Tuesday, October 28, 2008

14% of 4th and 5th graders in ND using inhalants

From the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota:

Results of the Youth Risk and Protective Factor Survey taken by students in Grand Forks Public Schools last spring have been released.

From the report, “A survey of Grand Forks students says 14 percent of fourth and fifth-graders have sniffed glue, paint and other inhalants."

Within the article, off to the left-hand side there is a running survey about the above statistic. At the time of this post, 63% of the readers were shocked by this statement.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Huffing Teen Punches Dad, Police Called

From the Pembroke Express in Massachusetts:

Last week, police responded to a call of a 19 year old who “punched his dad when the father confronted him about huffing an aerosol can of dust destroyer.”

His father “had a minor facial injury but did not require treatment.” The teen was arrested and charged with “assault and battery and inhaling a toxic substance.” He was released to his father’s custody.

Three Teens Injured After Car Explodes

From MyFoxColorado.Com and Daily Camera:

Two 16-year olds and an 18-year old females were injured last week in a huffing related accident. “Fumes from air freshener cans the girls were huffing ignited when one of the three lit a cigarette.”

The Daily Camera notes, "Dispatchers were flooded with 911 calls after the car was seen exploding into several pieces — the doors and windows blown off."

The teens suffered first- and second-degree burns and were subsequently treated and released from the hospital. “Their car sustained extensive damage from the blast and subsequent flash fire.” The police commander remarked, “It’s an amazing feat that these girls walked away alive.”

All three “may be charged with inhaling a toxic fumes and one girl who is 18 yrs old may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

Friday, October 24, 2008

Red Ribbon Awareness Week in Orange County

From the OC Register in California:

The article called-out an interesting note about 7th grade inhalant use in Orange County.

"Health experts say that besides binge drinking, inhalant abuse also continues to present a problem among local youth. Recent state data suggest seventh-graders in Orange County more likely to use inhalants than their peers statewide."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Texas Elementary School Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

From Ennis Daily News in Texas:

In recognition of drug-free month and Red Ribbon Week, “Ennis Independent School District Police Chief Ross Jones spoke to Bowie Elementary students Monday about the importance of staying drug free.”

Jones warned the students about inhalants and said, “We need them to love themselves. When they do that they know not to put anything in their body that would hurt them.”

For the week, each day had a creative theme to promote being drug-free.
  • On Monday, drug-free bracelets were distributed and students signed drug free pledge cards
  • On Tuesday, it was “Trash out Drugs” where students helped support the new recycling program at the school.
  • Wednesday was “plant the promise and stomp out drugs.” Students wore sunglasses and boots and planted wildflowers in designated areas.
  • On Thursday, students will ““sock it to drugs” by wearing silly socks and attending a motivational assembly.
  • Friday is “Hugs not Drugs” day, with students bringing stuffed animals to school.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Man Assaulted After Friend Huffs

From Leader-Telegram in Wisconsin:

Earlier this month, a 28 year-old man assaulted another individual after huffing. The 28 year old “went shopping at a retail store” while his friend waited in the car. He "returned with a spray can and took it out of the shopping bag and huffed twice."

He then started hitting his friend. Once Police arrived he was arrested and cited for battery.

Man Arrested After Hitting Woman

From the Stamford Advocate in Connecticut:

A 52 year old man was arrested after “allegedly sniffing carburetor cleaner and striking a woman.”

The woman told police that he “frequently sniffs inhalants; the two got into an argument after he began spitting on the floor. His yelling and swearing became worse when she would not clean up the floor, and he allegedly hit her in the jaw with his elbow.”

He was charged with third-degree assault.

Disturbing New Links to Early Substance Abuse

Disturbing new links to early substance abuse from a study that was just published in the October issue of Psychological Science. It tracked “1,037 children from the age of three until 32.”

  • "Children who try drugs or alcohol before age 15 run a greater risk of being substance-dependent as adults, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, dropping out of school or being convicted of a crime."
  • "Girls who dabble in drugs and alcohol early on are more likely to become pregnant before they are 21."
  • "Children who tried alcohol or drugs early on “were two to three times more likely than non-early-exposed adolescents to be substance dependent, to have herpes infection, to have had an early pregnancy, and to have failed to obtain educational qualifications."
  • "Youngsters who were exposed to drugs and alcohol before 15 also had “significantly more criminal convictions” than those who were not."
  • "Half the children who dabbled with drink and drugs early on had no prior history of behavior issues, the study found."

“Findings from this study are consistent with the message that early substance use leads to significant problems in adolescents’ future lives, said the study’s lead author, Candice Odgers of the University of California, Irvine."

“Even adolescents with no prior history of behavioral problems or family history of substance abuse problems were at risk for poor health outcomes if they used substances prior to age 15,” she said."

15 Year-Old Missing After Huffing Refrigerant

From KGBT in Texas:

A 15 year-old disappeared from school and then his mother “found out he allegedly got high on refrigerant at school and didn't get adequate medical care.”

The boy was found unconscious by an air conditioning unit. The school called the boy’s mother to tell her he had passed out after huffing refrigerant and asked her to come pick him up from school. When she arrived, the school had already released him. He is still reported missing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

21 Year-Old Man Dies After Huffing Refrigerant

From FoxTwinCities.com :

Earlier this week, a 21 Year-Old man was found dead “after apparently intentionally inhaling refrigerant to get high.”

“Police responded to a call of a man lying on a bench behind a building” and “detectives at the scene determined his “huffing” was a contributing factor in his death – which was ruled accidental by medical examiners.”

One detective noted that the victim “become unconscious and fell forward against a wall, blocking off his oxygen and causing death by asphyxiation.”

Inhalant Use Decreases in One Pennsylvania School District

From Centre Daily Times in Pennsylvania:

The Pennsylvania Youth Survey findings are complete and some school districts have released their findings. The survey “polls sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th graders on their behavior, attitude and knowledge concerning alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence.”

  • “Compared with eighth, 10th and 12th graders nationally, State College students reported lower rates of use in their lifetimes of inhalants (7.7 percent)"
  • "P-O students in the same grades reported rates lower than national rates for use of inhalants (11 percent).”

Mom Speaks Out About the Loss of Her Son

From WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

Beverly Helms talks about the loss of her son Michael Meek to inhalant abuse. Michael died with a “can of computer duster under his hand.”

She is now speaking out to help protect other families. "Just to say this is what happened my little boy," she said. "A 9- or 10-year-old looks at that and thinks, 'It's not going to hurt me,' and they become another statistic."

In honor of her son, an avid skateboard fan, a benefit concert will be held on Saturday at 4 pm at the Ionia Skate Park. The money raised will be used “to buy some new equipment at the park as a memorial” to her son.

For a personal account of that day from Michael’s mom, click here:

Please click here to view the video which accompanies this news story.

USK’s Study on Inhalant Abuse & Nairobi Children

An interesting blog post from Advocacynet.org:

“Representatives from leading NGOs, government departments, the media and members of USK Street Associations were filling up the room to help validate the findings from USK’s study on inhalant abuse amongst children and youth on the streets of Nairobi, a hot topic judging by the turnout.”

Click on the above link to read more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Man Caught Huffing...Again

From the Post Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota:

Earlier this week, a 23 year old man was caught “allegedly huffing out of a can of carburetor behind a Domino’s Pizza.”

He was found to be “somewhat disoriented with the cleaner in his pocket.”

On Monday he plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of toxic substances (use for intoxication prohibited). He has a history of inhalant abuse and is also set to report to court later this month for a separate incident that took place last month.

Inhalant Abuse and Boys

From the Prevent Child Abuse New York Blog:

"A project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reviewed literature on the risks and assets that affect boys aged 10 to 18.”

Under the category of substance abuse:

  • In 2005, more than two out of five high school boys had used inhalants, such as glue, aerosols, nail polish remover, and other household substances
  • Among high school students, lifetime inhalant use decreased from 20% in 1995 to 12% in 2003 and then remained steady at 12% from 2003 to 2005
  • While older boys tend to smoke, drink, and use drugs more than younger boys do, eighth graders are more likely than older boys to use inhalants.

Inhalant Abuse Increases for 8th and 12th Graders in Arkansas

From the Helena Daily World:

On Wednesday, the results of the 2007 Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Student Survey were released. The study surveyed 88,040 sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th graders (from 208 of the 245 school districts) on their use of various substances.

Interestingly, the survey points out that “ drug use among Arkansas youth declined among all substances and grades surveyed, except methamphetamine among sixth graders and inhalants among eighth graders and high school seniors.”
  • Eighth graders who reported using inhalants within 30 days went from 6.2 percent in 2002 to 6.5 percent.
  • The rate among 12th graders rose from 2.2 percent to 2.3 percent.

Inhalant Abuse on the Rise in West Virginia

WVNS reports that inhalant abuse is “seeing a rise in users, both teens and adults.”

Sentence for Woman Found Huffing with 15 Year-Old:

From the Bismark Tribune in North Dakota:

The 26 year-old woman who was found huffing computer duster with a 15 year-old girl “has received a suspended sentence for child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

The woman had been found in a park, huffing the duster in her car with the girl while her 1 year old and 3 year old were found alone. 24 cans of computer duster were found in the car.

She “must pay $575 in court fees. She is prohibited from having aerosol containers and anything else that can be huffed while on probation.”

Nitrous Tanks Stolen From Dentists' Offices

From iStockAnalyst.com, Salem, Oregon. (As first reported in The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Michigan):

Earlier this month, two 100-pound tanks of nitrous oxide where stolen from a dentist’s office. Then earlier this week, another tank was reported missing from another dentist’s office in the county.

“The thief or thieves broke into both businesses through doors, and did significant damage to a door.”The police sergeant reported, "I think (they) were stolen to be used as a recreational-type inhalant.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Huffing Related High Speed Chase

From True Citizen in Waynesboro, Georgia:

Wednesday morning a 31 year-old man was jailed after leading police on a high speed chase. Police had responded to a report of someone huffing chemicals in a supermarket parking lot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Huffing + Driving = Pain for the Whole Family

A mother shares her story of being thrust into taking care of her daughter because of someone else's irresponsible decision.

"My daughter, Jamie, came by the house a week or so before the accident all excited..."

"She came home January 9th, 2008 but not the way we all had thought. She came home to a hospital bed with a pick line for intravenous feeding of antibiotics, a stomach feeding tube, numerous medications and needing care 24/7.

On September 30, 2007 we received a call that Jamie had been in a serious accident and we needed to come as soon as possible. I will never forget that day.

We walked in and people were whispering—we were the parents of the girl that died. On the way down to the hospital I prayed “God please put a bubble of protection around Jamie and keep her safe, Under Grace in the most perfect way. Thank you. Amen.”

I knew they were wrong. Jamie did not die; she had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and was in surgery to save her life.

We made it through the first critical 72 hours, the next 3 ½ months of hospital and rehabilitation stays.

Then we were sent home with very minimal training to care for her and instructions to “come back and see me in 3 months” by her doctor.

We are making progress with Neuro-feedback, but she is still considered to be in a semi-coma state. Her eyes are open, she blinks them as response to what we are saying, but as yet cannot talk or walk. The progress has been slow, but with a lot of prayers, hope, and TLC one day she will talk and walk again.

You see, Jamie was a passenger in the back seat of a car with a driver who chose to huff computer cleaner while driving. She hit the back end of a utility trailer hauling large equipment going 80 mph, with a small Toyota Camry-- the car flipped and hit a tree. The driver, a so called friend, did not value her own life let alone the lives of the 5 passengers in the car. This was a senseless accident, the driver should never have chosen to huff while driving..."

"...Please do not huff anything to get high, instead get help to find out why you need to get high. Talk to someone. If you don’t care about yourself care about your family, your mother, your father, your brother or sister because it will change the whole family. The financial, emotional, and shear physical strain at times seem unbearable. I cannot go watch her brother play football, or watch his wrestling matches; I work and take care of Jamie. I no longer have a life I am her caregiver 24/7. I do this because I love her and am determined to help her get better.

Attached are pictures of her before the accident, after surgery and in her wheelchair. Ask yourself “Is this what I want for me?” “Do I want to put my family through this? Do I want my parents to have to care for me 24/7? Think about it!! Think about the friends you have. Would they do this to you? If so run-fast to get away they are not friends! STAY AWAY FROM HUFFING AND THOSE WHO HUFF!!!"

To read the full story, please visit: http://messageboard.inhalant.org/tool/post/inhalant/vpost?id=3000090



Inhalant Session in Vineland, NJ

From the DailyJournal.com in NJ:

Last Friday in Vineland, an inhalant abuse awareness session took place at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home. The session was “hosted by The Southwest Council, a community-based drug prevention organization.”

Interestingly, “Joseph M. Williams, executive director of the Southwest Council, said that, in the past three years, his organization has discovered the majority of its clients used inhalants in the early days of their experimentation.”


16 Year-Old Crashes Car after Huffing

From Whio TV in Ohio:


Last Thursday, a 16 year-old male crashed his car and then admitted to police that he had been “huffing computer duster prior to the crash.”

The 15 year-old passenger is in serious condition. The “pickup flipped over multiple times” before ejecting him.

The police report notes that the “driver blacked out before the crash.” He was cited for failure to control a vehicle.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Police Chief Warns City Council About Inhalants

From the Memphis Democrat in Missouri:

Memphis Police Chief John Myers discussed inhalant abuse in an address to the Memphis City Council. He noted, “I plan to discuss the issue during the school’s Red Ribbon Week and other drug prevention presentations, but most importantly I feel we need to let parents know this can be an issue.”

16 Year-Old Caught Huffing Paint

From the Post-Bulletin in Austin, Minnesota:

Last Monday, a police officer found a 16 year-old boy “huffing spray paint fumes in a parked car with two female passengers ages 15 and 16 .”

The officer noticed a “gold cap to a spray paint can.” The passenger then revealed the can and the driver “admitted to inhaling about 1 1/2 cans of spray paint from spraying into a bag.” He reported that he “started inhaling paint fumes about two weeks ago.”

The article also noted that one month ago in the same town, police found an 18 year old “sniffing or huffing spray paint in a bag while walking.”

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Part 2 of 2: A father's story of losing a son to inhalants

In addition to Michel, Tyler's father also shares his heartbreaking perspective: "I want to introduce you to mine and Michel’s son Tyler Townsend.

"Tyler and his mother were at home after school on Feb 5. Tyler was playing with his dogs in the house. His mother asked Tyler to put the dogs in their pen. Tyler took the dogs out one at a time. Shortly after Tyler had taken the second dog out (approximately 5-8 minutes), his mother received a phone call from Tyler’s uncle. He had called to thank Tyler for a birthday present he had received. His mother went outside and found Tyler laying face first in the yard less than 15 feet from the back door.

There had been no sound, no cry for help, nothing to indicate a problem of any kind. Tyler’s mother frantically turned Tyler over and screamed for his uncle to hurry. His mother began CPR, less than two minutes passed and his uncle arrived and took over the CPR. Ten minutes later I arrived and immediately began helping with the CPR.

Tyler’s uncle and I performed CPR for what seemed an eternity. 25-30 minutes later the ambulance, four sheriff vehicles, and three EMT vehicles arrived. The EMT’s performed CPR and tried to resuscitate Tyler for another thirty minutes at our home. They then loaded him in the ambulance and we all left for the emergency room.

Less than an hour later Tyler was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Now for those of you who have never had to perform CPR on your son. CPR is a very personal experience. You are trying to deliver life into what seems a lifeless body. Tyler’s eyes were open and fixed. There was a milky white glaze covering them. His pupils and iris were almost not distinguishable. No pulse was evident his tongue was swollen and far back in his throat. The grass from the yard was in his throat and mouth and we were constantly clearing it. Some type of secretion kept coming up and His uncle was constantly having to clear this as well.

Chest compressions require a fair amount of force. I felt on more than one occasion what seemed like Tyler’s ribs cracking or breaking under my hands. We are taught not to stop until medical help arrives. Well how would you like to feel your son’s ribs break under your hands and you still have to keep going.

I thank God every day I had Tyler’s uncle with me helping me but I also wish he didn’t have to go through this. When the ambulance arrives you will fight a battle within yourself. You will not want to stop because every part of your being is fighting and praying for your son to revive.

Now it gets worse. You move out of the way and you watch strangers performing the same act on your son and you see them doing something different and you wonder if you were doing it wrong.

You feel helpless just standing there. They shock your son, you see him move, your heart will jump in your throat with a brief moment of hope. You will watch the monitor and see some activity not knowing what it means, when they pause to shock him again you see the lines on the monitor flatten out. They shock him again and you get to repeat the process all over.

Eventually you notice they are not working as diligently as they started. Whether through exhaustion or despair their movements begin to slow. Your only hope is that some sort of miracle will happen and you begin to pray even more.

Then you get to watch them load your son in an ambulance and race to the hospital. I was never more than a hundred feet behind traveling at speeds close to 90 miles and hour. My eyes never left the activity I could see in the back glass.

You spend all your energy trying to comfort your son’s mother but she can see the same thing you can. The EMTs in the ambulance seem to stop performing CPR and once again you get your hopes up. Then you notice they are just changing positions because the one doing the compressions has tired out.

You get to arrive at the hospital park your truck and run inside just in time to stop at a desk and give information. You then get to hear a loud cry in emergency waiting room, run over there and find out the cry was from the rest of the family who beat you to the hospital and were just told your son was dead.

After that you don’t remember anything for awhile except what your son looked like laying there under you hands and wondering what you forgot or didn’t do.

We all sat at the Hospital over thirty friends and family in total disbelief. Fingers were pointed, statements were made feelings were hurt and many tears were shed. Grown men cried like babies, and still no one knew what had happened to this young man who brought joy to so many of our lives.

Well one long sleepless night followed. “Why ?” was the predominant question on everyone’s mind. Friends and family gathered around our home on Feb 6, seeking comfort, and to comfort. The phone never quit ringing from people we never heard of and people we haven’t heard from in a while. All our lives were put on hold for what seemed an eternity, and still no one knew why.

Please if you KNOW of this already do not hide it.

Several parents we have spoken to in the past week have told us of their kids experimenting with Huffing. These children knew and played with our son. Their parents kept silent “ashamed” their children were doing such a thing. I do not blame anyone for what has happened to my son but prevention is always better than the cure.

If you think this won’t happen to you or can not happen to you, please re-read this letter and prepare yourself for what just may be inevitable!

We all believe our children will out live us and work our whole lives to provide a future for them. My son’s future is with God now and though I rejoice in this I miss him terribly.

Part 1 of 2: A mother's story of losing a son to inhalants

Michel Townsend lost her son, Tyler Aubrey Townsend, to inhalants when he was fourteen years old.


In memory of him she created a Memorial site and shares her story.

To read Michel's story, please visit:


Friday, October 3, 2008

Man Arrested after Huffing Gasoline in Public

From the Rock Hill Herald in South Carolina:

A 31 year old man was arrested “after police said he was huffing gasoline as he walked down the street.”

Just after 1 pm last Wednesday he was found and charged with “glue sniffing, aromatic hydrocarbons.” The man “told police that he did not realize that sniffing gasoline was illegal.”

A police commander stated his huffing charge is a rarity, one that has not been seen by the county's drug enforcement unit in a decade.”

19 Year-Old Crashes Car After Huffing

From WTVW in Indiana:

Last Wednesday, a 19 year old woman crashed her car into a telephone pole after huffing computer dusting spray.

She was found passed out in the driver’s seat with a “a can of computer cleaner on her lap and a small amount of marijuana.” She was arrested and charged with a DUI.

6-8 Kids in a Coma or Dead from Inhalant Abuse Each Year in KY

From the Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky:

The article discusses the importance of physicians and annual check-ups for adolescents. It states that a doctor can often be “more persuasive” in reaching children with a preventative message.

One pediatrician notes, “some adolescents are getting high off common substances, such as glue, paint and gasoline, that are used as inhalants.” “We get six to eight kids in (a) coma or dead every year just from inhalant use, and that should never happen."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Spot Checks on Reserve

From the Daily Miner and News in Ontario, Canada:

In an increased effort to combat substance abuse on the reserve, the band council has established spot checks.

Detachment Commander Hardy noted that they “have substance abuse problems and one of the ones that were identified was lacquer inhalant, solvent, and it’s been ongoing for years.”

The article states, “After identifying the problem, band council consulted with Indian Affairs and private lawyers to set up the check on vehicles entering the community, similar to northern reserves Cat Lake and Big Trout Lake. “

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Two Fall 9 Stories After Huffing in Singapore

From the Strait Times in Singapore:

The bodies of a 15 year-old girl and a 22-year old man were found “lying side by side, both clad in T-shirts and shorts” at the bottom of an apartment building.

Two pairs of slippers, a stool, and a “can of industrial glue in a plastic bag” were found nine stories above where the bodies were discovered. The girl was a local student and the man was “her older brother's friend” whom she considered “as her godfather.”

Her school principal said the “school was saddened by the death of a 'friendly, sociable and outgoing' student.”

The article notes two interesting points about inhalant abuse in that region.

1. “Dying from glue sniffing is rare, according to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). However, there have been a few cases in the Coroner's Court over the past two years where people who had fallen from height had apparently sniffed glue before they died.”

2. “Cases of inhalant abuse among youth here are on the rise. The CNB said 352 glue-sniffers were caught in the first half of this year, and 644 nabbed last year. In 2006, it was 403.”

Canadian Inhalant Treatment Centre Expands Services

From Sturgeon Lake Reserve in Canada:

The White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Centre is expanding its addiction services. The Centre was established in 1996 and is located in northern Saskatchewan.

It "is a nationally recognized residential facility that treats youth who have addictions to solvents. Located on Sturgeon Lake First Nation, the centre is open to youth 12 to 17"