long garment that he usually wore wrapped around his midsection, under his clothing. The garment was a gift from his mother when he served his compulsory military duty years ago, and was not visible to officers when he was placed in the cell the day before.”

The prison added he had “recently escaped from a drug rehabilitation center” but that he was in imprisoned for stealing his neighbor’s wallet.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Addiction and Inhalants

From the Sunshine Coast's Health Center Blog:

Daniel Jordan raises some interesting questions in his summary of an addictions presentation by
Dr. Carlton Erickson, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology, and director of the Addiction Science & Research Center in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.

What are your perspectives or thoughts on his following two points?

1. Inhalants and Addiction:
"Dr. Erickson calls the likelihood that a person will become dependent on a drug its “dependence liability.” Some drugs have a dependence liability while others do not.

The criteria for dependence liability is how it acts on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Caffeine, antidepressants, and newer anti-seizure medications do not have dependence liability. However, some drugs do and the following chart shows that a certain percentage of people (depending on the drug) will become dependent *:

Drug / Percentage of People Who Become Dependent
Nicotine - 32%, Heroin - 23%, Cocaine - 17%, Alcohol - 15%, Stimulants - 11%, Cannabis - 9%, Sedatives - 9%, Psychedelics - 5%, Inhalants - 4%.

Source: Anthony, J.C., Warner, L.A., & Kessler, R.C., (1994). Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the national comorbidity survey. Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2, 244-268."

2. Use the term "Abuse" in Inhalant Abuse:
"I was particularly fascinated by Dr. Erickson’s claim that many of the words, or terminology, that the general public and the treatment field use to describe drinking and drugging are leading to continued prejudice and discrimination in North American culture. This stigmatizing, Dr. Erickson argues, is a big part of why governments are not providing adequate funding for addiction research, prevention, and education

"Abuse” is a Perjorative Term and Should be Retired. In his book, The Science of Addiction, Dr. Erickson calls the term “abuse” the number 1 myth that prevails in the treatment field or in the minds of the public. The word abuse * is an inappropriate term for several reasons, such as:
  • the term being used, for centuries, as a morally sinful act such as child abuse, sexual abuse, spousal abuse
  • the implication that alcohol, an object, is being abused by someone just like a child is being abused by someone (a preferred term in Europe is misuse)
  • the use of the term substance abuse does not distinguish between voluntary use (”misuse”) and uncontrolled use (”dependence”) similar to the generalized use of the term “addiction”
"By continuing to refer to people as drug, alcohol, or substance abusers, according to Bill White *, “misstates the nature of their condition and calls for their social rejection, sequestration, and punishment.”

Gasoline Huffing Man Tased by Police

From Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah:

Last Friday, Salt Lake City police tased a 25 year old man after he interfered with his arrest.

The officer “unexpectedly came across a man huffing gasoline fumes in an area just north of the pond, and ordered him to stop what he was doing. The man attempted to flee, but was apprehended near the pond, where he failed to cooperate, at which point the officer deployed his taser.”

The suspect was sent to jail and was “under investigation for abusing inhalants and interfering with an arrest.”

Florida Woman Arrested Again for Huffing

From the From NaplesNews.Com:

“Four days after being charged with huffing dust remover in public”, a 35 year old woman was found “slumped over in the driver seat of a car with an aerosol can in her lap.”

She was arrested and once again charged with “inhaling and ingesting harmful chemicals.” Previously, she had been found “huffing dust remover in public, rolling around on the ground and making weird noises.”

The police report notes that the trooper “saw a vehicle stopped in the turn lane” with the driver “slumped over in the driver seat” with a can of computer duster in her lap and vomit on her shirt.

The trooper banged on the window, woke her up, and she “did not look at the trooper, but instead started fixing her hair.” She said she was OK, apologized “while flicking vomit off of the seat and her clothing.”

“Troopers found two cans of dust remover and a can of carpet cleaner inside her vehicle.”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Plea Submitted in South Carolina Crash

From the Spartanburg Herald Journal:

Regarding a car crash last September, the 20 year old female driver this past Thursday “submitted an Alford plea regarding two counts of felony driving under the influence and received a sentence of up to six years under the Youthful Offender Act.” “An Alford Plea is one in which the accused does not admit guilt but concedes that enough evidence exists to make a conviction likely.”

The Department of Corrections will now determine the length of her sentence.

She did not have a driver’s license at the time of the crash “but succumbed to peer pressure by driving the car.” The car crashed into the back of a truck just after at least some of the car’s six occupants had been huffing computer duster.

The driver’s mother has also been charged with “accessory to a felony after the fact” as she has been accused of removing the cans of duster “in an attempt to hide evidence.”

Two of the passengers sustained severe injuries.

One woman “suffered severe head trauma, from which she has not recovered, and is wheelchair-bound. In her early 20s, it is unlikely she will ever walk and unknown whether she will communicate fully again.”

The other female passenger "shattered every bone in her face below her temples and has had many difficulties from the loss of her left eye and recovering from surgeries.”

The prosecutor said that huffing computer dusters, had been the cause and "We just can't tolerate that. As a parent, it scares me to death. It's a horrible situation that's going to affect them the rest of their lives."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Huffing Causes Head-on Collision

From the Tahlequah Dailypress in Oklahoma:

On Tuesday, a 22 year old man was arrested “after he allegedly fled from a head-on hit-and-run crash.”

The report notes he had been using computer dusters. He was charged with driving under the influence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oregon Mayor Seriously Injured

From the Register-Guard in Oregon:

Orville Nelson, the mayor of Lakeside Oregon, was seriously injured after being hit by a pickup truck.

The police log notes that the 27 year old driver was “headed northbound on 101 when a witness saw him cross into the southbound lane before steering the vehicle back across the northbound lane and into the parking lot.”

In the parking lot, the mayor “had just gotten his daily cup of coffee and was getting into his own pickup truck. The driver kept going before losing a wheel and getting stuck.”

A witness states, “He didn’t even have a chance to get in his truck when the Dodge ran off the road and got him. When I heard the big crash, I ran over there and saw he was hit and I ran in and called 911.” The witness then “went back outside with some wet rags and held Nelson’s head to keep him from moving, prodding him to stay awake until the ambulance got there.”

The mayor was taken to the hospital and listed in critical condition. Earlier this week his condition was “upgraded to serious.”

The driver was arrested on “suspicion of assault, possession of heroin, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, reckless endangering, criminal mischief and unlawful possession of inhalants, after he showed signs of impairment and failed field sobriety tests.” “Several containers of inhalants” were found in the vehicle.

Man Found Huffing Spray Paint in MN

From the Austin Post-Bulletin in Minnesota:

Last Sunday an 18 year old man was found huffing spray paint from a bag. Police noted that he had "spray paint on his fingers and chin as well as a bag that had a strong odor of paint."

The man also had a spray paint can, which officers took from him. He was cited for "having a toxic substance" and was released.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Man Huffing on Sidewalk Outside K-Mart

From the Kitsap Sun in Washington:

Last Thursday evening, a 29 year old man was arrested for allegedly “getting high” on computer dusters outside a K-Mart.

Store employees “called police at about 6 p.m. because they thought a man who was passed out on the sidewalk in front of the store was drunk. When an officer arrived, the man was still there on his side.”

While talking to the employees, the officer “heard what sounded like a can spraying. One of the employees said, "He's doing it again." The man was still on the ground and the officer saw him “discharging something from a metal can into his mouth.”

“One of the employees said he'd watched him inhale from the can at least two other times.”

The man was “incoherent and disoriented” and was taken to the hospital. He was soon released and booked on “suspicion of inhalation for the purpose of intoxication with bail set at $2,500.”

Teens Crash Car into Store after Huffing

From the Picayune Item in Mississippi:

Last Wednesday evening, “a car carrying four juveniles crashed into the K & T Texaco on U.S. 11, destroying the ice cooler out front and cracking the brick wall behind it.”

The 16 year old driver was charged with DUI after at least three cans of computer duster were found in the car. “All four juveniles in the car were treated for mild to moderate injuries.”

The car had been traveling at least 60 miles per hour when it hit the store. “Damage to the store was roughly estimated to be about $14,000, just for the wall and the demolished ice machine.”

“The car not only destroyed the ice cooler but it also hit another car, which dominoed into two other cars.”

The store employees noted, “Fortunately the ice machine that was struck by the car had run out of ice earlier that day so no one was at the machine at the time of the accident” and “No one — luckily — was sitting at the booths.”

Friday, September 5, 2008

Patient in Treatment Center Dies From Huffing

From in Cowley County, Kansas:

A 45 year old man died after huffing computer duster at a substance abuse treatment facility last month. He was found “unresponsive in his room at the center when emergency personnel arrived on Aug. 22.”

The man smuggled the item into the facility. He had “been at the treatment center for three days, video evidence confirmed that he concealed the can of dust remover from staff.”

The spokesperson for the Center notes, “Staff checked his stuff but he had the can hidden in the front of his pants. Everyone felt horrible about it.”

19 year old crashes car after huffing

From the Gillette News Record in Gillette, Wyoming:

On September 2nd, a 19 year old man "lost control of his pickup at about 4:30 pm and plowed into a home, causing at least $8,000 in damage."

Police allegedly found a can of computer duster in the vehicle and the driver was "ticketed for driving while impaired and unlawful use of a toxic substance."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

20 year old taken to hospital after Huffing

From the Daily Ledger in Canton, IL:

A 20 year old woman was taken to the hospital after "allegedly “huffing” the contents of a can of compressed gas." She was "issued a notice to appear for unlawful use of intoxicating compounds."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Women Crashes Car for the 2nd Time After Huffing

From the Cape Cod Times:

A 31 year old woman has crashed her car for the second time after admittedly “huffing”, or using inhalants.

Yesterday morning she “crossed a raised median” and then “her car sideswiped another in the opposite lane then hit another head-on.” The accident injured three including a woman who is five-months pregnant.

Police “found a can of substance used to clean heating and air conditioning ducts inside her car.” “Later, when interviewed by police, she said she inhaled the substance to get high before the accident after buying it in the nearby Staples store.”

Last month, on August 14, She was “involved in a similar accident” at the same location. The police report from this accident notes that she was found passed out in her car with a computer duster in her hand. After this accident, her driver’s license was revoked “due to the threat Foley posed to the public.”

“Police said that immediately after the August accident she told them that she learned how to abuse inhalants by watching the A&E television show “Intervention.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Inhalant Abuse Report from SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just released a new National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) Report.

The report is entitled," Inhalant Abuse and Major Depressive Episode Among Youth Aged 12 to 17: 2004-2006. "The 2006 NSDUH Report surveys youth 12-17 years old to assess “co-occurrence of inhalant use and Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the past year.”

Some of the findings include:

Inhalant Use:
  • Past year inhalant use was almost 4 times higher among persons aged 12 to 17 than among young adults aged 18 to 25 (1.3 vs. 0.4 percent).
  • In 2004 to 2006, 1.1 million youths aged 12 to 17 (4.5 percent) used inhalants in the past year
  • Females in this age range were more likely than males to use inhalants in the past year (4.8 vs. 4.2 percent)
  • Youth aged 14 or 15 (5.3 percent) were more likely than youths aged 12 or 13 (4.3 percent) & those aged 16 or 17 (3.9 percent) to have used inhalants in the past year.

Inhalant Abuse & Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

  • The rate of past year inhalant use was higher among youths aged 12 to 17 who had MDE in the past year than among those who did not (10.2 vs. 4.0 percent)
  • Males with past year MDE were about twice as likely as those without past year MDE to have used inhalants (9.6 vs. 4.0 percent)
  • Females with past year MDE were about 3 times as likely as those without past year MDE to have used inhalants (10.5 vs. 3.9 percent)
  • In each age group, youths with past year MDE were more likely than youths without past year MDE to have used an inhalant in the past year.

Which comes first: MDE or Inhalant Abuse:

  • An estimated 218,000 (.9 percent) youths aged 12 to 17 used inhalants and experienced MDE in the past year.
  • 43.1 percent experienced their first episode of MDE before initiating inhalant use.
  • 28.3 percent used inhalants before they experienced their first episode of MDE
  • 28.5 percent started using inhalants and experienced their first episode of MDE at about the same time.

Correction Fluid Use in India

From the Economic Times in India:

The articles calls sniffing correction fluid a “silent but rapidly growing addictive item among adolescents.” A Pune-based school recently found four students abusing correction fluid-‘“using it as an inhalant to get a high.”

“The students who were caught revealed that they pour the whitener on a kerchief and use it as an inhalant. They also apply it on their nails and lick it. One of them said he got a high lasting for as long as three to four hours.”

Lighter Burns Men Huffing in Car

From Anderson Independent Mail in Anderson, South Carolina:

A 19 year old man and a 34 year old man were allegedly “huffing computer cleaner in a car from roughly five aerosol cans” when the 34 year old used a lighter in an attempt to smoke a cigarette.

The car windows blew out in the explosion. “Firefighters and law enforcement officials, a hazardous materials team and Medshore Ambulance Service were called to the area to investigate the sedan after the explosion.”

The 34 year old suffered “second-degree burns to his hands, face, legs and neck.” The 19 year old “suffered second-degree burns to his chest, neck and face.”

The police have not ruled out the possibility of charges being filed against the men.