From The Talk Radio News Service:
The article recaps yesterday’s news conference that kicked off the 17th annual National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week.
It starts by quoting NIPC Executive Director Harvey Weiss “Why is this important? There are a couple facts to keep in mind: Inhalants are the first drug a young person will experiment with, even before alcohol, marijuana, and meth. And that’s why it’s considered a gateway drug. Inhalants are more addictive than cocaine or amphetamines”
He also points out that “statistics show that 17.2% of youth ages 12-17 first experiment with drugs by sniffing household products.”
Dr. Tim Condon, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, then “shared the results of this year’s “Monitoring the Future” survey. The statistics showed, “9% of 8th graders have used inhalants in the past year. That’s phenomenal, and of course our 8th graders, the youngest… are those who are using the most.”
Dr Condon also noted, “Disturbing news: The first data point was that there was a decrease of perceived risk of inhalants regularly between 8th graders from 2007 to 2008… Not only that but the disapproval rate among young people actually decreased as well.” Decrease in perceived risk and simultaneous decrease of disapproval is usually indicative of a future increase in the use of the drug. “
The article then highlights the work of Dana Prothro, a mother who lost her 19 year-old daughter to inhalants. In 2007, her daughter tried to get high using household air-conditioner fluid, and the event was tragically fatal. Prothro has successfully lobbied to change air-conditioner model codes; the guidelines now call for locking caps on outside refridgerant access points. “We now need the states to incorporate these 2009 model codes into their building codes. This is a crucial fight to prevent deaths and injury due to refridgerant huffing,” she explained.