Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Loss For Inhalants: The Philippines Shut Out Toluene

From Inquirer.net

Government efforts to ban toluene-based products in the Philippines have tightened, as the country’s chief drug agency- The Dangerous Drugs Board has extended stringent surveillance on cement products containing full concentrations of toluene; a highly addictive and dangerous chemical solvent found in gasoline, dyes, detergents, and explosives.

Agency officials are monitoring, processing, and recording all of the ingredients used in the manufacture of contact cement to “ensure that the product has an additive that would prevent it from being abused by kids and young adults.”

Inhalant abuse continues to be one of the country’s most prominent health issues with toluene based contact cement (more commonly referred to as ‘rugby’ by users) contributing the greatest threat, “drawing users for its aromatic and additive properties.”

Cement manufacturers are now required to incorporate at least 5% Mustard Oil content into their product; or risk stifling legal penalties resulting in monetary fines or incarceration.
By adding just a small amount of mustard oil to contact cement, the attractive properties of toluene are significantly reduced and replaced with unpleasant odors specific to mustard oil.

“The regulation also orders manufacturers to place the mustard oil additive on product labels, cartons, and containers;” with the goal of lowering ‘rugby’ abuse rates among adolescents.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Refocus and Reset

From Trans World News

A recently published survey conducted by The National Institutes of Health, examining drug education programs across the nation, has yielded a number of startling findings. Responses from 46,346 high school students were collected and carefully evaluated by NIH researchers who found “that while some areas of drug abuse are declining, such as alcohol, other types of abuse [seem to be] stalling or increasing- most notably inhalants.”

While the survey indicates prevailing drug use among adolescents, results can only improve on national efforts to eradicate such behaviors. Clearly, a more inhalant focused drug prevention curriculum should be incorporated into our nation’s schools to circumvent future drug abuse among teens.

Strike Out Inhalant Abuse- Maryland


ACE is teaming up with the Bowie Baysox, Trenton Thunder, and New Britain Rock Cats to raise awareness about inhalant abuse this summer through a "Strike Out Inhalant Abuse" program!

"Strike Out Inhalant Abuse” is a two-pronged community based program seeking to blend the appeal of America's pastime with the popularity of minor league baseball teams in three local communities. In these three regions ACE is working with local counselors to help them set up in-schools assemblies with appearances from local team mascots and players.

The first Maryland in-school assembly took place at J.C. Parks Elementary School in Indian Head! Thanks to the dedication and planning of Mrs. Dorothy Cole, school counselor, the program was a success! Due to her efforts, ACE and the Bowie Baysox were able to speak with students about the importance of healthy and safe decision making this summer.

If you know an elementary or middle school student in New Jersey, Maryland or Connecticut please urge them to enter into the Strike Out Inhalant Abuse Super Hero Contest!

(Mrs. Dorothy Cole takes a moment with Baysox and ACE)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inhalants Get 'Whipped' In California

From KCRA News in Sacramento, CA

This week lawmakers from the San Francisco Bay area continue to fight for the ratification of a new bill banning the sale of Nitrous Oxide to minors throughout California. The law specifically targets the distribution of “whippets”- small containers of Nitrous Oxide, which are commonly abused and widely accessible.

Bay Area Assemblyman Tom Torkalson was first to address the bill in California’s Senate Public Committee hearing on Tuesday; attributing the growing incidence of “whippet” negligence among adolescents to their “low cost and vast availability.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Elderly Woman Left In The ‘Dust’

From NTV News in Nebraska

Yet another life has been claimed in connection with faulty inhalant consumption. Last week an elderly woman was hit and killed by a chemically intoxicated driver, while picking fruit.

Police reports reveal that the driver- high on computer duster, lost control of his pick up truck and struck the elderly victim. A can of computer keyboard duster was found in the driver’s car along with a receipt validating its purchase; a mere 11 minutes earlier.

The incident has elicited a firestorm of community discussion prompting local drug and alcohol treatment officials to take direct action; exposing the dangerous and life threatening consequences of ‘huffing.’ Efforts have also sought to enhance parental awareness of the domestic risks associated with inhalant abuse.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cause of Death: Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome?

From Lufkin Daily News in Texas

Additional details concerning the death of a 40 year old Lufkin, Texas man have been released. Ace first reported on the incident earlier this week, as an adult male was discovered dead inside a local repair shop with a trash bag over his head, and clutching a canister of refrigerator coolant.

Police are now able to verify that the victim was indeed ‘huffing’ at the time of his death, but are still unsure as to whether the casualty can be attributed to ‘Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome’- the immediate death following inhalant misuse.

Inhalant abuse statistics reveal that one in three inhalant related fatalities occur among first time users. While it is still unclear as to whether the victim will be included in this percentile, “his death has indefinitely become one of the 125 inhalant-related deaths reported each year, according to the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition.”

The victim’s former employer (and repair store owner) felt content hiring a “reformed convict” but was unaware of any lingering substance abuse issues. In a statement issued to police the shop owner disclosed that he “didn’t even realize [the victim used drugs] until he found all of the containers of [coolant that had been ‘huffed,’] not knowing people even” engaged in such behaviors.

This unforeseeable tragedy should serve to remind us all just how widespread inhalant abuse truly is. Inhalants are likely to be used and abused by any individual, regardless of gender, race, financial status, or age.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strike Out Inhalant Abuse Program: New Jersey

Rachel Wolf & Boomer from the Trenton Thunder

ACE is teaming up with the New Jersey School Counselor Association, the Trenton Thunder, Bowie Baysox and New Britain Rock Cats to raise awareness about inhalant abuse this summer through a "Strike Out Inhalant Abuse" program!

"Strike Out Inhalant Abuse” is a two-pronged community based program seeking to blend the appeal of America's pastime with the popularity of minor league baseball teams in three local communities. In these three regions ACE is working with local counselors to help them set up in-schools assemblies with appearances from local team mascots and players.

One of the first in-school assemblies took place at Lady of Lourdes School in Milltown, NJ! A huge thank you to Jim Lukach (pictured to the right), Executive Director of the New Jersey School Counselor Association, for his dedication and leadership in bringing ACE and the Trenton Thunder together!

If you know an elementary or middle school student in New Jersey, Maryland or Connecticut please urge them to enter into the Strike Out Inhalant Abuse Super Hero Contest!

This summer "Be Tuff Don’t Huff"

With yet another summer season rapidly approaching, we here at ACE wanted to wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe summer! In addition, we invite you to share in the personal reflections of one of our active parent advocates Don Coates, who lost his beloved son to inhalants three years ago.

“Once again it is that time of year when all of our young people prepare for a summer full of happiness, joy, and plenty of activities that will keep them busy and safe from all the dangers we encounter. As you well know, summer break is a time when kids will find new things to do, try things that have no explanation, and with the economical crisis that we are all witness to must also understand there will not be as much allowance for these kids to get out and enjoy some of the things they would like. It can be depressing, the road less traveled; as even the wishes and dreams of a new road can create detours. As dreams of summer fun can be very pleasant, so too can the nightmares of the same season become our undoing.

I had a dream of life with you, and it all ended when the nightmare came true. In my heart he will always be, but inhalants took him far away from me, and when my day on earth is done, in heaven I will reunite with my lost son Brady Coates.”

Adorned with the words "Be tuff, don’t huff" and Brady´s picture, the truck serves as a warning to parents and teens that inhalants can kill. By displaying the truck throughout the community, hopefully curious onlookers will try to learn more about inhalants and make it part of their discussions.

Death Deemed Preventable

From Lufkin Daily News in Texas

Employees at a local Lufkin, TX repair and mechanics store stumbled upon the body of a former employee Monday morning, a 40 year old Lufkin man. Although Police will not officially determine the cause of death until final autopsy results are released; it is clear that the victim was actively ‘huffing’ a common type of refrigerator and air conditioning coolant.

Found with a can of coolant and “a black garbage bag over his head” investigators confidently presume the victim was inhaling the substance at the time of his death.

Police were still awaiting final autopsy results upon publication of Lufkin Daily’s original report. ACE will continue to investigate this tragic incident; providing follow up information as it becomes available.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Possession Extends Probation

From Watertown Daily News in New York

A Watertown, New York man accused of breaking into “Watertown Builders Supply, in March 2005 and stealing $650 in tools was resentenced to a year in the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building” after violating his probation in connection with the 2005 robbery of a local hardware store.

He will serve an additional year on top of his prior 5 year conviction due to his illegal possession of a noxious gas and suspected 'huffing' of paint thinner earlier last month.

Many county and state governments across the nation are begginning to impose tougher preemptive measures to eradicate improper use of inhalants.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Police Armed and Ready for Battle

From the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyoming

For the past 12 months police officers in Cody, Wyoming have undergone an extensive Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training program in efforts to increase awareness and identification of the various “impairing substances many drivers use before taking the wheel.”

Hoping to enhance police awareness as to the source and “signs of impairment in drivers with low blood alcohol content,” officers have specifically extended the consequences, implications, and criterion necessitating a charge of DWUI- driving while under the influence.

No longer strictly designated to alcohol intoxication, a DWUI charge entails any use, abuse, or consumption of “illegal drugs, prescription pills, or household chemicals” while operating a motor vehicle.

Cody, Wyoming police are becoming keener as to the signs, impairments, and dangers arising from inhalant use, and are actively prohibiting such incidents of chemical negligence.

Officers hope that broadening DWUI charges, accompanied with stricter penalties is the answer for restoring safety among the streets of Cody; as “an inhalant like computer duster can produce impairment three times that of the legal alcohol limit with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .30.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Under the Influence and Off the Radar

From the KATU News in Portland, Oregon

A 19 year old female plead guilty to a DUI charge earlier this week following her involvement in a near fatal car wreck in Dalles, Oregon. The teen is accused of driving while ‘high’ causing her to “pass out and wreck on a narrow bridge crossing the Columbia River.” The teen is not being charged with drug or alcohol intoxication, but rather chemical intoxication via computer keyboard cleaner.

When an Oregon State Police trooper arrived to the scene of the accident he found the young driver passed out and unresponsive.
Dramatically escaping any serious injuries, the teen was able to undergo basic field sobriety tests and urine analyses.

“Sobering up right before the trooper’s eyes” the teen passed both evaluations with little difficulty, as Police found no chemical traces of computer duster to be present in her body. However, when Police “spotted two cans of keyboard cleaner in the back seat, the teen then confessed to taking ‘hits’ of the cleaner while driving.”

Commonly referred to as ‘huffing,’ an Oregon Poison Control Toxicologist “claims that 1 on 20 junior high kids have admitted to having tried huffing chemicals of some sort to get high.”

Although the 19 year old sustained no serious injuries from the accident, her experience undoubtedly elicits a ‘reality check’ among parents and teachers who are unfamiliar and uninformed of the risks and harmful effects surrounding inhalant abuse; demonstrating the destructive consequences of ‘huffing’ to youth across the nation.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Driver crashes 3 Times After Huffing

From the Gary Post Tribune in Indiana:

An 18-year old male “was involved in three separate, serious crashes Sunday after allegedly inhaling the propellant from canned dust cleaner.” However, he wasn’t arrested because he needed medical treatment after the third crash.

The driver was brought to the emergency room after he crashed his father’s truck into a tree. Police had received reports for two earlier accidents involving the same truck – and all within the previous half hour.

The first car hit “suffered at least $10,000 worth of damages and was towed from the scene.” The driver of the car took himself and his two 15-year old passengers to the emergency room.

In the second accident, he rear-ended a car and then “allegedly then pulled up next to the damaged vehicle, smiled, then cut across a cement median and did a U-turn despite traffic.” That car also had to be towed.

After the third crash into the tree, the 18-year old driver was found unconscious inside. The truck had “heavy front-end damage, was missing most of the passenger side headlight assembly and its passenger side front tire was lying on the ground.” Parts of the truck were also left at the scene of the previous two accidents.

The driver allegedly told police he had been at a house “where at least six people were huffing dust remover. “ He denied huffing it himself but admitted the fumes may have impacted him but he “didn’t think he was that messed up to drive.” He has little recollection of crashing into the tree and remembers nothing about the previous two accidents.

Successful Presentation in Florida!

Last week Adam Long coordinated an inhalant abuse prevention session at his church in Florida. From his summary below, sounds like it was a great success!! Keep up the tremendous work, Adam!

Hope you’re all doing well. Just wanted to quickly send an update out and let you know what’s going on. Last Wednesday night (June 3rd, 2009) Me, My Mother, and Both my pastors hosted an Inhalant Awareness night at my church in Clearwater, FL.

We had 180 Kids from middle to high school age and about 40 parents that attended. We passed out literature and contracts for kids and parents to sign. Our presentation lasted about 28 minutes and was a total success.

We had parents and kids come up afterward and talk with us about how they never knew, or about how they knew about it but didn’t know it was that dangerous. It was so amazing to know that this message was received.

I have a DVD video of the full presentation and there’s the promotional video that I made just to send out to different churches, organizations. You can view it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeTWib1ULUI

As always feel free to contact me anytime with news or updates via my email address alongcoh@yahoo.com. thank you so much and God Bless. In Christ- Adam Long

Monday, June 8, 2009

Inhalant Abuse Hits One California Community For the 2nd Time.

From California (via Bakersfield Now & Bakersfield Californian):

On Friday, Coroner officials in Kern County, California confirmed that the March 27th death of a 21 year old Cal State student was due to "asphyxiation due to inhalation of a gaseous substance."

The student was found dead inside her apartment along with three 12-ounce cans of computer duster. She was majoring in elementary education and grew up in Vancouver, Washington.

Bakersfield.com recalled the 1995 death of the son of a former Bakersfield doctor. The 12 year old died after inhaling butane fumes.

Your Voice and Inhalants

From Yahoo Answers:

An interesting question. Click on the article to see the responses.

Does the use of Inhalants change your voice?
My friend once called me and he had sounded so different than he normally did. He basically sounded like the guy from scream or scary movie when the killer calls. Anyway, last night i was watching Steve-O the Demise And Rise on MTV and i noticed that when he was doing the whippets, his voice changed extremely. He sounded like my friend when he called back in March. My heart just dropped when i noticed that his voice sounded like my friends. I knew my friend drank but i don't know if he does inhalants. Does the use of inhalants change your voice? I need to know as soon as possible. I'm scared for him if he does inhalants.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Huffing and Driving in Wyoming

From the Cody Enterprise in Wyoming:

Yesterday, a 22 year old male driver was arrested “for leaving the scene of an accident, failure to give information, interference with a police officer, probation violation and DWUI.”

A woman called the police Thursday evening to say her car was hit by another vehicle which then drove away. En route, police learned it also hit an unoccupied vehicle and a bystander directed the police to an apartment building.

The police report notes that one officer saw the driver “peering out the back of the residence and throwing things from the window.” When he refused to open the door, they had to use a “breaching ram to open an apartment door to arrest him.”

The officer also reported a “distinct odor of alcohol coming from his body, and breath tests reported a blood alcohol content of .03, a violation of his parole.”

Inside the apartment police found a receipt for computer cleaning spray that the man had purchased from Wal-Mart only eight minutes before. They also found a can that the man’s girlfriend “reportedly tossed in a dumpster after police left the apartment.”

“In the detention center, officers recorded him asking his girlfriend what happened. She told him he hit three cars. He told her he “must have blacked out.” He said he remembered the air bags deploying and then driving home.”

The article also references previous “huffing and driving” cases in Cody, Wyoming. In January an 18 year-old man admitted he had been huffing computer dusting spray when he blacked out. He hit the entrance sign at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center Museum which will cost $69,000 to repair. He pleaded guilty to DUI-controlled substance, his second.

In September 2007 another 18 year old driver was also caught huffing computer dusting spray while driving. He was sentenced to 150 days in jail with 120 days suspended on a reckless driving charge.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Basketball Tournament to Benefit Man Injured by Huffing Related Accident

From Rapid City Journal in South Dakota:

This weekend’s basketball tournament will benefit a 30 year old man who was critically injured when his car was broadsided by a car whose driver had been huffing. The 30-year old man suffered traumatic brain injuries and is still recovering.

The tournament is sponsored by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society chapter at Oglala Lakota College. It starts at 5 p.m. Friday and continues through Sunday at Little Wound School in Kyle.

The entry fee is $150 per team, with a maximum of 10 players per team. The top three teams will receive prizes, including $1,000 from AISES to the champions.

For more information on the tournament or AISES, call Misty Brave at 685-4098, Dave Herman at 441-6305, Helene Gaddie at 454-8425 or Rich White at 454-7523.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Air Force Order Mentions Inhalants

From McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey:

General Arthur Lichte, commander of the Air Mobility Command, recently issued an order prohibiting all its members from misusing intoxicating substances, such as "spice," inhaling household chemicals and abusing over the counter nonprescription drugs.

"The abuse of these products by military members contradicts the nature of our profession of arms, threatens our military readiness and diminishes our ability to conduct the mission entrusted to us," General Lichte said. "Such substance is to the prejudice of good order and discipline and is of a nature to bring discredit upon the Air Force. As a result, the abuse could seriously undermine our mission and negatively impact our nation's security."

General Lichte's order was in response to feedback provided by the legal offices within the command indicating this type of misuse has been identified as a problem among units, Air Force officials said. The order applies to all military members assigned or attached to AMC, including those assigned to tenant units located on AMC bases, active duty personnel on temporary duty, Air Force Reserve Command personnel on orders or on inactive duty training status, and Air National Guard members upon mobilization assigned or attached within AMC.

"Misuse of these intoxicating substances identified by General Lichte's order constitutes failure to obey a lawful general order and is in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice," said Capt. Megan Gagnon, chief of Adverse Actions and Assistant Staff Judge Advocate with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst's Legal Office.

Inhalants "Not a Problem" in Michigan

From the Gaylord Herald Times in Michigan:

The Gaylord City Police Department recently stated that inhalant abuse has not been a big problem in their community.

However, the police detective noted that a “a couple of years ago there had been a problem with inhalant abuse among teenagers and young adults using model airplane glue and some individuals have recently been huffing the contents of computer duster aerosol cans.”

He continued, “it is a problem which surfaces now and then but is not as common as underage drinking or the abuse of illegal drugs.”

He also discussed the case last year where Wal-Mart was concerned about an individual buying numerous cans of computer duster. Officers reached out to the young man and “saw that he received the help and counseling he needed after it was determined he may have had a problem with inhalant abuse.”

The chief noted that he had heard reports “that a number of empty whip cream cans had recently been found at Gaylord’s Aspen Park, his department is not aware of an abuse problem from inhaling the propellant found inside the contents of the cans.” He concluded, “It doesn’t mean it’s not happening, but we haven’t found any evidence or handled any complaints of its abuse.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

National Recovery Month

From Harvey Weiss, National Inhalant Prevention Coalition

This September is the twentieth year of National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month This important event is sponsored by the U. S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). National Recovery Month is a public health campaign designed to celebrate recovery in communities throughout the country.

This year’s campaign theme is: Join the Voices for Recovery: TOGETHER WE LEARN, TOGETHER WE HEAL.

A free Recovery Month local coordinator's campaign toolkit is available. To request a free toolkit please contact us through our website or send an email directly to me. Keep in mind that last year the demand for the free toolkits exceeded supply, so don't delay.

For more information about the campaign, please visit our website and click on the Recovery Month icon at the bottom of our homepage.

Our website includes Inhalant Treatment Guidelines and a CSAT Inhalant Treatment Advisory.

Air Conditioners Tampered with in Virginia

From WVEC.com in Norfolk:

Last week, “Someone removed the refrigerant from AC units at a Virginia Beach apartment complex.” Police have also found evidence of similar cases happening nearby.

The community is concerned that the units are being tampered with for the purpose of inhalation abuse.