Friday, February 27, 2009
The Partnership for a Drug Free America recently released the results of its 2008 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS). Within the findings, some startling new inhalant related data:
Pre-teen and teen inhalant use remains steady at 11% for past year use, yet only 66% of teens report that “sniffing or huffing things to get high can kill you.”
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
A 23 year-old woman was recently sentenced to more than 8 years in prison for an inhalant-related car crash in August that killed a 16 year-old girl. The girl had been a passenger in her car.
The woman is a mother of two children under the age of 3 and she admitted to huffing nitrous oxide while driving. She then “blacked out and crashed into a tree about 12 feet off the roadway.” A third passenger suffered a broken leg while the fourth sustained internal injuries.
The woman was sentenced to “more than six years in prison for manslaughter and 13-month sentences for each of two assault charges. Her one year sentence for driving under the influence will be served at the same time she is serving her other sentences.”
“Toxic Terry” is a 36 year old homeless man known for “drinking petrol and sniffing lighter fluid” and he is “currently serving a four-month jail term.” He is developing a large cult following through Facebook and other social media sites which many find problematic.
Steve Lambert, director of volatile substance abuse charity Re-Solv, notes that the man’s problems “are a "tragedy" which should not be celebrated.” Lambert continues, "I think that rather than looking up to this person they should be saying this is the tragedy of a life destroyed. The message should be about what solvents can do to you.”
Lambert also highlighted the frightening fact that “on average, solvent abuse claims the life of one person every week in the United Kingdom."
Monday, February 23, 2009
A 25 year-old man “pleaded guilty today to driving a car while drunk and high that crashed into a utility pole, killing an 18-year-old passenger.”
The police report notes that he “admitted huffing a liquid latex solvent to get high just moments before the crash on Aug. 13, 2007.”
A 22 year-old man “has been charged with criminal mischief and illegal use of solvents and noxious substances” after an acquaintance found him huffing computer dusters. Police report that he admitted he was “huffing from the can” and was taken into custody.
Earlier this month, police responding to a drug abuse and child neglect complaint, searched the home of a 28 year-old woman. She admitted that the previous evening she used computer dusting spray “to get high.”
Last week a 16 year-old girl was hospitalized after passing out school, reportedly from huffing a can of computer duster. She was charged with “inhaling chemical substances, a misdemeanor.”
In March, a determination is expected on how much a driver who huffed behind the wheel owes a college student who was critically injured by the crash.
Last May the driver huffed computer dusters and blacked out at the wheel. His car crashed into three vehicles. In one of the cars was a college student “who was one semester away from a civil engineering degree from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.” He “suffered a severe brain injury, continues to undergo rehabilitation therapy treatment, and uses a wheelchair.”
In a follow-up to last week's story about the 17 year-old that was killed by huffing refrigerant, more information on the case.
"The female had a trash bag. She walked to an air conditioning unit in the rear of the apartment complex and collected refrigerant from the unit into the bag. She used some sort of prying tool on the back to get it open. It appears she put the bag over her mouth and inhaled. Because of this, it caused her to die."
The report notes “she'd fallen forward with hands first and the wind tangled the bag around her face.” The Police Captain remarks, “That girl had no idea she was going to die. No idea."
Friday, February 20, 2009
14 students were caught “huffing computer keyboard cleaner in the boys and girls bathroom and on the school bus last month.”
The article also reports that “one student passed out and another was examined by a school nurse.”
Two of the students are 14-years old and will face charges of abuse of toxic vapors. The other 12 students are younger than 14-years old so “instead of being charged, they will attend meetings to educate them on the effects of huffing.”
The Police blotter for Wednesday, February 18th notes:
“4:43 p.m. A 22 year old was reported to be huffing compressed air and had passed out. He was transported by ambulance.”
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Earlier this month on February 6th, a 17 year-old female died from huffing refrigerant released from an air conditioner. She was found unresponsive at an apartment complex in Lexington.
Her parents are now speaking out because “they don't want another teen to make the same mistake their daughter made.”
The local police department is also working to alert parents to the issue as well. Captain Tad Kepley states, “We're hoping that we can get the message out that this is dangerous if you know of someone that is huffing refrigerant please get them to stop before someone else is tragically killed.”
The mother of a 20 year-old man “who died at the state-operated Center for Youth in 2008 filed a federal lawsuit last week alleging the state was negligent in her son’s death.”
Her son died on Feb 15, 2008 after “inhaling from an aerosol can while he was in a welding class.” The lawsuit lists the inhalant as “some type of a commercial solvent commonly used in metal and welding shops and is otherwise known as trichloroethylene.”
His death was ruled as accidental and the coroner’s report stated that his death was “probably caused by cardiac arrhythmia due to inhalation of the aerosol.”
His mom notes, “Andy had a history of inhaling. In fact, that’s part of the reason why he was (there)." She continued, “Even with that knowledge, they put him in a welding class and provided him with an inhalant.”
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The results of the 2007 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs [ESPAD] are set to be released on March 26th. The report includes data from 35 countries.
The previous report revealed that “the use of inhalants in Ireland was about twice the average (18 per cent compared to 10 per cent).”
A 23-year old homeless man was found in a Wal-Mart men’s restroom “with five empty cans beside him, including a sixth can that was half empty.”
Employees had called police after seeing the man take the can from store shelves. He was taken to the hospital and charged with petty theft.
This was the “sixth time in 15 months” that officers were called to respond to the same individual huffing computer dusters.
- In November 2007 he was “arrested for sale, possession or introducing inhalant use.”
- In December 2007 he was “found semi-conscious with a 10-ounce spray can in one hand and two empty cans on the ground next to him.”
- In March 2008, he was found “in convulsions and when he regained consciousness, he reportedly told (police) that he had been inhaling the canned substance”
- In September 2008 he was arrested for petty theft when a store clerk noticed he “took two, 12-ounce cans of the computer dusting spray.” He also “reportedly told police he had been released from a rehabilitation program earlier in the day.”
- Last week he was found huffing from a duster and was “arrested for possession of an inhalant.”
Last month police responded to a call about drug use in a park. The officer found two females that were “arguing heatedly” and the younger one, a 17 year-old, “put a can up to her mouth and “inhaled deeply”.
The police report notes that the older woman “had been walking by the park and saw her daughter huffing so she confronted her and took her grandchild from the girl out of concern for his safety.
The 17-year old was “issued a juvenile citation for inhalant abuse and turned over to juvenile authorities.”
This past week a 28 year old man was charged with “inhaling toxic vapors” after being found sitting against a home huffing refrigerant from a white garbage bag.
The police report also notes that he obtained the product from his sister’s home. He was “jailed on a $500 secured bond.”
Friday, February 13, 2009
From the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts
An 18 year old woman was injured in a huffing related car crash. The car she was driving “collided with a gray Honda Accord and spun into a fence.”
In her car they found two bottles of Baileys Liquor and three cans of computer dusting spray.
The three other passengers in her car and the driver of the car she hit were not injured but both cars were towed away. She was transported to the hospital and will be “summoned to the police department when she is discharged.”
From the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier - Charleston,IL,USA
The article references the results of an annual survey “conducted as part of the I Sing the Body Electric health coalition.”
The survey revealed “inhalant abuse was up by 15.5 percent since 2006”
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Last month, a 19-year old man was found inside a stolen van huffing solvents. He "waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Central Court on Monday.”
A 20-year old man was killed on January 17th in a huffing related car accident in Central Pennsylvania.
The driver of the car, a 21-year old female, was allegedly huffing computer duster before the crash. The car then “crossed three lanes and collided head-on with a sport utility vehicle.” A police officer found a “12-ounce can of dust remover in (her) purse and three other cans in her car.”
The woman was “arraigned Monday on homicide by vehicle and other charges. She is free on $50,000 bail.”
Monday, February 9, 2009
After attending a local PTA presentation the author notes, “I realized how naïve I was about the threat of drugs for preteens. Our district's coordinator for drug/alcohol abuse prevention laid out the realities of the world – which has changed a lot.”
She remarks that the presentation was “one frightening hour” and that “Texas leads the nation in deaths from inhalants.”
Here at ACE, we are very interested in that last statistic- if anyone has this comparative data, please send it along to us.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Results of the 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Survey were just released. The survey included middle and high school students in the Acton, Acton-Boxborough, Boxborough, Concord, Concord-Carlisle, Groton-Dunstable, Littleton, Maynard, and Westford Public Schools. The full report can be found here.
From the findings:
- 3.0% of sixth grade respondents and 7.6% of eighth grade respondents report having sniffed glue, or breathed the contents of spray cans, or inhaled any paints or sprays to get high at least once during the thirty days prior to the survey. There was little variation by gender in either grade.
- 4.5% all respondents report having sniffed glue, or breathed the contents of spray cans, or inhaled any paints or sprays to get high on at least one occasion during the thirty days prior to the survey. There was very little variation by grade or gender
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Results of the 2008 Parent Survey Report in Weston, Connecticut were recently released.
The survey was conducted in April 2008 and included 802 students (65% of student body in the local middle school and high school).
Full survey results can be found here:
Some interesting findings:
Table 18: Peer use of substances.
While 78.6% of 7-8th graders report none of their friends use inhalants, this number significantly declines by 11-12th grade where only 49.3% report none of their friends use inhalants.
Table 7: 30 day past use:
Highest use rate: male = 7th grade at 3.4%
Highest use rate: female = 8th grade at 3.5%
Interestingly, neither male nor female 8th graders report using inhalants in the past 30 days
Table 8: Lifetime use:
Highest use rate female =9th grade at 10.6%
Highest use rate male = 11th grade at 10.4%
Table 14th: Life time Drug Use
Highest rate of use occurs in the 11th grade (9.5%)
Table 25: peer use:
Those reporting their friends have tried inhalants: 9th grade- 12.9%; 10th grade -15.6%; 11th grade -17.8%; 12th grade-10.5%
Table 45: comparative use:
Females: Weston (7.5%), Connecticut (11.0%), United States (14.3%)
Males: Weston (5.4%), Connecticut (11.2%), United States (12.4%)
Table 46: recent use
Grades 7-8: 2000--3.3%; 2008 (-1.0%)
Grades 9-10: 2000--5.6%; 2008--1.2%
Table 48: lifetime use:
Grades 7-8: 2000—9.9%; 2008--2.8%
Grades 9-10: 2000--15.2%; 2008—5.9%
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This past Monday evening, the body of an unidentified male was found in the remnants of a burned home.
The homeowner was at work when the fire broke out and didn’t know who the man was. “Arson investigators have since determined that the man broke into the house and caused a gas leak on the stove. Natural gas then filled the house and ignited blowing out the walls to the house.”
Neighbors indicated that it could be someone they had seen earlier in the day. One neighbor reports that she "saw the man Monday with red all over his face as if he had been huffing paint. She said he was acting very strangely and that she hasn't seen him since.”
The conference will be beneficial for educators, law enforcement, prevention specialists, emergency care providers, social workers, school health and mental health professionals, policy makers, health care professionals, juvenile justice staff, PTA representatives and anyone who is concerned about protecting the health and safety of our youth. Early registration fee is $55 (by Feb 13th). After that, regular registration is $65.
Those in attendance will hear from experts about the problem of inhalant use and learn about successful prevention initiatives that have been developed to combat it. For a complete description of the conference agenda, workshops, and to register on-line, please go to www.htsac.org.
Please click here to view the flyer for the conference. For more information, please feel free to contact Sandy Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 869-4311; Nadia Williams at email@example.com or (757 )476-5070.
The community of Claymont Delaware is concerned about the destruction of three houses over the past two weeks. In each case, a car crashed into a house with a family inside.
In one of the crashes, the 20 year old driver “reportedly passed out at the wheel while huffing.”
He hit a house where a dad was inside playing legos with his two young children. The father notes, "He was going 65 to 70 and basically used his car as a missile into my house.” He also stated that his children can't sleep at night and that they can’t return home because the house has been condemned.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Officer Jon Hunt of the Bemidji Police Department is acknowledging his community’s increasing concern over inhalant abuse by extending his inhalant abuse lessons in the classroom.
For his 6th grade students, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) materials reference inhalant abuse as a part of one lesson. Officer Hunt is expanding this to develop a full lesson on huffing.
Thank You Officer Hunt.
The 2006 Barbados Secondary School survey results were recently revealed. The survey took place from October – December 2006 “by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) in collaboration with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission in 23 public and private secondary schools.” It “targeted second, fourth and fifth formers between the ages of 11 and 17, and 2 220 students completed questionnaires.”
The survey showed that female inhalant abuse, comparative to male inhalant abuse has increased since 2002. Additionally, with reference to perception of risk students reported that “inhaling (the products) sometimes was not as bad as if you used them frequently.” For students repeating one or more school years, 24.1% had used inhalants.