Tuesday, March 24, 2009
A repeat huffer has been arrested once again after “receiving a call about a hitchhiker whose face was covered in paint.” Police arrested the man after they found he had been huffing spray paint.
The article links to previous cases where he was arrested: 3 cases in 2006, 2 in 2007, and one previous one last July.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Last January police responded to an emergency call at a house in Buford, Arkansas. The report was for a teen "huffing Drano and consuming a large amount of alcohol."
While at the home, police observed several substances commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, as well as a handwritten 'recipe' for cooking methamphetamine.”
A mother of two small children (ages 2 and 5) has been “found guilty of child endangerment” after allegedly huffing paint in front of her children last October.
Both children now live with their father.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Two brothers passed out in a parking lot after inhaling computer dusters. When police responded the men were “non-responsive” and they found “one brother bleeding from his head, while the other had vomit on his pants.”
While the police officers called for medical assistance, one of the men “regained consciousness and continued inhaling the contents of one of the cans.” The man’s mother “quickly pulled the can from his hand and slammed it to the ground.”
The mother noted she had come out of the store to find the brothers huffing cans of computer dusting sprays. Three cans were found on the scene. The men refused medical treatment and were each “charged with one count each of misdemeanor inhaling intoxicants.”
A 36 year-old man has already been arrested for huffing related incidents four times this month- yet he refuses to stop.
He remarked, “If they keep on making (spray paint), I’ll keep on sniffing it.” He also noted, “When I try to stay away from it, it comes after me twice as hard.”
He was arrested on Monday for “inhaling aromatic hydrocarbons” after being found “with a plastic bag in one hand, spray paint in the other and silver paint around his nose, mouth and his face.”
He pleaded no contest and was “ordered to pay a fine of $362.50 or spend 30 days in jail.”
Previously, he was arrested on March 4th after police found him “standing on the side of the road with a yellow plastic bag with silver paint all over the bag and over his mouth and nose.” On March 5th, he was arrested “on railroad tracks for the same drug charge.”
Then on the 12th he was charged with “inhalation of aromatic hydrocarbons” after he was caught “with silver spray paint and a plastic bag.”
On Monday, a 35-year-old New Hampshire woman was arrested for huffing computer duster as she sat in her car at a stoplight.
The police report notes that when the light turned green, the officer behind her “beeped his horn but the car did not move.” When the officer pulled up alongside the car, he saw that the driver’s head was down and she was “placing the nozzle of the can into her mouth and depressing the trigger.”
She was arrested and charged with illegally inhaling toxic vapors. Besides the can she was inhaling, they found another full can in the car.
The officer also recognized her from a similar "huffing" incident last Friday in which she also was arrested.
For National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week, the region’s Youth Connections Coalition provided all Helena elementary schools with lessons on inhalant use. The group is also working on educating local merchants so “they can be part of the solution.”
The article points out that “according to a 2008 survey of Helena’s middle and high school students, 170 reported sniffing glue, breathing the contents of an aerosol spray can, or inhaling other gases or sprays in order to get high.”
Paquelet Brown, a mom of two teens, noted, “They aren’t considered a drug because they are helpful products around the house. Improperly used, they can be very dangerous. This is not something we think to talk about, but we should, because as parents, we are the front-line defense for our kids. Education is the key to prevention.”
A nurse remarked,“Huffing is not new. But I don’t think people realize the brain damage it causes.”
Through a patient she worked with at a nursing home over 30 years ago, she saw the effects of inhalant abuse. “He was a beautiful, healthy kid that was devastated because of huffing,” she said, adding he couldn’t speak or control his bladder.
The groups also notes that they are “available to present inhalant awareness information to any organization. Call 324-1032 to schedule a time.”
A middle school student was taken to Bridgeway Center and then the hospital after “she appeared to be under the influence of something during school hours.”
The report notes she “told the principal she was huffing highlighters. She also said she wanted to kill herself.”
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
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.
The press release is regarding an effort by Assemblyman Torlakson and Los Angeles City Attorney to “work with parents and schools to prohibit the sale of “whippets” to minors. Whippets are small containers of nitrous intended for home use in whipped cream charging bottles.
The release quotes a study showing “15.7% of eighth graders, 12.8% of tenth graders, and 9.9% of twelfth graders reported use of inhalants.”
Torlakson, a teacher, notes "At about 25 cents each, whippets are too easy for our kids to buy. That is why we have seen kids as young as third-graders begin to abuse nitrous oxide.”
A group of 16 teens in Hancock County have set out to increase awareness of inhalant abuse in their community. They stepped up efforts after a “young driver got into a serious car crash while she was huffing.”
Together, as part of Project HAPPY (Hancock Addiction Prevention Program for Youth) they have been querying area businesses to find out whether they “had established guidelines regarding the sale of inhalants to minors.”
They found that “three stores had written policies which prohibited sales of inhalants to those under 18, two other stores didn't have a policy, but were "open to" developing one, while the sixth business has yet to respond to the group's request for information.” The group is now looking to “review the existing policies and to develop a "model" policy that would be made available to other businesses in the community.”
Carol Taylor, prevention coordinator for the Family Resource Centers noted that “Inhalants are the fourth most common substance abused by Hancock County teens-with only alcohol, tobacco and marijuana more popular.”
Monday, March 16, 2009
The report noted:
- In 2007, almost 1.0 million adolescents used inhalants in the past year.
- The percentage of adolescents (youths aged 12 to 17) who used inhalants in the past year was lower in 2007 (3.9%) than in 2003 (4.5%), 2004 (4.6%), and 2005 (4.5%).
- Among first time users in the past year, the rate of use of nitrous oxide or “whippits” declined between 2002 and 2007 for both male and females. (males 40.2% to 20.2%)(females (22.3 to 12.2%)
- Use of aerosol spray other than spray paint was higher in 2007 than 2002 (25% versus 12.6%)
- In 2007, 17.2% of adolescents who initiated illicit drug use during the past year indicated that inhalants were the first drug they used. This rate remained relatively stable between 2002 and 2007.
- In 2007, 2.1% of adolescents who had not previously used inhalants began using them during the 12 months prior to the survey.
Friday, March 13, 2009
A consumer in Maryland just let us know that our Inhalant Abuse Prevention brochure is on the counter at her local Giant Food store. She was able to snap a photo and send it took us .
Thank you Giant store # 310 in Bowie, Maryland for recognizing the importance of this issue:
A 38 year-old St. Paul, Minn. man “was charged last week with three felonies for crashing into a line of parked cars in June while under the influence of marijuana and inhalants.”
When officers responded they noted the driver’s thought process appeared to be “fuzzy” and his demeanor and mannerisms were slow.” The accident was “the third time” he “had been stopped for driving suspiciously in the same day.”
The article notes that “a deputy trained to recognize drug use determined he was also under the influence of an inhalant at the time of the crash.”
A club in Pittsburgh “will not face charges in the death of a customer, but it's being warned to keep certain chemical products out of the building.”
A 31-year old man was found dead in one of the private rooms of the club and three cans of VCR cleaner were found with the body.
The Illicit Drug Task Force of the Knox County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is working to reduce inhalant abuse in their community.
On Saturday, to kick of National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week, the group will be at Wal-Mart from 9 am – 12 pm “passing out information and displaying some commonly abused products. They also will encourage parents and grandparents to talk to children about inhalants.”
The 2008 Illinois Youth Survey revealed that the “almost one in ten” 6th, 8th and 10th graders in Knox County has abused inhalants. Additionally “about 95% of parents believe their child has never abused inhalants.”
Jeff Williams, a father who lost his son Kyle to inhalant abuse, will be in Virginia Monday for a discussion at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.
Inhalant Use: Is Your Child at Risk? 7-9 p.m. Free
- CHKD Health and Surgery Center, Oyster Point, 11783 Rock Landing Drive.
- Sgt. Jeff Williams, an Ohio K-9 officer who lost his 14-year-old son to inhalant use, will explain what inhalants are, how they are abused, the damage they do, signs and symptoms of use, and how to talk to your child about it.
- Co-sponsors: CHKD and Kohl's Department Stores.
- Call 668-7500 or register online at www.chkd.org/classes.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
On Monday, a 31year-old woman pleaded guilty to “bringing two 3.78 litre cans of lacquer” into the First Nation community.
This marks the first conviction under a March 2008 bylaw that “prohibits the sale, manufacture, possession and consumption of inhalants in Wabaseemoong First Nation.” The article notes that the bylaw was enacted "to protect the community and the community members against the injurious effects of intoxicating substance abuse."
Earlier this week a man passed out after huffing computer dusting spray at Wal-Mart.
After regaining consciousness, he was detained by store security and is now banned from the store. Police note that “Wal-Mart officials did not want to press charges, but he could still be charged with the misdemeanor charge of "inhaling toxic vapors."
Yesterday afternoon, four high school students crashed their car into a utility pole after huffing computer dusting spray during their lunch break.
The article notes that “one student suffered a head laceration” and that the “female driver is being charged with driving under the influence and all four students might face additional charges for huffing fumes.”
This past Tuesday, a 19 year old woman “lost control of her van and crashed into the dining room of the Spring Lake Arby's.”
The Police Chief said, “investigating officers found a can of computer dusting spray in the van and confronted the driver, who admitted she had just taken a hit of the aerosol while driving.” The article continues “She apparently blacked out and struck the rear end of a car before careening across the lane and crashing through the restaurant.”
“The accident shattered tables and chairs, buckled the west wall of the restaurant and left a gaping hole in the southwest corner of the building. Fortunately, however, no one was injured.
“The restaurant was closed Wednesday as employees cleaned up debris. Restaurant workers said they are hoping to have the restaurant repaired and up and running later this month.”
The Police Chief remarked, "If that restaurant had been filled with people, we potentially could have had looking at many deaths. We got off lucky."
The driver faces a “90-day misdemeanor charges of using an inhalant and reckless driving.”
The piece also recalls another inhalant related fatality in the same area in 2006. A 19 year-old man was found dead in a condominium swimming pool.
The results of the Groton Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (GASP)’s youth substance abuse survey were released. The survey was administered to students in both middle and high school in May 2008.
Shockingly, while “most substance abuse appeared to be trending downward” inhalant abuse among 7th and 8th graders inhalant use increased from 2004 to 2008.”
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
From the KungFuChem Blog:
Its “Inhalants Class” blog states:
- Inhalants are among the most dangerous of abused substances.
- All inhalants are dangerous despite wide variations in their chemistry
- With some inhalants the amount needed to produce a recreational effect is close to a fatal dose, and deadly outcomes demonstrate that the difference was too close for some deceased users to handle.
- Some users act as if they do not realize they need a continual supply of oxygen, and they administer inhalants in ways that cause suffocation.
- In addition to all these acute dangers, long-term use of many inhalants can produce nerve damage, impairing the ability to use arms and legs and hands and feet, damage verified scientifically.
- Another type of long-term damage appears to be assorted types of psychoses.
- Inhalant users can develop states of mind interfering with—or even preventing—their ability to function in society.
- Admittedly, some users avoid serious outcomes, just as some car drivers run red lights without harm. Escape, however, does not mean that danger should be disregarded.
- Generally, adult drug users shun most inhalants except as a choice of desperation if nothing else is available.
- Inhalant users tend to be teenagers or younger
- Sniffing is often a social event with acquaintances rather than a solitary pastime.
- As the 1960s began, the average age among 130 glue sniffers in Denver was 13.
- In this group 124 were male; most were lower-class Hispanics in trouble with school or law enforcement authorities; many had emotional problems.
- Another study found glue sniffers to have personalities matching those of alcoholics.
- Gasoline sniffers are often emotionally deprived teens from troubled families, typically living lower-class lives in rural areas, often members of native populations whose cultures havebeen devastated (American Indians in the United States, aborigines in Australia, Island peoples in the Pacific).
- Case studies of butane sniffers tell of lonely persons with difficulties at school or at home.
- A psychological test of 59 inhalant abusers found them to be impulsive persons with little respect for authority.
- Most research finds inhalant users to be unhappy persons marginalized by society.
- Yet not all researchers find that inhalant users are social misfits from dysfunctional families; some appear to be ordinary persons, though still youthful.
- For information about specific inhalants, see alphabetical listings for: butane,ether, refrigerant, gasoline, mothballs, nitrite, nitrous oxide, TCE, and toluene
The remains of what appears to be a 19-year old man who had been reported missing have been located.
The article notes, “a can of butane was found on the scene, but it is impossible to test if the man had been abusing the inhalant because of the decomposition.”
Yesterday afternoon, “Upon moving a vile of isobutyl nitrite that was being stored as evidence at the warehouse, workers spilled about an ounce of the substance.” The article notes that the substance is used as an “inhalant recreational drug.”
One worker was sent to the hospital for evaluation after feeling lightheaded. The “Fire Department's hazardous materials team investigated and disposed of the substance within two hours.”
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A 24-year old man was found unconscious in the middle of a road. When police responded the man told them he had been huffing computer dusters.
“He also admitted that he was unable to stop huffing.” “The officer asked if the man was trying to hurt himself. The man assured the deputy that he was not.”
The arrest report notes that the “same man was found earlier in the day - unconscious, in the same location - also because he had ingested too much compressed gas.”
The first time he had been taken to the hospital and “went back to the same location where he had been found, purchased two more cans of Dust Off, and began to huff.”
He faces “misdemeanor charges of inhalation and ingestion of a harmful chemical substance.
- Toluene is a common component in gasoline, glues, and paint products (including nail polish).
- Recreational use is by inhaling vapor from toluene, often in a group setting. Toluene intoxication lasts longer than intoxication from assorted other inhalants.
- Some actions of toluene are comparable to alcohol. Toluene can relax users, cheer them up, and produce hallucinations. Mood may change and become unpleasant, however, often in response to content of hallucinations.
- People may have delusions of nonexistent abilities to fly or swim or that they must obey commands from some entity. Real-world scenes may seem more brightly lit than normal. Time may be perceived as passing faster. People may feel confused and dizzy and experience difficulty with balance and with controlling their limbs.
- Volunteers who inhaled toluene fumes experienced headache, eye discomfort, and lower performance on tests of thinking ability.
- Recreational users have reported slowness in thinking, and they have scored lower in intelligence testing than nonusers do.
- Dementia can be a consequence of the habit.
- Sniffers may also experience nausea, appetite loss, tremors, speech difficulty, double vision, and ringing in the ears.
- Daily abuse for several years may cause significant problems in mobility; those symptoms may mimic beriberi.
- Brain, lung, eye, and liver injury can occur in recreational users.
- Investigators find that some physical damage may improve if exposure to toluene stops, although brain damage may be permanent.
- High blood pressure is reported in blood circulating through the lungs.
- Controversy exists about whether cardiac injury occurs, although a case report notes a
heart attack suffered after a teenager sniffed toluene.
- Anemia and other changes in blood composition may develop, changes affecting males and females in different ways. For example, in one study of persons chronically exposed to the substance, women had higher blood cholesterol levels than normal, and men had lower levels than normal.
- Chronic abuse can deplete a person’s potassium levels; such depletion can damage muscles and produce irregular heartbeat.
- The chemical may produce a kidney malfunction called renal tubular acidosis, which might lead to rickets. Renal tubular acidosis can have fatal complications, but case reports indicate the condition can clear up if a victim stops toluene sniffing.
- Regular exposure can be dangerous enough, but an overdose can create a medical emergency.
- In humans an overdose can dangerously speed up the heart, cause seizures and convulsions, and produce coma.
- Fatalities occur.
- An unusual hazard comes from the chemical’s ability to increase salivation; in one case, a semiconscious person nearly drowned in his own saliva as it flowed into his lungs.
- The liquid can be absorbed through skin and may cause skin irritation.
- Toluene is flammable, thus hazardous around flames or burning cigarettes.
- Dependence is reported in humans, with a withdrawal syndrome including queasiness,perspiring, facial tics and abdominal cramps, peevishness, and difficulty with sleep. Symptoms last for several days.
Monday, March 9, 2009
The synopsis notes: “Many youth in the juvenile justice system have used inhalants, but little is known about inhalant use disorders (IUDs) in antisocial youth populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence, clinical features, and latent structure of DSM-IV IUDs in a state population of antisocial youth."
Methods: Cross-sectional survey conducted in 2003. Of 740 youth residing in Missouri State Division of Youth Services' (MDYS) residential treatment facilities at the time the study was conducted, 723 (97.7%) completed interviews.
Eighty-seven percent were male, with a mean age of 15.5 (SD = 1.2). Nearly 4 in 10 youth (38.5 %; n = 279) reported lifetime inhalant use.
Youth ranged from very mildly to severely antisocial.Results: Of 279 inhalant users, 52 (18.6 %) met DSM-IV inhalant abuse criteria and 79 (28.3 %) met inhalant dependence criteria. Five of 10 IUD criteria were met by >10 % of the total sample.Latent class analyses demonstrated a substantial concordance between DSM-IV-defined IUDs and an empirically-derived classification based on responses to DSM-IV IUD diagnostic criteria.
Conclusions: IUDs and constituent criteria were prevalent among youth in the juvenile justice system.Two groups of problem inhalant users were identified, symptomatic users-DSM-IV inhalant abuse and highly symptomatic users-DSM-IV inhalant dependence, which differed primarily in severity of inhalant-related problems. Inhalant screening, prevention and treatment efforts in juvenile justice settings are rarely delivered, but critically needed
Congratulations to Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc., (SAFE) for being named a Got Outcomes! Coalition of Excellence award winner by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
SAFE was recognized for their success in decreasing inhalant abuse in their community. Their efforts resulted in a “44 percent decline in inhalant use among eighth-graders between 2005 and 2007.”
- The substance disrupts learning ability. In a typical experiment volunteers who inhaled a low dose of the drug showed worsened reaction time, worsened ability to do arithmetic, and general sedation accompanied by nervous system depression (as opposed to stimulation).
- Interference with driving ability has been noted one-half hour after a dose.
- Short-term exposure can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulty.
- Some recreational users quickly inhale as much nitrous oxide as possible and hold their breath. This technique causes a sudden change of pressure inside the lungs and can rupture small interior structures needed for breathing.
- Blood pressure can go up or down, depending on dosage. Users can lose consciousness, which may be hazardous in a recreational context due to falls or inability to shut off the gas source.
- The substance deactivates vitamin B12, an effect that can cause numbness and difficulty in moving arms and legs.
- Other results can be impotence and involuntary discharge of urine and feces.
- Nitrous oxide interferes with blood clotting, and long-term exposure has caused blood abnormalities.
- Persons with chronic industrial exposure have more kidney and liver disease than usual.
- Nitrous oxide can become very cold when released as a gas from a pressurized container, cold enough to cause frostbite upon meeting skin or throat.
- Breathing nitrous oxide without an adequate supply of oxygen can be fatal; a little in a closed space or a lot from a face mask can suffocate a user.
- Although nitrous oxide is called nonflammable, when inhaled it can seep into the abdominal cavity and bowels, mixing with body gases to create a flammable combination. If ignited the result would be like setting off an explosive inside the body; the danger is real enough that surgical personnel administeringnitrous oxide as an anesthetic have been warned about it.
The article describes a case in which a 14 year-old boy killed a 4 year-old girl. At the time the boy “became the youngest juvenile in Minnesota to be certified as an adult and sent to state prison.”
Now, “exactly 14 years to the day” the girl was killed, he is scheduled to be released.
The article also references the boy’s early use of inhalants:
He “told investigators he began abusing a head-spinning array of drugs and inhalants by age 11. He also "sniffed gasoline, Glade, paint thinner, Whiteout, spray paint, rubber and model cement,'' according to court papers.”
Friday, March 6, 2009
From the Chicago Daily Herald in Illinois:
The Illinois Youth Survey has revealed that “fewer Lake County students in middle and high schools are using alcohol, marijuana, inhalants and cigarettes.”
“Middle school students' 30-day use Inhalant use went from 9 percent in 2006 to 7 percent in 2008.”
From Times of India in New Delhi:
The headmaster of a high school in the Baragian area of the state capital is concerned about inhalant abuse in his school.
The article notes, “Students, including ex-students, have fallen to addiction of adhesives and often steal articles from the school and surrounding areas to buy adhesive stick and glue.”
The results of the 2008 Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment survey (6th, 8th, 10th, 12th grades) for Region 1, which encompasses Washington, Madison, Benton and Carroll counties, were recently revealed.
The article noted that “According to the results, students living in rural areas are more likely to abuse drugs such as alcohol, prescription drugs and inhalants.” Additionally, “Inhalant use among adolescents exceeds the national average in all four counties of Region 1.”
A bill “that would make it a crime to sell nitrous oxide canisters, or whippets, to teenagers so they can get high” didn’t make it out of committee due to budget constraints. The bill “adds nitrous oxide to the states list of illegal inhalants (with exceptions for professionals like dentists)”
State representative Al Obrien drafted the bill after seeing a Team 7 hidden-camera investigation focused on the sale of crackers, cases of inhalants and balloons to 16-year-old students. The article notes that Washington state remains “one of the few states that refuse to regulate nitrous or “huffing” kits.”
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
On Saturday, a 32 year-old former state corrections officer was arrested after an inhalant related hit-and-run crash.
Police officers responded to a report of a “man asleep at the wheel.” When officers arrived they saw that it was the “same truck that had been involved minutes before in an accident.”
The report notes that the driver seemed “out of it, like he didn’t know what was going on.” Inside the car they found three cans of computer dust cleaner. He was placed in jail overnight and released on $500 bond.