Blog Report

Monday, December 22, 2008

NC Rotary Club Learns About Inhalant Abuse

Nick Petrakis recently spoke to the Cleveland School Rotary Club in North Carolina. He spoke about “substance abuse, specifically Inhalant Abuse, the signs the everyday citizens can look for in their friends, families, and colleagues, and the preventative measures that can be taken.”

Nick has a personal attachment to this issue, having lost his brother (age 37) to Inhalants in May 2008.

During the presentation he “showed a short compelling video about the dangers and warning signs of Inhalant Abuse” and “provided a pamphlet detailing tips for talking to children and teens as well as what to do in case of an emergency.”

It also notes, “Mr. Petrakis continues to make it his mission to get the word out. If you'd like more information on the subject of Inhalant Abuse or would like to have Nick speak at your next meeting, please contact him at”
Thank you Nick, for all of your work in helping to make more families and communities aware of this devastating issue.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Inhalant Use Increase in Florida

From MSNBC/WBBH-TV in Ft Myers Florida:

The article points out that “the use of inhalants among Collier County middle school students has nearly doubled in recent years from 12% up to 21%.”

Inhalant Use Increase in Maine

In his blog, Larry T. Doughty refers to inhalant abuse data from Brewster, Maine:

68% of the middle and high school students in Brewer County participated in the survey which was “conducted by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Substance Abuse under the state’s Bureau of Health and Human Services.”

The article highlights that across all categories, use has declined with one exception –inhalant use. 11% of Brewer students say they have tried inhalants- compared to the state’s average of 10.8%.

The article continues, “for Brewer, inhalant use by sixth- and eighth-graders far exceeded the state averages, while use by all other grades fell well below their statewide counterparts.”

There is also an interesting point in the comments section of the blog. One student writes, “Perhaps reading Myspace and Facebook pages would provide school administrators with a more accurate representation of substance use amongst its students. Low numbers are great, but I don't believe they are completely accurate. I remember taking this survey. We all joked about how we "lied" on it. Don't rely soley on this survey is all I'm saying...”

Your thoughts on this?

Partnership's Response to Monitoring the Future Data

Partnership for a Drug-Free America issued a press release in response to the Monitoring the Future Study.

Under reasons for concern they note "the second area of concern is among eighth graders, where there has been a weakening in the perceived risk of using inhalants -- household products that are sniffed to get high. In 2008, this age group also reported a lower rate of disapproval of this behavior."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

44 Percent Decline in Inhalant Use in Virginia

From the Chesterfield Observer in Virginia:

The SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment) annual report for 2007-08 was just released. The organization is “a coalition of members of Chesterfield County government, schools and the community, have been addressing alcohol and drug issues among the county's youth population since 1993.”

The report shows a “44 percent decrease in inhalant abuse among eighth-grade students over the past two years.”

Visit for more information about the report – and about their inhalant prevention activities.

15 Year Old Found Dead After Huffing

From in Fort Myers, Florida:

Last week a 15 year-old female died after huffing computer dusting spray. Her parents were the ones who found her unresponsive in the bathtub.

Dr. Delgado from Drug Free Collier notes that the “the subject may be difficult” but she adds, “it's important to talk about this silent epidemic.” Additionally she states, "Parents and teachers have to keep an eye on products that have at home and track them to see if they're disappearing too quickly. Are there plastic bags in a child's room? Are there funny smells or stains on their clothes?"

3 Inhalant Cases in 1 Month in Nebraska

From Omaha World Herald in Nebraska:

The Lincoln Police Department has expressed concern about the increase in recent inhalant abuse cases involving computer dusting sprays.

Last month, a 19 year-old male died after huffing. A plastic bag and a can of computer duster were found next to him. Last week a 36 year-old male was also found dead with a can of duster in his hand.

Police noted that “other empty cans were recovered” in that case and that “autopsy results showed the two died of asphyxia by suffocation after inhaling the substances.”

Earlier this month, a 28 year-old man was “found slumped in his car in Lincoln with a can of dust remover in his hand.” The man was “treated and cited for the crime.”

The Omaha City Prosecutor indicated “he sees perhaps a dozen cases a year” and they “typically involve adults whose lives are in shambles and are huffing in alleys.”

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center in Omaha states that inhalant related calls to the help line “increased from 25 in 2005 to 35 so far this year.”

Huffing on the Increase in Austin, Minnesota

From KAAL-TV in Rochester, MN

Police in Austin, Minnesota note that arrests for inhalant abuse have been increasing.

A chemical dependency counselor at the high school is quoted as stating, "Huffing is an issue because of the availability piece. There are not a lot of statues that say you can't buy spray paint,"

New Anti-Inhalant Campaign in Singapore

From a blog in Singapore:

The National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) has released a new inhalant abuse prevention campaign. The project includes a series of outdoor ads depicting through letters, people's real life experiences with inhalant abuse.

Additionally, four spots are “running in movie theatres and on TV mobile as well as executions on train station platforms and public toilet doors.”

109 Empty Cans of Computer Duster Found in His Car

From the in Oklahoma

A 24 year-old man was jailed after police found him passed out in his car in a Walmart Supercenter at 7:45 pm.

The police report states that “the officer noticed 109 empty cans of dust remover in the vehicle.”

He spent Saturday in jail and was “released Sunday on his own recognizance.”

Concern on Huffing Inquiries

Bob Sullivan of MSNBC brings up a valid concern over the availablity of huffing related information on Yahoo Answers:

He notes, "for example, there are detailed instructions on various forms of “huffing,” a way of concentrating the power of typical inhalants that can be found in household products."

Please read his piece and let us know your thoughts on this.

Glue-Sniffing on the Rise in Vietnam

From Bernama in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Officials in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City are concerned about the recent increase in teenage use of inhalants, specifically a light yellow liquid glue. The article notes that previously this issue had “plagued Western countries.”

The article interviews teens on why they sniff glue and frighteningly, some of the kids are only 9 or 10 years old. One states, "We are inhaling glue, it is not drugs. We are not afraid of being arrested like drug users, but it still makes us euphoric,"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MN Woman Jailed for Driving While Under Use of Inhalants

From the Post-Bulletin in Rochester, MN:

On Thursday, December 11th at 11:45 pm, a woman was arrested and jailed “for driving while impaired, abusing a toxic substance (inhalant), violating probation, underage drinking and driving after revocation.”

Inhalant Warning from South Africa

From the Limpopo Informant in Polokwane,South Africa:

An interesting inhalant abuse warning about huffing and some of the new trends related to it. The article notes that a majority of children in the 8th grade are involved with huffing.

Additionally, it notes, "other popular substances young teens huff include insect repellent, thinners, baking spray and deodorant. But by far the most dangerous could be when they take a light bulb, break it off at the neck, pour methylated spirits into it, heat it at the bottom and inhale the vapour that is produced."

Community Service for Inhalant Related Explosion

From Longmont Daily News in Colorado:

Three female teenagers (ages 18, 16 and 16) who were injured in a huffing related incident on October 23rd are now engaged in a “local restorative justice program.”

The three were injured when after huffing air fresheners in a car. One of them lit a cigarette. The car was totaled and the three teens suffered burns.

The charges were listed as follows: “Police ticketed the 18-year-old driver on suspicion of abusing toxic vapors and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The 16-year-old girl in the front passenger seat of the car was ticketed on suspicion of abusing toxic vapors, and the 16-year-old in the back seat was ticketed on suspicion of abusing toxic vapors and fourth-degree arson.”

However, with the restorative justice program, the girls “can avoid criminal convictions if they complete their contracts. If they don’t, they will be referred back to the criminal justice system.”

The girls had to meet “with people affected by the explosion including two police officers, a volunteer fireman, three adult community members, two volunteer facilitators and one advocate for each of the teens.”Each of the teens will also “have to write letters of “apology and reflection” to the people affected by the explosion; research and write an educational presentation for school resource officers to use or for their own use; and participate in CPR classes, drug testing, an employment search, and 10 hours a month in a recreational program to get exercise.”

Thursday, December 4, 2008

22 Year Old Man Guilty of Huffing with 13 Year Old Girl

From KSFY in South Dakota:

Earlier this week a 22 year old man “pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

The charges stem from an incident on June 19th when a 13-year-old girl was found “unconscious and unresponsive” in his home. The 22 old man had been “huffing aerosol cans” with the girl.

The 13 year-old was “rushed to the hospital where she stayed for several weeks.”

Man Sentenced for Duster Related Accident

From KOTA Radio in South Dakota:

Last May a 25 year old man caused an accident after huffing while driving. After huffing computer duster he crashed into another car, resulting in that car’s driver sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

This week the 25 year old man was “sentenced to six months in jail and ten years probation.” He must also “complete 300 hours of community service.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

14 Year Old Killed at Bus Stop: Inhalant-Related Car Crash


Just outside Los Angeles, a van crashed into a bus stop, “killing a 14-year-old and injuring four other teenagers.”

The 18 year old driver was arrested after police “determined he may have been using an inhalant when he lost control of his van.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Father Found Huffing with One Month Old Baby in Car

From Gant Daily in Pennsylvania:

Last Friday evening, police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. They determined that a 26 year old man “was huffing paint in the vehicle with his one month old child inside.”

They also found out that he “had been doing so almost daily for over a month.”

The father has been “arraigned and charged with felony, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chester County Inhalant Use Higher Than National Average

From Kennett Paper in Pennsylvania:

The Chester County Council on Addictive Diseases (COAD) presented the results of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) to the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District administration. The presentation was held as a “Communities That Care” meeting.

The survey includes data from students in sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grades and revealed that in the past 30 days, “1.5% of seniors had used inhalants, versus 1.7 statewide and 1.2 nationally.”