Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Inhalant Abuse Increases in Lee County

From the Cape Coral Daily Breeze:

The 2008 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey results were also released.

For Lee County, “overall drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers has declined, yet inhalants and over-the-counter drugs are being misused more commonly.”

The report shows “use of inhalants this year INCREASED from 12.8% to 14.6%.

Middle School Inhalant Use Twice State Average

From the Worcester Telegram in Massachusetts:

The 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (5th - 8th graders) revealed that “more than twice as many Oxford Middle School students have used inhalants than the state average.”

10.4% of the middle schoolers had used inhalants.

College Student Dies from Huffing

From Chicago Tribune:

On Saturday, the body of a 19 year old Illinois Institute of Technology student was found at his on campus fraternity house. The medical examiner reports that he died from asphyxia after inhaling nitrous oxide, “a gas used to dispense whipped cream and as a dental anesthetic.”

His family had reported him missing eight days ago but it wasn’t until Saturday night that one of the fraternity brothers found him in a storage room of the house. “Multiple small nitrous oxide canisters, known by the slang name "whippets," were found near his body.”

Friday, November 21, 2008

Inhalant Use Rises in Canada

From the Prince Albert Daily Herald in Saskatchewan,Canada:

The community in Prince Albert is seeing an increase in the number of individuals using inhalants.

At one presentation, “nearly every student knew someone who was currently using inhalants or had tried them.” The article also notes, “ one student described how he began experimenting with aerosols - as a child he saw what his mom was doing and wanted to try it.”

Man Passes Out After Huffing Dusters

From NewsCow in Cowley County Kansas:

An Arkansas City man “was cited Tuesday for abusing toxic vapors after he apparently became ill from huffing computer dusters and passed out at his residence.”

Officers responded to the scene and then called paramedics to evaluate the man.

Inhalant Data - Fairfax County, Virginia

From Falls Church News Press in Virginia:

The results of the 2008 Fairfax County Youth Survey were recently announced. The survey compiles information from “more than 22,000 public school students in the 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades.”

A few notables regarding inhalant use:

  • Overall, lifetime inhalant use for 8th, 10th and 12th grades has DECREASED from 2001-2008 (-.2%) but INCREASED from 2005-2008 (.2%) – table 7
  • Overall 30-day inhalant use for 8th, 10th and 12th grades has DECREASED for both 2001-2208 (-.2%) and 2005-2008 (-.5%) – table 8
  • Lifetime inhalant use from 2005-2008 DECREASED for 12th grade (6.6%-6.3%) but INCREASED for both 8th grade (13.6%-14.2%) and 10th grade (8.8%-9.7%) –table 9
  • Pat 30-day inhalant use from 2005-2008 decreased for 8th and 12th grade but stayed the same for 12th grade (2.2%) – table 10
  • For both 2005 and 2008 (table 11), Fairfax County lifetime inhalant use is lower than the national average for 8th, 10th, and 12th grade use.
  • However, for past 30-day inhalant use in that same timeframe, county use is higher than national averages for 8th grade (5.5% county, 4.2% national). 10th grade use matches national use at 2.2%.
  • Past 30 day use of inhalants for Fairfax County 8th grades in 2008 (4.4%) was higher than 2007 national 8th grade (3.9%).
  • Overall, female students are using inhalants at a higher rate than males. Lifetime=9.6% female use, 9.4% male use. Past 30-day=3.0% female use, 2.5% male use) –table 32
    Lifetime inhalant use is overall 9.6%. Highest is 8th grade (14.2%) and lowest is 12th grade (6.3%) –table 32
  • Past 30-day use is overall 2.8%. Highest is 8th grade (4.4%) and lowest is 12th grade (1.2%) –table 32
  • For lifetime inhalant use for 2001,2003,2005, and 2008: 10th grade inhalant use is higher in 2008 (9.7%) than in any other year. 12th grade use in 2008 (6.3%) is at its lowest level for all years. –table 33
  • For those same years, Hispanic/Latino report highest use rates (14.6%) and Asian/Pacific Islander report lowest use rates (8.2%) –table 33
  • For those same years, African American use rates are highest in 2008 (12%) and Whites report lowest use rates in 2008 (8.5%) –table 33
  • For 2001-2008, 30-day inhalant use is lowest in 2008 for: overall (2.6%), 8th grade (4.4%), 12th grade (1.2%) male use (2.2%) White (1.7%), Asian/Pacific Islander (2%) and other/multiple (3.5%) – table 34
  • Table 35 & 36 illustrate that the majority of students who have used inhalants (both lifetime and 30-day use) have only tried inhalants 1-2 times.

Page 61-62 of the report provides a synopsis.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Air Freshener Huffing on the Rise in NM

From East Mountain Telegraph in New Mexico:

Air Freshener is increasingly on the rise in Estancia. Police began hearing that kids were buying “several cans of air freshener from some local businesses.” An officer noted, "They were buying as many as six or seven cans at a time. It piqued our curiosity about what they were using it for.”

Initially believing it was being used to mask the odor of marijuana or cigarettes, they began an investigation. They found “six empty cans of aerosol spray on a table next to two rags” at the high school. “Then they found empty air freshener cans along with dirty rags on the inside wall of the dugout at the school. They also got a call that some 12 to 16 year olds were inhaling it in the locker room of the middle school.”

The Chief of Police states, "My biggest concern is getting it out so that parents are aware of it. Parents need to be constantly diligent and aware of what their kids are up to. Because who would've guessed it? It seems particularly popular now in Estancia for whatever reason. He added, “Most of the time parents are alert if they have alcohol missing in the house. But does anyone ever check the air freshener in the laundry room?"

2 Men Huff Again -Even After Second-Degree Burns

From Anderson Independent Mail in South Carolina:

Two homeless men (ages 19 and 35) were arrested after allegedly using inhalants. The police report notes “when police confronted the “dazed and confused” men Tuesday night, each was found with a straw between their mouths and a can of computer duster.”

One of the officers stated, “When I opened the driver's door, the driver took the can away from his mouth and began laughing.” Both men are being charged with “two counts of using aromatic hydrocarbons and one count of possessing an open container.”

“The men told the judge that they were living in a 2002 Subaru, which police said contained open bottles of liquor and multiple cans of compressed air.”

This is not the first time the two men have been involved with inhalant abuse. Three months ago, the men were hospitalized after suffering second-degree burns “in a flash fire caused by huffing computer cleaner in an unventilated car.” The men had been huffing from approximately 5 cans of dusters when one tried to light a cigarette.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

20 Year Old Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

From the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review:

A 20 year old male was “sentenced to six to 12 months in jail for the Aug. 13, 2007 death” of an 18 year old woman.

The article notes that he “purchased a solvent to huff” and then passed it to a friend driving him, the victim and other passenger.

The driver then “passed out while he was driving after huffing the solvent and the ensuing crash killed the 18 year old woman.”

Soldier Admits Using Inhalants

From WPXI in Pittsburgh:

There’s an interesting inhalant reference within the article about post-traumatic stress disorder and soldiers.

A soldier who spent the last 17 years in the military notes “the summer of 2006, he returned from Iraq and that's when his troubles began.”

He states, "I started using inhalants, and anything I could.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Florida Inhalant Data: County and State

The Naples Daily News reports that the annual Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey results have been released. The Survey includes feedback from more than 91,000 middle and high school students.

Individual county reports can be found here:

The full state report charts can be found here.

Lifetime Reported Inhalant Use by Grade:
  • 6th: 11.5%

  • 7th: 12.9%

  • 8th: 15.1%
  • 9th: 11.4%

  • 10th: 10.6%

  • 11th: 9.4%

  • 12th: 8.6%

Past 30-Day Reported Inhalant Use by Grade:

  • 6th: 5.2%

  • 7th: 5.2%

  • 8th: 5.2%

  • 9th: 2.9%

  • 10th: 2.4%

  • 11th: 1.5%

  • 12th: 1.9%

Table 12 identifies “Percentages of surveyed Florida Youth who used inhalants in lifetime and past 30 days, by sex, race/ethnic group, age and grade -2000-2008:


Lifetime Use:
male/female:

  • In 2000, more males (12.7%) were using inhalants than females (11.3%)
  • In all other years (02, 04,06,08) more females have reported using inhalants than males.
  • Inhalant use declined for both males and females from 2006-2008
  • 2008 male inhalant use (10%)is the lowest of any year since 2000 (12.7%)
  • 2008 female inhalant use (12.9%) is lower than 2004 & 2006) but still higher than 2000 & 2002)

Race/ethnicity

  • Inhalant use has INCREASED from 2006 to 2008 for African Americans (7.2% -8.8%) and Hispanic/Latino (11.3%-11.4%) but DECREASED for White, non Hispanic (13.9%-12.0%)

Age:

  • 2008 Inhalant Use is HIGHEST among 13 (13.&%) and 14 (13.8%) year olds.
  • 2008 Inhalant Use is LOWEST among 18 year olds (8.4%)
  • 2008 numbers reflect lowest inhalant use since 2000 for 13,14,15,16, and 17 year olds.

Grade:

  • Total use has DECLINED from 2006 (12.2%) to 2008 (11.4%)
  • Overall both middle school & high school use has DECREASED from 2006-2008
  • 2008 rates have decreased from 2006-2008 in all grades except 8th. 8th grade use has INCREASED from 2006 (14.3%) to 2008 (15.1%)
  • Highest 2008 use is 8th (15.1%) and 7th (12.9%) grades
  • Lowest 2008 use is 12th grade (8.6%)

Past 30-Day use:

  • Both male and female use declined from 2006-2008.
  • 2008 30-day male inhalant use is at it's lowest level ever (2.8%)
  • From 2006-2008, inhalant use increased for African American (2.9-3.6%) but decreased for Hispanic/Latino (3.6-3.4%) and White, Non-Hispanic (4.2-3.1%)
  • 2008 30-day use is highest for 13 (5.2%) and 12 (4.9%) year olds
  • 2008 30-day use is lowest for 18 (1.6%) and 17 (1.8%) year olds.
  • 30 day-use declined in all ages from 2006-2008
  • 2008 30-day use is highest (exactly the same at 5.2%) for 6th, 7th and 8th grade
  • 2008 30-day use is lowest for 11th (1.5%) and 12th (1.9%) graders
  • 30-day inhalant use INCREASED from 2006-2008 for 6th and 12th grade
  • Overall, total, middle and high school 30-day use decreased from 2006-2008
  • For total and overall high school 2008 30-day use is at their lowest levels

Monday, November 17, 2008

Groups Call for More Anti-Huffing Action in New Zealand

From the Southland Times in New Zealand:

Two New Zealand Groups (the National Poison Centre and the Life Education Trust) are requesting more efforts to combat huffing.

The request comes “after a coroner found two men died after inhaling a toxic substance in separate incidents.”

The first individual “died after inhaling butane while details regarding the substance involved in the other death were heavily suppressed by the coroner, who said he did not want copycat incidents involving the particular substance.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Man Found Covered in Silver Paint

From Newswatch 50 in Watertown, NY:

A 37 year old man was arrested “after he was found standing in the hallway of an apartment building covered in silver paint and highly intoxicated.”

Police had responded to a 911 hang-up call when they “heard someone yelling in a hallway of the apartment building.” They soon found the 37 year old standing in the hall, “allegedly holding plastic bag filled with silver paint, a can of silver paint in his hand, and his face covered in paint.” He continued yelling at the officers.

This is not his first case of inhalant abuse. Four year ago, when officers attempted to arrest him, he tried to evade them “by climbing onto the roof and jumping 30 feet to the ground.”

Woman Arrested for Third Time in Three Days

From Metro West Daily in Framingham, Massachusetts:

This past Wednesday, a 33 year old woman was arrested for the “third time in three days for huffing computer cleaning solution.”

She was arrested in the parking lot of a local restaurant. The officer “ordered her out of the car, and she refused, screaming at him.” The article also notes, “"She started a physical fight with the officers and she kicked one of them in the legs."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Huffing Related Crash - Victim Now in Wheelchair

From KTIV in Sioux City, Iowa and Rapid City Journal in South Dakota:

A 25 year old Rapid City resident “has pleaded guilty to huffing a chemical cleaner and then crashing into three vehicles - critically injuring one man.”

The man admitted that he blacked out behind the wheel on May 7th after huffing computer dusting spray. His “Nissan Xterra struck a southbound Jeep Cherokee, causing it to spin. The Xterra then hopped the curb and traveled along the sidewalk before crashing into the driver's side door of a Honda Accord.” His car then struck a parked motorcycle.

The driver of the Honda had his 4 year old son in the car, but the child was injured. The 29 year old driver, however, was critically injured.

He is “slowly regaining some movement and speech and uses a wheelchair.” The County Deputy State’s Attorney noted, “He still has a long way to go."

The driver of the Xterra “will be sentenced Dec. 3 for vehicular battery” and he “faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.”

16 year Old Charged with Huffing Gasoline

From Jamestown Post Journal in New York:

This past Tuesday, a 16 year old male was “charged with endangering the welfare of a child after two females (ages 13 and 14) ended up in the hospital from huffing gasoline.”

The 16 year old allegedly purchased the gasoline and then all three met at a local park to “huff, or inhale the fumes, of gasoline in order to get high.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Butane Abuse in Canada

From the Bugle-Observer in New Brunswick, Canada:

Town residents are concerned that butane is being used as an inhalant in their community.

Last weekend, a resident found the items on a nature trail and called the authorities. A town employee responded and found “13 used butane containers, a steel bowl and a couple of pipes.”

The article notes, “Butane gas is used as a fuel for cooking and camping, but, in recent years, it has become prominent among the youth, using it as an inhalant to get high or reach an euphoric state.”

The recreation director warned, “It is not great stuff to be dealing with. If it is being inhaled, it can do permanent damage to a young person or an adult. It is a gas, and you could be quickly overcome by it,"

He cautioned, “It is also dangerous to play with, The pipes could have been for shooting fire through them, (but) the flame could get bottled up in the pipe and pushed back on you, and you would be engulfed in flames in no time."

The mayor expressed concern noting the seriousness of the issue. “That is scary stuff.” She remarked.

Car Crashes into House After Driver Huffs Dusters

From C&G Newspapers in Detroit, Michigan:

On November 2nd, four teenage boys (ages 14-17) crashed into a house after huffing computer dusting spray while driving.

A passenger in the car “told police the car driver passed out at the wheel moments after huffing.” The car “quickly accelerated, hit a retaining wall, went airborne and struck the house, causing extensive damage to the home’s garage.”

“Several of the teens attempted to flee the scene but were apprehended by police.” The 16 year old driver and a 17 year old passenger were taken to the hospital. “All were released to their parents and, at press time, charges were pending.”

The County Sheriff noted “huffing can have deadly consequences, and the teens are lucky to be alive.” He continued, “I implore all parents to talk to their kids about this fad. It carries serious consequences, and by pure luck these kids are alive today. They could have all died and also killed innocent victims who were in the path of the runaway car.”

Huffing =Community Epidemic

From the Gillette News Record in Wyoming:

A 16-year old admitted he inhaled computer dusters and then attempted to drive. “After a couple of hits, he was high, his head swimming in inhalants. But as he dropped off his friend, he began to feel dizzy. He steered his truck onto the shoulder until the spinning subsided.” He started driving again and soon blacked out.

His “pickup raced through an intersection before plowing into the side of a house. Even though he was wearing a seat belt, his head smashed through the windshield.”

The article notes that the boy’s crash “illustrates a growing trend among local teenagers. Huffing arrests have soared in the past year as teens look for a cheaper, more easily accessible high.” It continues, “Twelve people have been arrested for huffing this year. In 2007, there were none, according to statistics from local law enforcement agencies.”

Frighteningly, “Many of the arrests involved driving. In the past six months, there have been seven huffing-related crashes in Campbell County.”

The director of a drug rehabilitation clinic reports that the office “has handled more huffing cases this year than at any other time in the past decade.” To combat this, the Sherriff’s Office is out in the community addressing the issue at an increased rate.

The teenage driver stated that he first tried huffing (gasoline) in the 7th grade because it was something that was easy to get. At his sentencing he was heavily fined and received 45 days in jail, 43 of which were suspended.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Increased Inhalant Abuse in New Mexico

From KOB.com in New Mexico:

The New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey results were released and the data for Bernalillo County show an uptick in the number of students using inhalants.

“The authors of the report do point out that Bernalillo County had a low response rate, meaning the data may not represent all high schoolers in the county, which could skew the results.”

The full state report can be accessed here:

For Bernalillo County, the report shows a steady increase of 30 day inhalant use from 2001-2007:

  • 2001 – 1.8%
  • 2003 - 6.0%
  • 2005 - 8.0%
  • 2007 - 8.4%

In addition, the county levels are higher than the state in 30 day inhalant use in grades 9-12.

  • New Mexico - 7.8%
  • Bernalillo- 8.4%

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Teens Caught Huffing Refrigerant from Air Condistioner

From the Dallas Morning News in Texas:

At 2:15 pm on Tuesday, teens in North Dallas were caught inhaling refrigerant from an air condition outside a local house.

The crime reports notes “a caller observed and photographed suspects as they experienced the effects of their actions.” The person reported the incident to police, the teens were checked by a local rescue, and then the “suspects were transported to the high school and released to school authorities.”

Seattle TV Station Investigates Nitrous Kits

From KIROtv.com in Seattle, Washington

The TV station investigative team noticed “cases of nitrous canisters” (typically used in homemade whipped cream makers) “popping up for sale in places that weren't exactly kitchen supply stores.”

Knowing that the product is often used as an inhalant, they sent 16 year olds into stores with a hidden camera. “We wanted to see if clerks would sell them what’s known as a nitrous kit. It consists of "whip-its" or whipped creamers, a cracker and balloons.” Their investigation revealed that several shops did indeed sell the kit to minors.

The article notes, “The cracker's only purpose is to help a huffer get the nitrous gas out of the container and into their lungs without getting frostbite” yet it “is not on Washington's drug paraphernalia list and for now, is legal to possess and sell.” The piece also noted that “nitrous oxide is not listed in Washington as a controlled substance." Police indicate they wanted to see this "loophole" closed.

Tackling Driving Under the Influence in Canada

From Canoe.ca in Ontario:

Last July federal legislation “cleared the way for police to begin targeting drug-impaired drivers.”

Four new “four drug-recognition experts, (DREs) will hit the streets in checkstops or being summoned by police who suspect drivers might be high.” The individuals will be “subjected to a 12-step evaluation process” and inhalants are included in the influence factors.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Woman Huffing Duster in Wal-Mart Parking Lot

From the Forrest City Times-Herald in Arkansas:

This past Monday, a 46 year old woman was arrested after she was found “huffing” a can of computer duster in Wal-Mart parking lot.

“The officer said he asked Sweet several questions, but she was slow to “react.” The officer said he asked for her identification three times before she complied. When the officer again asked her what she was doing, he reported, “she wouldn’t say anything except that she wanted her can back so she could finish getting high.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Car Crashes Into House After Driver Huffed Dusters

From DetNews.com in Detroit, MI:

Four teens were involved in a car accident after the 16 year old driver had huffed computer dusters. The car “hit a retaining wall and then went airborne, slamming into a house.”

The passengers included two 14 year olds and a 17 year old. They told deputies the driver
“lost consciousness after huffing a can of compressed gas.” Four cans of the computer duster were found in the car.
"I implore all parents to talk to the kids about this fad (huffing)," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "It carries serious consequences and by pure luck these kids are alive today... they could have all died and also killed innocent victims who were in the path of the runaway car."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Information Sharing Session on Indigenous Youth/Residential Solvent Abuse Treatment in Canada

You are invited to join an information session offered by Debra Dell of the Youth Solvent Addiction Committee on Indigenous youth residential solvent abuse treatment in Canada.

Between November 26 and December 10, 2008, you will be able to view a 40-minute on-line presentation covering a brief history of solvent abuse among Indigenous youth in Canada and an innovative residential treatment response.Following the presentation, on December 11, 2008, from 2:00-4:00 pm CST, the presenter will be available along with a group of front-line solvent abuse treatment providers to answer any questions in an on-line internet format.

To participate, you will need to register at the NIDA International Virtual Collaboratory (NIVC) www.nivc.perpich.com and select the tab 'VSA group' upon your registration.

On December 11, 2008 you may submit questions by e-mailing vsa@nivc.perpich.com Please note that in order to be a part of the on-line discussion you must be registered on NIVC.

If you are not able to participate on December 11, 2008, but you are interested in viewing the complete dialogue, you can access it the following day on the NVIC website.

This project is funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada International Opportunities Development Grant, and is a collaborative initiative of the University of Saskatchewan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the National Institute on Drug Abuse International Program, the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the Youth Solvent Addiction Committee, and researchers in Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Australia.

The aim of this project is to identify an international collaborative research program specific to the treatment of and healing from solvent abuse for Indigenous youth. For more information on the research project or to potentially participate, please contact the principle Investigator, Dr. Colleen Anne Dell, at colleen.dell@usask.ca or 1-(306)-966-5912

5 Teens Huffing on School Bus

From the Kingman Daily Miner in Arizona:

A school bus driver caught 5 male students huffing on the bus and notified school administrators. The school then contacted both the parents and the Sheriff's Office.

"The Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District responded at 9 a.m. and treated the students. Three of the five were immediately taken with parental permission to the hospital as a precautionary measure. A fourth boy was transported by his parent, and eventually all five were treated at the hospital.”