Friday, January 30, 2009
Earlier this month, a police officer came across a stopped car and “observed a strong odor of chemical coming from inside the vehicle.” A 26-year old man was found inside the car with “gold paint on his face and chin” and he was “holding a clear plastic baggie which contained gold paint. A can of spray paint was also found on the car’s floor.
The officer noticed that the “male was found to be under the influence of chemical inhalant. His balance was unsteady and his eye pupils appeared abnormal (pin point size). “
The man was charged with “Possession and Ingesting a Volatile Chemical.”
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Inhalant Abuse made it into their notables:
“20 years ago: Solvent abuse was uncovered at Windermere Elementary School. A small number of students had been sniffing gasoline, White Out and other inhalants they could find or steal. School principal Bob Campsall said weekly meetings and counselling sessions with parents were continuing and the school atmosphere had improved since the abuse came to light in December.”
MATForce, the Yavapai County substance abuse coalition, has recently started a “video lending library called MATFLICKS.”
The free program provides the videos which are intended as tools for parents to discuss substance abuse and other issues with their children. The group’s spokeswoman notes, “They are great for getting families to discuss what can often be difficult subjects” and “It gives (parents) a springboard to talk to their kids.” She also noted that the results of the 2008 Arizona Youth Survey showing an increase in inhalant use.
More information on the program can be found on the MATForce website at website at www.co.yavapai.az.us/MATForce.aspx
The Central Narcotics Bureau reports success in its fight against inhalant abuse. In 2007 there were 644 inhalant abuse related arrests. In 2008 that number dropped 5% to 615.
Tactics used include “a series of measures since September 2007, including visits to shops that sell glue, preventive education talks and various collaborations with schools and other agencies.”
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Last Saturday, a 37 year old man was arrested after firefighters responded to a fire on an area of grass near Wal-Mart. They found the man “standing in the fire, waving his arms and talking to himself.”
When officers asked him why he started the fire, he replied “to keep warm." He was arrested on a charge of “malicious injury to property” and the police report noted evidence on his nose, mouth, hands and clothes indicated he had been "huffing paint."
Monday, January 26, 2009
The article discusses various school districts and their efforts in proactively educating students about inhalants and preventing inhalant abuse.
The director of educational safety and security for Rialto Unified School District mentions “a student inhaled the spray in a school restroom and passed out a couple years ago. Paramedics were called and the student recovered.” He continues, “The district has caught a couple more students with computer dusting spray but hasn't had a case in more than a year.”
A store manager states that sales of dust-remover sprays and model airplane glue are already restricted to purchasers 18 and older under California law but “while minors can't buy it, the biggest problem is they can walk in and steal it."
In Alvord Unified School District, a board member saw the story of Jeff Williams online, researched the issue and then put it on the board agenda. She notes, "It is our responsibility, my responsibility to make parents aware." The school’s superintendent promised to “institute an aggressive campaign to get the information about the dangers of inhaling dust-remover sprays out to parents.”
In the Corona-Norco Unified School District, “Inhaling is addressed in the Project Alert curriculum taught in seventh grade.” “Moreno Valley uses Too Good for Drugs” and San Jacinto schools "use Project Alert for middle school students, as well as classes taught by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, called Gang Resistance Education And Training."
Friday, January 23, 2009
The article discusses the death of a 14 year old girl. The adult is accused of letting underage children drink, “failing to care for (the girl) while she was staying at her home” and “failing to realise the teenager was intoxicated with alcohol and get the necessary medical help.”
During the inquiry, a witness was asked if she knew of anything else that could have contributed to the situation. The witness replied, “She was inhaling aerosols.” And noted that she “heard she had inhaled them through a towel in a bathroom.”
“A small number of children, some aged as young as 10, have admitted sniffing glue, according to a new study. The study, which involved 1,254 children in 43 schools, found that 4.2% admitted having abused glue or solvents "at least once or twice". The children were surveyed in Limerick, Clare and north Tipperary, ranged in age from 10-14 years and were split between fifth and sixth class."
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Yesterday afternoon, a 43 year-old woman “lost control of her vehicle and sideswiped a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the road.”
The drivers of both cars were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and “both cars were totaled.”
Lynchburg Police report that the driver of the first vehicle had been “driving at a high rate of speed” and "had apparently been huffing (computer dusting spray).”
In December, police responded to Mount Logan Middle School after someone reported that a student had been huffing computer dusters. After being caught, six students were “charged Tuesday with psychotoxic chemical abuse.”
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Last week, school resource officers called Garden City police to a middle school after a huffing incident involving 14 students.
“The students had been huffing in the bathroom, as well as on a school bus. One student was examined by a school nurse after displaying symptoms of huffing, and officers learned another student passed out on the school bus after huffing.”
The article also notes that in November 2007, the same police department “investigated the death of a 19-year-old male, whose death was related to inhaling computer keyboard cleaner.”
Earlier this month, police responded to a call “for a person bleeding from the head near a Rite-Aid store.” He had already left the store but witnesses reported that the 18 year old man had ingested computer dusting spray while at the store.
The witness also reported that after inhaling the product, he “fell into a store display cutting his head” and as he “staggered out of the store, a second aerosol can fell out of his pocket.”
The suspect was found in his home and to police admitted he “took a can of duster and walked around the store huffing it.
He was charged with “shoplifting and inhaling toxic chemicals for the purpose of intoxication.”
Last week, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools released the results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) that local middle and high school students took in March 2007.
From the report: “Fewer than 10% of students in both middle and high school report ever having used inhalants."
On January 14th, the West Boylston School Committee heard the results of a risky behavior survey that was completed by students at the middle and high schools last February.
Findings noted that “up to 30% of middle schoolers reported use of inhalants. The district’s health and wellness teacher remarked, “Inhalant use is most common by seventh- and eighth-grade Caucasian males in upper middle-class communities.”
Friday, January 16, 2009
Earlier this month, U.S. Air Forces Europe commander Gen. Roger Brady issued an order banning a range of substances including inhalants. The new order “bans airmen from sniffing, snorting or huffing household and commercial products such as glues, lighter and cleaning fluids, paint products and medical anesthetics.”
The press release noted that no one had been “court-martialed in USAFE for any offense related to using salvia and the other drugs under the ban” but that the order was issued more as a proactive means. "We don’t see that we have a problem in USAFE, [Gen. Brady] wanted to give commanders in the field a tool to get ahead of this emerging problem. We are seeing a problem in the States.”
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Last Tuesday, police received a call that a man had been “huffing paint and walking.” They located the man at his grandparent’s house and arrested him.
Police noted that he had “silver paint on his face, nose, mouth lips, hands, fingers and clothes” and that he reported he uses inhalants “because he likes it.” Police also noted that he had been arrested before for the same thing.
Last Tuesday at around 5:00 am, an 18 year-old and a 20 year-old were arrested and accused of “inhaling compressed air inside a Gastonia Wal-Mart store.”
An employee saw the men inhaling from a can of dust remover. The men were “charged with damage to property/vandalism and drug possession - non-narcotic.”
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Two weeks ago, a 31 year-old male was found dead in one of the rented rooms inside a Pittsburgh club “with a number of cans of inhalants nearby.”
The article notes that police confiscated a product that is “designed to be used to clean VCRs and radio parts, but people use it as a sex enhancer, a practice that's illegal and potentially deadly.”
Police believe he purchased the product at the club. Therefore, potential criminal charges are being discussed as “state law does not allow the sale and use of certain solvents and noxious substances for the purpose of intoxication, inebriation, excitement or the dulling of the brain or nervous system.”
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
A 41 year-old woman “had been inhaling spray paint when she began shouting abuse on a Dublin Bus as it travelled through the leafy Dublin suburb of Castleknock.”
The passenger, upon being ordered by the driver to disembark, slapped the driver in the face. Police arrived and the arrested the passenger.
In the passenger’s defense, her attorney noted that she had been “under the influence of inhalants at the time” and “Her face was covered in spray paint. Most of her offences have been carried out under the influence of inhalants."
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Two men were injured after their pick-up truck ran off the interstate and plunged into a creek in Vanderburgh County, Colorado. The driver admitted that he and the passenger “had been huffing chemicals minutes before they passed a semi and the driver lost control.”
The vehicle was “almost totally submerged in the water” but the men made it out of the truck before the arrival of the emergency crew. The men were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Ark City Police arrested a man earlier this week after he drove “into a yard and struck a fence and a tree.”
When police responded they found him sitting in his car and huffing from a computer dust remover can.” He was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for “no proof of insurance, abusing toxic vapors and careless driving.”
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 36-year old woman “on a charge of huffing chemicals from a dust cleaner can in a local drug store.”
The report notes that at a Walgreens store, she took the can off the shelf and into the bathroom. When she emerged from the bathroom, the can was in her purse and “felt cold like it had just been used.”
The woman was charged with “retail theft and inhaling a harmful chemical” and was held on $2,000 bond.
Last month, after a “near-death of a third city resident”, the Lincoln Police Department called a news conference to “remind the public about the fatal dangers of huffing.”Police Chief Tom Casady noted "This has really caused us great concern.”
The deaths were completely separate incidents and involved a 36 year-old and a 19-year old. Both cases were attributable to computer dusters.
1. As the executive director of the Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE), what do you see as the major problem with inhalant abuse?
The central problem that our community faces regarding inhalant abuse centers on education and information. About two and a half years ago, we completed a community youth survey (the first since 1993) and discovered that past 30 day use of inhalants among eighth graders was double the national average for that group.
We immediately began investigating the “but why here?” question. We discovered that virtually no one had a working knowledge of inhalant abuse in our community of over 300,000 citizens. Even professionals in the substance abuse arena had very little knowledge that the problem existed here. Even though youths seemed to have knowledge of the problem, adults, both professionals and parents, were fairly clueless.
2. Why do you feel that more parents should know and educate themselves about the dangers of inhalants?
We decided to attack the problem of inhalant abuse in our community (twice the national rate), by making adults aware. In a period of 18 months, the reported incidence of inhalant abuse among 8th graders (the age at which the problem was greatest for us) dropped by 44%.
Simply letting parents and school personnel become aware allowed them to more appropriately monitor the situation. In follow up evaluations, we have learned that a majority of school staff and parents who have received the training have actually talked to children about the dangers. We found that most adults had never read the labels on products that contain inhalants.
3. How are you and SAFE working to solve that problem?
The mission of SAFE states that we will engage the community in preventing substance abuse. In the case of inhalant abuse, we turned to our community partners and received complete and enthusiastic support.
· We offered education on inhalant abuse to the community and communities across the state by bringing in Isabel Burk, a well known national expert. Approximately 100 professionals turned out to learn more about this problem that, as it turns out, is prevalent throughout Virginia.
· Members of SAFE became certified to train others.
· SAFE subsequently trained
o public health staff (all public health staff in Chesterfield County which means about 150 public health professionals)
o school guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists
o teachers, school administrators, bus drivers
o food service personnel, custodians
o elected officials, first responders (police and fire)
o and anyone else who would sit still long enough.
· With the support of state agency partners, we were able to launch a state wide coalition, Virginia Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coalition which held its first annual conference in the spring of 2008 in Staunton, Virginia. The attendance exceeded the registration and approximately 100 persons turned out to learn about strategies to combat inhalant abuse in their communities.
· Top national leaders in the field of inhalant abuse prevention turned out to participate in an “Inhalant Summit” on the evening prior to the conference. The audience included leaders from around Virginia and a member of the State Board of Education.
· We have advertised extensively in print media to get the message to parents and the community at large
· SAFE is honored to have presented to the annual meeting of all directors of public health in Virginia
· We participated in multiple television and radio interviews on the topic. The radio interviews included an hour long program on a Spanish speaking station
· SAFE has developed teams of trainers to go into local public schools (we have 64 schools with nearly 60,000 students in Chesterfield County) and into other localities that have requested training
· The Parent Teacher Student Association of Virginia invited us to address their annual conference
· The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) invited SAFE to present a workshop at their national conference in 2007
· CADCA also included SAFE in their national television production of “Household Highs” on inhalant abuse.
· SAFE has developed a PowerPoint and packet of materials to standardize the training being offered to school staff
· We have offered training to juvenile probation officers, private treatment providers, nurses and civic organizations
· Two members of SAFE, Sharyl Adams and Mary Lib Morgan, contracted with the Virginia Department of Education to edit and re-write a manual on inhalants that included educational materials for adult and grade specific lesson plans for kindergarten through grade 12. This manual was distributed to all school divisions in Virginia. It is available to communities across the United States and is currently being translated into other languages.
· SAFE has met with the Director of Drug Control of India to discuss strategies to reducing inhalant abuse in that nation
· SAFE introduced in Virginia an interactive website for parents to learn about inhalants and how to talk to their children about the dangers of inhalant abuse. It is available at http://www.chesterfieldsafe.org/
· We have worked with a private provider, National Counseling Group, to develop better interview protocols for use by substance abuse counselors in detecting inhalant abuse early.
4. How do you view the issue of inhalant abuse in Virginia as opposed to nationally? Can you say anything about the similarities and differences between forces working to stop inhalant abuse in Virginia and other states across the nation?
In a statewide survey conducted by the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services in 2005, data indicated a rate of inhalant abuse much higher in Virginia than the national average (twice the national average for past 30 day use by 8th graders).
A statewide coalition came into existence in the spring of 2007 to work to prevent inhalant abuse. Many communities across Virginia and several state agencies have joined forces to make resources available to anyone who wishes to engage their communities in the effort.
I know that other states and organizations, such as ACE, have been working on this issue for some time. We are anxious to learn more from others as we continue to raise awareness and to advocate for change regarding inhalant abuse. I am very impressed with the policy and legislative initiatives in Maryland.
5. What are some SAFE upcoming events and programs that we should be looking forward to?
- Right now, we work to finish a training product that we hope to have ready for distribution by March of 2009.
- The second annual Virginia Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coalition will take place in March of 2009 in historic Williamsburg, Virginia.
- We hope to finish training all school personnel in all of our local middle and elementary schools by the end of this year.
- Finally, SAFE will receive a “Got Outcomes! Coalition of Excellence” award on February 12, 2009 at CADCA’s National Leadership Forum.
Humbled by this high honor, we look forward to acknowledging all those who helped us so much to mount a successful campaign to reduce inhalant abuse. I especially want to thank ACE for all the guidance, counsel, resources and funding that helped make a big difference in Virginia.
Monday, January 5, 2009
A 21 year-old woman “was heard screaming outside a Kohl's store” before 5:30 am and when someone went to check on her, they found her huffing computer duster.
The police report notes that the concerned woman “walked over to try and help the 21 year-old but she started yelling and hitting her.” The report continues “a man stepped in to separate the two and police were called.”
Paramedics responded and the 21 year-old was arrested “on a charge of inhaling a dangerous chemical and possession of drug paraphernalia.”
A 32-year old man was arrested after police found him huffing a can of computer duster in a parked car. After the arrest, police noted that “the dangerous trend is becoming more popular with older people.”
Police in Elkton arrested a thirty-two year old man and charged him with "violation of probation and being under the influence of an inhalant." Bond was set at $8,500.