Blog Report

Friday, December 30, 2011

He Started Huffing in Iraq

Via the Idaho Statesman:

A 28 year-old Army veteran first tried huffing computer dusters while stationed in Iraq. This past July 19 he was found in a field, surrounded by 42 cans of computer duster spray that he had stolen from Wal-Mart. The only thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital.

The article points out that a 2008 story “that ran in “Knowledge,” which calls itself the official safety magazine of the U.S. Army, reported that 47 members of the U.S. armed forces had died of inhalant use since 1998, more than half of them soldiers.” It also notes that the Department of Defense issued a release in October 2010 warning soldiers about huffing.

The army veteran says he suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2005 and his prescriptions weren’t helping to ease his headaches so he turned to computer dusters. He points out “It was very prevalent in the military. It’s readily available, and there is no drug test for it. It’s so fast-acting, it doesn’t leave a trace in your blood and urine.”

After reading about the dangers of huffing he stopped but two years later once he returned home he turned to dusters to help relieve PTSD induced nightmares. He quit after his wife threatened to kick him out and got outpatient treatment through the VA but started again after he got divorced.

His parents set him up with inpatient treatment at the VA hospital in Idaho but he soon started huffing once released. Police records show he was charged with “misdemeanor intoxication by inhalation of a toxic substance eight times between April and May” but he didn’t recall much of the incidents so never followed up. It led to jail time on a failure to appear in court which cost him his job and a chance to get back into a VA rehab program. Soon after he was found in the field with the 42 cans of computer dusting spray.

He was released from the hospital and went back to Washington state to get treatment for PTSD. He turned himself in on the burglary charge for the stolen dusters and plead guilty to the lesser charge of misdemeanor petit theft. His message to teens is “Don’t try inhalants. Ever. “I want to be done with it,” he said. “(Huffing) ruined my marriage, it ruined a lot of my friendships. It’s almost ruined my relationship with my parents.”

Caught Stealing Duster in Idaho

Via the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Idaho:

A 27 year old man was arrested earlier this month after an off-duty police officer saw him remove a can of computer dusting spray after leaving Wal-Mart. The man was charged with "third-degree theft, unlawful inhalation and unlawful use and possession of inhalants.”

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Arrested For Huffing Nitrous in Tennessee

Via WREG TV in Tennessee:

A 48 year-old man has been arrested and charged with a DUI after he was found huffing nitrous oxide while sitting in a parked car.

Deputies found the man sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition and the car running. He appeared disoriented and in the car they found 1,000 canisters of Nitrous-Oxide or EZ-Whip but only 275 of the canisters were full.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Huffing Behind the Wheel Claims Another Life

Via WSYR TV in New York:

A 20 year old man pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter in the death of a 19 year old man. The 19 year old was walking home from work when the 20 year old struck and killed him with his car. The driver had purchased computer dusting spray at a Wegman’s and huffed the product in the car before driving off.

The article notes that he “could have spent the holidays with his family before his sentencing next month, but instead he asked the judge to be remanded to the County Justice Center to begin his sentence” and he “didn't think it was fair that he would get to spend Christmas with his family when his victim wasn't able to spend Christmas with [his] family.”

Texas Teen in a Coma After Inhalant Related Crash

Via KXII TV in Texas:

A 19 year old man is in a coma after an inhalant related car accident earlier this month. The man was driving when the car hit a tree and crashed into a ditch. The passenger admitted they had been huffing earlier. The man’s father is now determined to warn others of the dangers of huffing.

“If you would like to help Michael's family with hospital bills an account has been set up at the Landmark Bank in Gunter under "Michael Elliot." They will also have a fundraiser in his honor Saturday, December 30 at the Gunter Fire Department.”

Driver Kills Friend in Inhalant Related Crash

Via the Billings Gazette in Montana:

A Wyoming woman has been charged with vehicular homicide of her 50 year old friend in an inhalant related crash on November 14th. The jeep crashed into another car before hitting a pole. The man suffered severe chest trauma and was pronounced dead after being taken to the medical center. The woman suffered several fractured bones.

The police investigation showed the two had purchased computer dusting spray at a Wal-Mart that am and again at a different Wal-Mart shortly before the crash. The driver later admitted to police she had been huffing from the can in the parking lot just before entering the road. Two cans of computer duster were found at the scene.

Butane Related Inhalant Death in New Zealand

Via the Otago Daily Times in New Zealand:

The coroner has found that a 19 year-old man died on April 1, 2009 from the side effects of inhaling butane. The findings noted he had been with friends when he left them to go inhale butane in his bedroom. The next day he was reported missing and was found five days after his death in the yard of a neighbor.

The specialist forensic pathologist noted butane was the “most commonly abused volatile inhalant in New Zealand, and its use carried a significant risk of inadvertent death.”

Arrested For Huffing Cleaner in Massachusetts

Via Taunton Daily Gazette in Massachusetts:

Last week a 28 year-old man was arrested for allegedly “sniffing an industrial strength cleaner while parked behind an adult entertainment store.” He was charged with driving with a suspended license and inhaling glue/a toxic substance.

An employee had called police after seeing the man slumped over the steering wheel of his car. The officer recognized the man from two previous huffing related incidents in July and August and asked him to exit the car. The police report notes the man was “completely unbalanced as he attempted to walk” and “had no idea where he was or what he was doing.” The officer shut the car off and noticed the duster on the center console. Once the man came to he admitted to using the product to get high.

In the previous cases the man admitted he had huffed in the military (Army) from which he had been discharged in July. After the second case the police filed “immediate threat” request with the Registry of Motor Vehicles to have the suspect’s license suspended.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monitoring the Future 2010 Survey Results for Inhalant Abuse

Yesterday, Monitoring the Future released the results of its 2010 study. Within the report, there are a number of interesting findings regarding inhalant abuse:

Page 80: “Trends in LIFETIME use for 8th, 10th, 12th grade, college students & young adults” 8th grade numbers are significantly lower than previous years- and the lowest rate since 1991
8th grade: 14.5%
10th grade: 12%
12th grade: 9%
college students: 5.5%
young adults: 7.9%

Page 87: “Trends in ANNUAL use for 8th, 10th, 12th grades and college students & young adults” 8th and 10th grade show a decrease while 12th, college students and young adults show an increase from 2009-2010.
8th grade: 8.1%
10th grade: 5.7%
12th grade: 3.6%
college students: 1.7%
young adults: 1.2%

Page 93: “Trends in 30-Day use for 8th, 10th, 12th grades and college students & young adults” 8th and 10th grade show the lowest use rates to date while 12th, college, and young adults show a slight increase from last year
8th grade: 3.6%
10th grade: 2.0%
12th grade: 1.4%
college students: 0.5%
young adults: 0.1%

Page 120 explains this in further detail:

  • Inhalants are showing the second highest lifetime prevalence rate among 8th graders (15%), the second highest among 10th graders (12%), and the fourth highest among 12th graders (9%) of any illicit drug.

  • In terms of any use in the past 30 days (current use), inhalants rank lower for all grade levels because many who had used them at a younger age have discontinued use, thus making inhalants the only class of substances for which active use declines with age during
    adolescence. Put another way, it is the only class of drugs for which the youngest
    respondents report the highest rates of use.

Page 154: “LIFETIME Prevalence of Use for 8th, 10th, 12th grades”
Male: 8th (12.4%) 10th (10.9%) and 12th (10.5%)
Female: 8th (16.3%), 10th (13.2%) and 12th (7.7%)

8th grade use: highest in the south (15.2%), lowest in the northeast/Midwest (13.7%)
10th grade use: highest in the west (13.9%), lowest in the northeast (9.8%)
12th grade use: highest in the west (11.1%), lowest in the northeast (7.7%)

White: 8th grade (13.9%), 10th grade (11.5%) 12th grade (9.4%)
African American: 8th grade (12%), 10th grade (8.4%) 12th grade (5.4%)
Hispanic: 8th grade (18.3%), 10th grade (15.5%) 12th grade (10.5%)

Page 159: “ANNUAL Prevalence of Use for 8th, 10th, 12th grades
Male: 8th (6.4%) 10th (5%) and 12th (4.7%)
Female: 8th (9.5%), 10th (6.3%) and 12th (2.5%)

8th grade use: highest in the west/south (8.3%), lowest in the northeast (7.4%)
10th grade use: highest in the west (6.3%) lowest in the northeast (4.9%)
12th grade use: highest in the midwest (3.9%), lowest in the northeast (3.4%)

White: 8th grade (8%), 10th grade (5.7%) 12th grade (3.8%)
African American: 8th grade (5.5%), 10th grade (3.1%) 12th grade (2%)
Hispanic: 8th grade (10.7%), 10th grade (7.5%) 12th grade (3.6%)

Page 159: “30 Day Prevalence of Use for 8th, 10th, 12th grades”
Male: 8th (2.8%) 10th (1.6%) and 12th (2.1%)
Female: 8th (4.4%), 10th (2.4%) and 12th (0.7%)

8th grade use: highest in the west (3.9%), lowest in the midwest (3.1%)
10th grade use: highest in the midwest (2%) lowest in the northeast (1.6%)
12th grade use: highest in the midwest (1.7%), lowest in the south/west (1.2%)

White: 8th grade (3.4%), 10th grade (1.8%) 12th grade (1.1%)
African American: 8th grade (2.8%), 10th grade (1.5%) 12th grade (1.3%)
Hispanic: 8th grade (5.4%), 10th grade (2.9%) 12th grade (1.4%)

Figure 4-3 on Page 174 “ Lifetime Users Who Did Not Use in Last 12 Months” provides a good visual of inhalants compared to other substances

Tables 5-1 through 5-4 on pages 239-244 provide a good comparative analysis of Lifetime, Annual, 30 day and daily use of inhalants for 12th grades from the early 1990s through 2010.

Tables 5-5a through 5-5c on pages 245-255 provide a good comparative analysis of Lifetime, Annual, and 30 day use of inhalants for 8th, 10th, and 12th grades from the early 1990s through 2010.

Page 316:
• “Alcohol and tobacco are most likely to have been initiated at an early age, with inhalants coming next and then marijuana.”
• “Inhalant use tends to occur early, as well; peak initiation rates generally occur in grades 6 through 10. Indeed, among 8th-grade respondents in 2010, 4.5%—nearly 1 in 20—had already tried inhalants by the end of 5th grade.

Page 317:
Of all 12th graders who reported prior use of a drug, the proportion reporting their initial use of
that drug by the end of grade 9 is presented here. This listing is a good indicator of the order of
grade-level of initiation:
crack (63%)
cigarettes (60%)
alcohol (55%)
inhalants (54%)
sedatives (barbiturates) (52%)
marijuana (48%)
daily cigarette smoking (48%)
cocaine (47%)
smokeless tobacco (46%)
cocaine powder (45%)
tranquilizers (45%)
been drunk (43%)
narcotics other than heroin (39%)

Page 327: Table 6-1 “Use of Various Drugs by Grade for 8th Graders, 2010” includes the grade at which inhalants were first used:
Never used: 85.5%
4th or below: 2.5%
5th: 2.0%
6th : 3.2%
7th: 3.9%

Page 328: Table 6-2 “Use of Various Drugs by Grade for 10th Graders, 2010” includes the grade at which inhalants were first used:
Never used: 88%
4th or below: 1.4%
5th: 1.1%
6th : 1.6%
7th: 2.1%
9th: 2.3%
10th: 1.3%

Page 329: Table 6-3 “Use of Various Drugs by Grade for 12th Graders, 2010” includes the grade at which inhalants were first used:
Never used: 91%
6th or below: 1.2%
7th – 8th: 2.2%
9th : 1.5%
10th: 2.0%
12th: 0.8%

Tables 9-3 through 9-4 includes some interesting points regarding 8th, 10th and 12th grad friend’s use of inhalants (page 468-471)

Page 550: “Inhalant use did not differ significantly between students and dropouts”

Additional charts on inhalant abuse follow below:

New National Inhalant Data: Monitoring The Future 2010 results

Yesterday, the Monitoring the Future Report was released and it includes some interesting facts about inhalant abuse. Overall highlights here in this post- more specific details will follow in the next post.

Page 54 notes historical trends in inhalant abuse and changes in risk perception in use:

  • Among 12th graders there was a long-term gradual increase in the use of inhalants (unadjusted for nitrite inhalants) from 1976 to 1987, followed by a leveling for a few years and then a further increase in the early 1990s.

  • This troublesome increase in inhalant abuse also occurred among students in the lower grades, and was followed by a reversal in all 3 grades after 1995.

  • After reaching a low point in 2002 or 2003 in grades 8, 10, and 12, use of inhalants increased some in all grades, but then declined in all grades more recently.

  • Perceived risk for inhalant use among 8th and 10th graders had been declining fairly steadily after 2001, quite possibly as a result of generational forgetting of the dangers of these drugs; this decline halted in 2009 and 2010.

  • A new anti-inhalant campaign might well be effective in offsetting this decline in perceived risk in recent years, much as a similar campaign appeared to do in the mid1990s.

Page 61: In 8th grade, inhalants rank second only to marijuana among the illicitly used drugs in terms of annual and lifetime prevalence.

Page 73: One 8th grader in seven (15%) reported using inhalants, and 1 in 28 (3.6%) reported inhalant use in just the month prior to the 2010 survey. This is the only class of drugs for which use is substantially higher in 8th grade than in 10th or 12th grade.

Page: 74: The very large number of 8th graders who have already begun using the so-called “gateway drugs” (tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, and marijuana) suggests that a substantial number are also at risk of proceeding further to such drugs as LSD, cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homeless Man Found Huffing in Wal-Mart bathroom

Via the Salisbury Post in North Carolina:

Police found a 51-year old homeless man huffing from a can of computer dusting spray in a Wal-Mart bathroom.

Officers were at the store for a separate incident at 3 am when they were alerted to the man, mumbling in the stall with a can of the computer duster beside him. When they took him into custody they noticed his broken wrist so he was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The report notes the man had been banned from Wal-Mart stores after an incident in an Asheville store. He was charged with “misdemeanor inhaling fumes for purpose of causing intoxication.”

Arrested for Huffing in Illinois

Via The Naperville Patch in Illinois:

According to the local police blotter, a 23 year old man was arrested at 7:04 am after being found huffing a can of computer dusting spray. He was charged with “unlawful use of intoxicating compounds.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

South Carolina Man Cited for Huffing in a Hotel: Fifth Time Since May

Via Live 5 News in Charleston, South Carolina:

A 27 year-old man has been cited for inhalant abuse, his fifth time since May. Police responded to the Comfort Inn where the assistant general manager was concerned about one of the guests.

He had been staying at the hotel for several days but hadn’t left his room. When the manager went to his room to check, he “answered the door holding an aerosol dust remover” and looked “like we was high.” She ran his name through RMS and saw that he had been cited four previous times and that the last time has been on Thanksgiving.

Police entered the room and found him “sitting in a chair holding a can of the dust remover.” The report states his face “was red and his eyes were glossy and bloodshot.” 15 cans of aerosol dusters were found in the room. He was cited for “unlawful use of aromatic hydrocarbons.”

Taken Into Custody Three Times in One Night for Inhalant Abuse

Via the Laconia Daily Sun in New Hampshire:

A 38 year-old man was taken into custody three times in one night for inhalant abuse related incidents.

At 1:13 pm last Friday he was taken into protective custody after someone called police to report the man was huffing from aerosol cans in his home. At 7:15 pm that evening police returned to the man’s home for the same reason.

At 10 pm police received a report of a man sitting in a local Dunkin Donuts “inhaling fumes from an aerosol can.” This time they charged him with violating the terms of his earlier release and when he refused bail, he was held over the weekend.

Inhalant Abuse a Concern in New Zealand

Via Stuff in New Zealand:

Last February a 21 year-old female was found dead at her home. She had been huffing fly spray in her bedroom.

Her death has now prompted he Otago-Southland coroner to recommend more be done to prevent future tragedies. The report notes that according to Dr. Michael Beasley of the New Zealand National Poisons Centre, inhalant abuse is a “persisting problem in New Zealand” and that they have had inquiries for children as young as ten years old.

Coroner Declares Inhalant Abuse a Factor in Texas Death

Via the Gonzales Inquirer in Texas:

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office has reported that the death of a 37 year old man last August was an accident and that inhalant abuse was involved. The report notes the death was caused by “hyperthermia with significant contributing factor of inhalant abuse.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Teen Dies After Night of Drug Binge

Via AJC in Georgia

A 15-year-old boy died after a night of inhaling dust cleaner, smoking marijuana, drinking bourbon, and ingesting prescription medication. He and a 14-year-old friend had partied that night beginning at 5:30 PM. The 14-year-old went inside his house after 10PM, assuming his friend would walk to his own house a few blocks away. The friend awoke the next morning to find the 15-year-old still in his backyard, not breathing and unresponsive. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined, however, any one of the illegal substances could have caused the death.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Father Discovers Son Dead Near Neighbor’s Air Conditioning Unit

Via NewsOK in Oklahoma

On Friday, a 13-year-old boy was found unresponsive by his father, lying next to an air conditioning unit in his neighbor’s yard. Police say it appears the boy was inhaling refrigerant before his death. NewsOK has included the heartbreaking 911 call during the moment the father discovers his son’s body. The father thinks his son learned how to inhale refrigerant from a friend who watched a video on the internet.

Teen Huffing Causes Two-Car Crash

Via The Tennessean in Tennessee

A family travelling in a car was struck by a 19-year-old intoxicated driver on Saturday. He faces driving under the influence and huffing charges. The teenager drove off and on the roadway, crossed a lane of traffic, and then struck the family’s car. The police report states that the teen was incoherent and holding a can of cleaner after the crash.

Man Breaks Into Church, Dies From Inhaling Propane

Via Connect MidMissouri in Missouri

A church was broken into by a 41-year-old man who had vented the church’s propane tank and inhaled the expelling propane. When police arrived, the man appeared to have passed out and died. The man had been held in jail the night before on a 12 hour safe keeping for being intoxicated.

Man Caught Inhaling Spray Paint on Thanksgiving

Via WYFF 4 in South Carolina

Police received a complaint on Thanksgiving for a man who had been sitting in a parked truck for an unusual amount of time and “would intermittently yell incoherently from truck.” The man gave an odd excuse when he told police “he had been patrolling his neighborhood looking for a police impersonator and that he was parked in front of his friend's house to make sure nothing was stolen from them.” He behaved strangely while speaking to police and had a chemical smell on his breath. Inside the truck, police found a used can of silver spray paint and two plastic bags with silver paint sprayed into them. The man’s hands were also covered in silver paint. He was charged with inhaling aromatic hydrocarbons.

Second Arrest for Woman in Five Months

Via PostStar in New York

A 34-year-old woman was arrested last week for “illegally inhaling chemical vapors in an effort to get high.” Officers responded to a complaint about “a person appearing to be inhaling chemicals from a can” in a parking lot. The woman was found with a can of chemicals and charged with illegal sale or use of toxic vapors, a misdemeanor. She was arrested in June when she was hospitalized after being found “incoherent” after inhaling two cans of vapors.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Son Inhales Aerosol Duster, Has Seizure in Mother’s Driveway

Via Greenfield Patch in Wisconsin

A mother had to call 911 after she witnessed her 26-year-old son inhale from an aerosol duster in her driveway then have a seizure. Her son admitted to inhaling the duster in his car to the police. He is charged with one count of intentionally abusing a hazardous substance. If convicted, he faces up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Rise in Inhalant-Related Deaths in Humboldt County

Via Times-Standard in California

The increase in inhalant-related deaths in Humboldt County has driven the Coroner’s Office to advocate for more inhalant abuse awareness. Last week, in a car crash that killed the 21-year-old driver and his 20-year-old passenger, “at least 18 [empty] nitrous oxide canisters and a personalized whipped-cream dispenser -- often used to inhale the gas -- were found at the scene of [the] truck accident.”

Man Caught in Car Wash Inhaling Nitrous Oxide

Via Indiana Daily Student in Indiana

Police arrived at a car wash to find a 35-year-old man inhaling from a container in his vehicle. Authorities were called when someone noticed the man sitting “for an abnormally long time in a car wash.” Police could “reportedly see steam or smoke coming from the car.” The container was later determined to contain nitrous oxide. He was arrested on a charge of glue sniffing, a class B misdemeanor.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Update: Woman Sentenced for Helping Children Abuse Inhalants

Via The Republic in Indiana

The 18-year-old Nebraska woman from a previous post who helped two children abuse inhalants has been sentenced to one year in jail. She had been found guilty “on two counts of child abuse and two counts of aiding and abetting inhaling an intoxicant.” The woman was supervising children during an after-school program in February when she “inhaled propellants from empty whipped cream cans and a can of electronics cleaner, and helped two children inhale from the cans.”

Three-Time Convicted Inhalant Abuser

Via Middletown Journal in Ohio

A 42-year-old man was indicted by a grand jury for abusing a “harmful intoxicant’ last month. The charge is a fifth-degree felony. Police say the man had been “huffing a can of air duster and was acting erratically and suffering from the effects.” They found a can of computer duster in his vehicle. The man has two past convictions for the same offense.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Man Chased by Neighbors After Crashing Through Neighborhood

Via Fox40 in California

Paint thinner caused a 26-year-old driver to crash his car into a fence, knock over a stop sign, drive through several neighborhood yards, crash into an RV, then into a house, and finally into a tree. Neighbors were startled by the loud sounds created by the driver who did not use his brakes.

The driver was incoherent because he had been inhaling paint thinner from a plastic bag while driving. He tried to run away after the crash but neighbors chased him down before police could catch him.

Friday, November 11, 2011

1 Year Sentence for Near Fatal Car Accident

Via Lakewood Patch in Ohio

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to 13-17 months in prison for vehicular assault and felony hit and run. In July, the man was driving and distracted by his cell phone and a heated argument with his mother. He did not see a stopped car at an intersection and swerved his car to avoid it. However, he lost control and hit a gas station pump and a woman’s minivan. The distracted driver’s SUV struck and pinned the woman’s right leg, nearly severing it. A toxicology report indicated that the driver had consumed an inhalant prior to getting behind the wheel.

Since the accident, the woman has endured eight surgeries requiring a total of 31 days in the hospital at a cost more than $220,000. Her right leg will be about two inches shorter than her left.

Man Steals 42 Cans of Computer Duster

Via Idaho Statesman in Idaho

A 28-year-old man was charged with felony burglary for stealing 42 cans of computer duster from a store in July. Employees reported that the man took multiple cans and left the store without paying, then returned several times repeating the action. Police found the man behind the store with 42 empty cans. The crime of burglary is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oregon Park Becomes Less Family-Friendly

Via The Umpqua Post in Oregon

Residents and officials near Lions Park are becoming frustrated with the growing use of the park for drug-related activities. Drug paraphernalia and homemade weapons can be found scattered across an area that was intended to be family-friendly. Police have found paraphernalia for inhaling nitrous oxide through balloons. The police chief explained that “the park offers protection (from rain) and a dark place for drug users to hide.”

“If you inhale nitrous oxide for too long you can pass out,” said Dr. Robbie Law. “You could vomit on yourself and potentially die.” Area police are increasing their surveillance in the hopes of eliminating the criminal activity.

Growing Trend of Inhalant Abuse Among Students in Fiji

Via The Fiji Times Online in Fiji

Inhalant abuse is becoming a notable trend in student drug and substance abuse cases despite a 24% reduction in cases reported in both primary and secondary schools last year. According to a study done by the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) last year, 23% of students had sniffed glue and benzene out of a total sample of 2,147 students.

"This is a growing trend among school students despite an overall decline in the percentage of drugs and substance abuse among the schooling population," said Education Officer, Talica Malani. The total number of drug and substance abuse cases reported by schools dropped from 526 cases in 2009 to 399 cases in 2010. Malani attributes the drop in reported cases, to vigorous awareness campaigns with various government departments, the police drug unit, non-governmental organizations and religious groups to create an impact on student behavior.

Nitrous Oxide Cause for Car Crash

Via North Central PA in Pennsylvania

A 21-year-old man has been charged with driving under the influence after an October car crash. The driver was allegedly inhaled nitrous oxide in the parking lot before driving. The inhalant caused him to pass out, lose control of the vehicle, hit a vehicle, and hit a light pole after driving into oncoming traffic.

Inhalant-Related Car Crash Could Have Been Fatal

Via WJBK Fox in Michigan

A man in his late twenties crashed into a home where a 4-year-old girl slept. After blacking out while inhaling computer duster, the driver drove through a homeowner’s yard, crashed through fencing, and hit a bedroom where the young girl napped. Her 3-year-old brother had been in the path of the car just minutes prior. Neither child was hurt.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Today is Give to the Max Day!

Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington is a 24 hour online giving event benefiting DC area nonprofits. ACE works hard to maintain its prevention education programs in the areas of inhalant abuse prevention, disease prevention, and poison prevention. It is through generous donations that ACE is able to maintain our programs, partnerships, and websites. Supporters of local nonprofits will have the chance to donate anytime during the 24 hours. Just use the donation widget on the right side of the page or use our fundraising page.

Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Body Found in Creek, Likely Inhalant-Related Death

Via TribLive in Pennsylvania

A man with a history of inhalant abuse was found dead, lying partially submerged in a creek. There were 5-6 aerosol cans found near the 41-year-old man’s body. Although the toxicology reports are still being processed, the police chief believes inhalant abuse to be the cause. The man was charged three times in 2009 for inhalant-related offenses. He had completed one year probation earlier this year after being released from prison.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Man Does Not Learn Lesson, Caught Inhaling Solvent Again

Via NorthJersey in New Jersey

In an update to the Oct. 11 post, “Man Inhales Solvent, Home Catches Fire,” police were again called to the same house for strange odor. The same man was found inhaling a flammable solvent commonly used as starter fluid for gasoline and diesel engines in a closed room. He was not charged for the previous incident but this time was taken into custody and brought to a hospital "for medical and psychological evaluation.” He was charged with two counts of disorderly persons and one count of creating risk of widespread injury.

Paint Intoxication Leads to Violent Attack

Via NewsOK in Oklahoma

A 49-year-old homeless man was arrested for assaulting another homeless man with a nail-studded board after inhaling paint fumes. The assaulted man told the other to sober up as he caused a disturbance in the street. The intoxicated man then threw a brick through a car windshield and proceeded to attack the other man with the board, causing puncture wounds in his forearms as he tried to defend himself. When he fell to the ground, the attacker attempted to strangle him and gouge his eyes out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Arrested for Painkiller Substitute

Via Greenfield Patch in Wisconsin

Found outside a Target inhaling aerosol duster, a 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with abusing a hazardous substance. While in the booking room of the police station, the man “grabbed the can from an officer marking it for evidence and began running around the room and huffing the substance until they eventually caught him again.” He told police the duster served as a substitute for painkillers he was not able to obtain for his pancreatic pain. If convicted, he faces up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tip: Listen & Talk To Your Kids During Family Dinner

Let’s get right to the point: dinner in your house should be more than a meal on the table. Each night, parents have the opportunity to build trust and honesty with their children by interacting with them over dinner. Seems obvious, right? Yet, many parents pass up the opening not realizing that dinner time is crucial time for developing an open relationship with their children. What better time to talk to them about their friends, interests, or anxieties, especially the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and inhalants?

Parents must see that they play a major role in the prevention education taught to their kids. Children always have questions about new life situations. Take advantage of these learning opportunities by listening attentively to their thoughts and giving relevant advice.

Check out the
Inhalants FAQ provided by CASA Family Day and pledge to become a Family Day Star. Dinner will never be the same again!

High on Inhalant, Man Crashes Into Building

Via WHIO Radio in Ohio

A man admitted to inhaling computer duster before losing control of his car, hitting three signs and a brick wall, then crashing 12-15 feet into a building. He suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention. Charges include failure to control, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and failing to wear a seat belt.

Man Inhaling Lighter Fumes, Struck and Killed By Train

Via Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia

A train struck and killed a 25-year-old man who was sitting on the train tracks on Sunday, seemingly inhaling fumes from cigarette lighters. “The conductor told deputies he sounded the train's whistle several times but Haynes did not move or acknowledge the train. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Man Gives Himself Frostbite From Inhaling Computer Duster

Via Wicked Local Cambridge in Massachusetts

Police were notified of a man inhaling chemicals from a can outside of a church. The suspect was found lying near the side of the building reportedly holding a can of computer duster upside down with his mouth around the nozzle. The can was empty and frozen around the outside. The man continued to reach for other cans even while being questioned.

While in the hospital the man admitted to being a heroin user and was found to have frostbite on his right hand and right cheek. Apparently, the can he was inhaling from froze against his skin. He was arrested on charges of inhaling toxic fumes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

49-Year-Old Woman Arrested 3 Times For Huffing In Past Year

Via Observer-Reporter in Pennsylvania

The woman has been arrested three times in the past year for inhaling a propellant from an aerosol spray can while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Her most recent arrest occurred in September after a motorist reported to police that a woman was inhaling from a canister while driving “after having nearly hit other vehicles during evening rush hour.” 11 canisters were found in her car and 8 or 9 of them were empty. Purchase receipts also found in the car indicated that all the cans were bought that morning.

She is being charged with driving under the influence of a solvent or noxious substance, smelling or inhaling a toxic substance, recklessly endangering others and two traffic citations.

Homeless Man Found Dead In Woods, Likely Due To Inhalants

Via in Florida

A person walking in a wooded area behind a shopping center discovered a decomposing body that has now been identified as a 26-year-old homeless man. The cause of death has not been determined, however, the man “had a history of inhaling chemicals and that numerous cans of compressed-gas duster were found by his body.” He also had a history of getting arrested for abusing inhalants and for theft. Police estimate the man had been dead for two weeks before his body was found.

Make the Pledge to Be Drug-Free – Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31

Every great change starts with a thought and a promise. This week, the pledge to be drug free is the promise that can save your own life as well as those of your children, friends, family, neighbors, students – and the list goes on. Red Ribbon Week gives families and communities the chance to take action against drug use. The Red Ribbon Campaign for a drug-free lifestyle is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of young people each year.

This year, the campaign has included an exciting contest:
Students (K-12) can enter by decorating their homes together with their parents - mailboxes, front doors or fences. Parents (18 or older) can upload photos to or , then friends and family can vote for their entry, November 1-15. The students with the most votes will win $1,000 for their schools and an iPad 2 for themselves.

By making the pledge, you and your family commit to setting a standard of zero-tolerance for drug use in your community.

The National Family Partnership wants to help you build a drug-free America by starting in your own neighborhood:
  • Plan a Red Ribbon celebration
  • Order and display Red Ribbon materials with the National Red Ribbon Theme. Proceeds from the sale of Red Ribbon theme merchandise helps support prevention programs across America. Order for your family, students, staff, patients, employees and customers and encourage them to wear the Red Ribbon symbol during Red Ribbon Week.
  • Encourage your friends and followers to make the pledge with you
For more ideas on how to celebrate Red Ribbon Week in your home, school, or community, check out the Red Ribbon Week Planning Guide. Don’t forget to let us know how you celebrated! Send us your story and pictures here, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

* Be the change you want to see – make the Pledge to Be Drug-Free *

Friday, October 14, 2011

Two Women In Critical Condition After Inhalant-Related Crash

Via CBS Boston in Massachusetts

A 17-year-old girl struck her car into two pedestrians after inhaling dust remover while driving. After losing consciousness, the driver hit the first victim while she was crossing the street. The 45-year-old victim is now in a coma. The car traveled about 50 more feet before hitting a 22-year-old woman getting out of her car. The second victim suffered a broken leg and is awaiting critical brain surgery. The driver is facing a long list of serious charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle), causing serious bodily injury (2 counts), negligent operation of a motor vehicle, impeded operation, failure to slow for a pedestrian, speeding and a marked-lanes violation.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Deputy Found Not Guilty For Shooting Death of Man Inhaling Paint

Via Bozeman Daily Chronicle in Montana

A jury in Montana found an officer not guilty for the shooting death of a man in February. On Feb. 5th, a 50-year-old man refused to leave his storage unit after the warehouse was closed for the night. The man had been removed from the property several times after closing in the past, each time smelling of paint. When he refused to leave this time, police were called and discovered the man “sitting behind a dresser with a firearm in my face,” according to one officer. A negotiator tried for several hours to talk to the man who, at one point, even put the gun in his mouth.

The shooting officer witnessed the man repeatedly sniff paint solvent. "I watched him do that all night, every 30 seconds or so," he testified. The man began to fire his .300-caliber rifle in between inhaling the paint. After five shots from the high-powered rifle, the shooting officer saw the man preparing to shoot for a sixth time. The deputy said he knew he was justified and in the best position to take the shot that would end the shooting spree.

It took the jury less than ten minutes to find the deputy not guilty.

GRAAB Coalition Makes Strides With Grant

Via Cleveland Daily Banner in Ohio

Bradley County’s GRAAB (Going Respectfully Against Addictive Behavior) Coalition recognizes that inhalant and prescription drug abuse are “two of the nation’s fastest-growing substance abuse categories.” The Coalition is making use of a grant from the National Drug Free Committee which “aims to contribute to the expansion of the community effort to reduce, prevent and even eliminate the use of illegal and illicit narcotics, with a special focus on inhalant and prescription drug abuse.” With the help of $125,000 in awarded funding for the year, the GRAAB coalition is putting on a 31-day mixture of community awareness programs on the dangers of addictions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Man Inhales Solvent, Home Catches Fire

Via The Record in New Jersey

A man’s home caught fire after he inhaled a volatile solvent from aerosol cans. He was rescued by a police officer who also carried his pets to safety. “The levels of the solvent — identified by police as heptane ether, a flammable solvent commonly used as starter fluid for gasoline and diesel engines — were so high the house was condemned by the building department.”

The danger was discovered when the homeowner’s wife had arrived home called police to report a strange odor in the house then waited outside for the police to arrive. The officer had to be hospitalized for his injuries and placed off-duty. The homeowner was also hospitalized and charged with disorderly conduct and being under the influence of an inhalant.

Man Tased for Inhaling Duster and Disorderly Conduct

Via KTVQ in Montana

A 20-year-old man was caught inhaling computer duster one night in a Walmart parking lot. Police were called just before he began to throw cans at people. The man started running when police arrived and was tased. He was charged with three counts of disorderly conduct, obstructing a peace officer, possession of toxic substances and authorities say he also had a warrant out for his arrest.

A Hidden Habit Delays Change

Via The Australian in South Australia

The issue of petrol sniffing among young, urban Aborigines stems from the problem in remote, rural communities. One reason is the increased legislation against petrol inhalation in remote areas. Without proper laws regulating the trend in the cities, funding is harder to obtain to help in dealing with the problem.
Warren Miller of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council's Makin' Tracks explains, "the government has picked a couple of places and said 'This is where the problem is' but they have not looked at the whole situation -- it's not just confined to one area of the state."

Until inhalant abuse is “stamped out” in remote communities, there will be an undercurrent of sniffing in urban areas, where the availability of inhalants is greater and policing reduced.

Man Crashes-Thru Restaurant Drive-Thru

Via Times-News in Tennessee

A 23-year-old man crashed his car through a line of windows at a restaurant, continuing some 60 feet until it hit an ice machine. The crash significantly damaged 12 booths, the ceiling, and destroyed tiling and carpet. No one was present during the crash.

When officers arrived at 11:15 PM in response to the alarm, they found the car sitting inside with keys still in the ignition but no driver present. The man turned himself in two hours later and admitted to inhaling computer duster in his car prior to the crash. The man alleges that he blacked out and, “woke up in the middle of the restaurant and heard an alarm going off loudly." He was charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

"It's unreal — he came all the way through, almost to the kitchen," said the manager. "He came in here probably with his foot all the way to the floor."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Report: 2010 Drug Use Among Young People In England

Via NHS Information Centre's 2011 report, Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2010

New data from the NHS Information Centre finds that among 11-15 year-olds, 28% of adolescents reported ever being offered any drugs. They were most likely to have been offered cannabis (18%) or volatile substances (10%). However, there has been a decrease in the number of adolescents who reported inhaling volatile substances, from 5.5% in 2009 to 3.8% in 2010.

However, for 73% of 11 and 12 year olds who had taken drugs in the last year, it was restricted to inhaling volatile substances. Volatile substance abuse continues to be the most common form of drug misuse among 11-12 year olds, and second only to cannabis across the whole 11-15 age group.

Details of Teen’s Death From Inhaling Butane

Via Southland Times in New Zealand

An inquest into the death of a 17-year-old man last December has revealed details from his last minutes alive. On the way to a friend’s house, the victim and the friend stopped to buy two cans of butane. The friend states that the victim was “huffing” the butane almost the whole time while in the car and got “pretty high.” The victim laughed and continued inhaling the butane even while his friend told him he should stop. The victim suddenly told the friend to stop driving the car and passed out shortly after. According to the friend, “his legs tensed and his head started rolling around before flopping to the side. His breathing slowed down to one breath every 15 seconds, and his skin became very pale.” The friend checked for a pulse when he stopped breathing and could not find one. He then drove to the victim’s father’s house where CPR was administered and an ambulance was called.

The friend remembers that the cans the pair had been inhaling from had warning signs on them, but he had not read them.

Drug Policy Updated To Include Inhalants

Via Santa Clarita Valley Signal in California

Hart District board members in California updated their drug policy to be more effective in addressing drug use among students. The update extends the drug policy to a specific list of drugs that are banned at local junior high and high schools. Now the policy includes “unauthorized prescription medication, and other potentially mind-altering substances such as inhalants and synthetic drugs.”

Coroner: State ‘needs petrol sniffing laws’

Via in Australia

A Deputy State Coroner in South Australia believes there should be legislation for the area which enables police to apprehend people who are believed to have inhaled a volatile substance and to relocate them to places of safety. His position comes after his findings into the death of an Aboriginal man who hung himself during a 17-minute stand off with police in 2009. Before his suicide, the 18-year-old man had threatened to stab his mother and his mother’s partner with a knife. The coroner found that he was habitually sniffing petrol in the days preceding his death.

"The behavior of (the man), both in respect of the incident in which he threatened others with a knife and in respect of the taking of his own life, was probably due to the effects of petrol inhalation, either chronically or acutely on the particular morning," he said.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sexual Offender Inhales Paint, Pants Down In Front Of Community Center

Via Hartford Courant in Connecticut

A 37-year-old man, high on paint fumes, walked up to occupied cars near a Jewish community center and knocked on their windows. With silver paint on his face, he yelled at people who would not roll down their windows. One witness told police she saw him “angrily pull down his pants.” Police found two cans of spray paint with him in a drawstring bag. The man was charged with simple trespass, breach of peace, administering restricted substances and use of drug paraphernalia.

The man had been released from prison four days earlier and was on probation at the time of the most recent arrest. He was released from prison after being sentenced in February for violating his probation. The probation was part of a sentence for a 2002 conviction for one count of first-degree burglary and three sexual assault-related charges. He is on the state's sex offender registry. His criminal history of inhaling substances stretches back to 1998.

Man Charged With Criminal Use of a Chemical Agent

Via Lansing State Journal in Michigan

Police found a man outside a supermarket in a state of disorientation. The officers were told he was inhaling from spray paint cans while waiting in line to pay. The man was arraigned the following day on a charge of criminal use of a chemical agent, a misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail.

Man Convicted for Driving Under the Influence

Via Record-Times in Wyoming

A 29-year-old man was convicted of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a toxic substance. He was arrested in April for operating a vehicle while impaired by his use of a vapor not manufactured for human consumption or inhalation.

Risky Behavior On The Decline Among Teens In Tennessee

Via Times Free Press in Tennessee

The recent Youth Risk Behavior Study found that “cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, and sex all experienced a decade of decline among Hamilton County high school students.” According to the study, 45 percent of local teens admitted to currently using one or more illicit substances, while 50 percent said they currently live a risk-free life -- a 6 percent increase since 2002.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reality Tour & the Day of Giving

The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) recently had an opportunity to speak with Norma Norris, the Executive Director of CANDLE Inc.:

Why did you form CANDLE Inc.?

Norma: CANDLE ('Community Action Network for Drug-free Lifestyle Empowerment') was formed in 2004. It’s a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to oversee the replications of the Reality Tour® Drug Prevention Program in other communities and support ongoing research and development of innovative prevention designs.

ACE: What is the Reality Tour and why is Oct 4th important?

Norma: The Reality Tour is a permanent community-based substance abuse prevention program that is a parent/child experience that uses narrated dramatic scenes to illustrate the 'life and death of a teen on drugs'. The comprehensive program includes a coping skills segment as well as Q&A sessions with law enforcement and a recovery spokesperson. Several unique and surprising elements keep the participants engaged. All 12 sectors of the community are involved in the presentation and it is volunteer-driven.

Reality Tour has proved so popular with parents and schools, that sometimes there is a waiting list to attend the monthly programs that CANDLE oversees. Currently the evidence-based program is replicated in 18 Pennsylvania communities and 8 other states. It takes about 90 days to start a Reality Tour to address the full scope of substance abuse in any community. By design, it is able to keep current with changing drug trends. In 2008, Reality Tour was accepted by the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

October 4th is important because it is the 'Day of Giving' and donations made online via the link on our website are matched by the Pittsburgh Foundation.

ACE: In your opinion why is it important for parents and kids to learn together?

Norma: Research shows that parents are our most powerful prevention tool and they exercise this power through ongoing discussions and good parental monitoring. However, until parents understand the true risk and scope of substance abuse, they are not as effective in discussions with their child and not as vigilant in their monitoring of the child's activities. By imparting crucial substance abuse knowledge via the Reality Tour, in a manner that is appropriate for children, parent and child are able to 'get on the same page' to form the foundation for future discussions. Children understand that the changes that take place in parental monitoring after Reality Tour are because their parents care and youth are appreciative instead of challenged. Parents also need to better understand the environment of their child outside of the home. The child cannot determine what is relevant to bring to their parent's attention, since they take their environment as a given. Reality Tour acts as a 'translator' for key prevention information for both parent and child. We understand the missing links for both parents and children.

ACE: Do you have any statistics and/or stories on the effectiveness of your program?

Norma: We have both anecdotal and data-driven evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Reality Tour. In terms of data follow-up studies show that parents do increase the frequency of in-home discussion and that the Reality Tour had formed the foundation for those discussions. Changes in increased parental monitoring were evident as well. As it relates to youth the perception of harm from substance abuse increased, on the part of youth who attended the Reality Tour, and that perception was sustained in the follow-up study. 100% of parents who were surveyed felt it was essential that they attended the Reality Tour with their child.

I can give you 3 instances that we know of where a child's association with addictive substances was changed:
January 2011: A group of Scouts attended with their parents and the next day one of the Mom's wrote to say that, "The value of Reality Tour goes beyond the 3-hr program. She then told how her son shared what he learned about inhalant abuse at the school lunch table with friends, telling them, "You could die the first time you try it!" Immediately one of the boys at the table blurted out, "My brother does that all the time!" When the Scout told his Mom about the incident, she called the boys Mom and alerted the school as well.

May 2009: Most of the Scout Troop attended with their parents. Right after the Reality Tour ended one scout told his parents that another scout (not in attendance) was smoking marijuana. The scout's Mom was informed and they were at the next Reality Tour along with other scouts and parents who hadn't attended yet. One Dad came up to thank me with tears in his eyes stating that. "Without the Reality Tour my son would have had a very different summer."

May 2008: A`16 yr old at-risk youth, who didn't want to come to the program, on her own wrote to say that she was giving up smoking marijuana because she wasn't going to throw her life away. She stated, 'After going to the Reality don't even know what to say, it is so amazing!

ACE: How is the Reality Tour sustained?

Norma: To me there are two of God's miracles at work with the Reality Tour:
1) It is able to be replicated easily in other communities
2) The volunteer force can be sustained and attract new volunteers with each program

I attribute the success of attracting and sustaining at to one key element - most everyone has a tragic instance of substance abuse in their family, their friend's family or their community, in the Reality Tour all volunteers have an important role and they can virtually see and feel the change that occurs during the program.

ACE: Do you think it is true that one person can make a difference in prevention?

Norma: The Reality Tour is the type of program that one person can champion and change their community. For example, a program started in Westmoreland County, PA because a gentleman heard me speak about Reality Tour for 5 minutes at a meeting. Oregon's program started because Debby Jones participated in one of our teleconferences. In every instance, it was one person sharing the common sense concept of Reality Tour. In Florida, two women not only got a Reality Tour started, but a coalition was formed by the volunteers. They are now respected prevention leaders in the state of Florida.

ACE: What about the lack of funding in today's economic conditions - how does that impact starting a Reality Tour?

Norma: If people can get beyond thinking they need a grant in order to have a prevention program, they will learn that Reality Tour is designed for current economic times. In an interview with Reality Tour Directors, some say their costs are as little as the cost of photocopies. I actually do a training to show how the Reality Tour can attract prevention dollars.
One of my most interesting comments in the area of funding was from a young woman who loved the design of Reality Tour because it reaches parents - a goal of her organization - BUT the organization had a grant in place. Her comment was, "I can't introduce the Reality Tour because everyone will want to do it instead of the projects covered by our grant."

ACE: Is the Reality Tour suitable for urban, suburban and rural communities?

Norma: Yes. The population base dictates how often you schedule Reality Tour presentations. Rural setting may host the program two times a year, while more populated areas will host monthly or bi-monthly. Some communities will need several presentation sites.

ACE: How does Reality Tour attract participants?

Norma: Initially the community-at-large will populate the program. Thereafter partnerships with schools, that dedicate a grade level to the evening program, will attract parents to take their children. At a recent school open house 300 parents/students signed up to attend. Typically, our capacity is for 80 persons, since the program is meant to take place in an intimate is not a stage production. Schools want to reach parents and are delighted to work with organizations that can make this happen.

ACE: Can the Reality Tour also serve as a memorial?

Norma: Yes, our East Cleveland Reality Tour is dedicated to the memory of Kyle Williams. Kyle was introduced to inhalants and the consequences were tragic Kyle died March 2, 2005. His father, police officer Jeff Williams is known all over the United States for his efforts to prevent inhalant abuse. Officer Williams participates in the Reality Tour and is able to educate parents on this hidden form of substance abuse in a memorable way.

ACE: Where can people go to learn more and get involved in their respective communities?

Norma: There is a wealth of information on our website at Additionally, I host free teleconferences each month interested persons may register on our website under "Program Model' Organizations may also request a private teleconference for 6 or more staff. A media kit can also be requested via the contact button on the site. It is important to note that as long as you have 12 people who care about substance abuse.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Woman Huffing And Driving, Nearly Drives Into Bank

Via MenomoneeFallsPatch in Wisconsin

A 54-year-old woman is being charged for huffing on four different occasions in the last month. On Sept. 10th, the woman drove into a stranger’s driveway, inhaled aerosol duster, then drove to her own residence where she continued inhaling until she was startled by police. There were multiple cans of duster found in the car. On Sept. 11th, police were called to the woman’s house when neighbors noticed her sitting in her car inhaling aerosol duster.

On Sept. 12th, a bank employee spotted the woman parked in the bank parking lot, slumped over the steering wheel. As employees went to see if she needed assistance, the car began to roll forward towards the front entrance of the building until one employee was able to reach in and shut the car off, halting it on the sidewalk. On Sept. 27th, police were called to the woman’s house when neighbors again spotted her inhaling duster in her car then passing out twice.

The woman has been charged with four counts of intentionally abusing a hazardous substance and one count of bail jumping. If convicted, she faces up to 45 months in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Woman Caught Huffing In Walmart Parking Lot

Via in Illinois

Police arrived on the scene at a Walmart parking lot where a 38-year-old woman was spotted inhaling computer duster in her car. She was issued a non-traffic citation, released with a notice to appear in court, and transported to an area hospital.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Man Addicted To Huffing Gasoline Sets Nephew On Fire

Via The Daily Times in New Mexico

A 21-year-old man alleges that his uncle set him on fire in 2009, leaving him nearly deaf in one ear. He “sustained burns on 30 percent of his body, including his arms, neck and head.” The nephew claims that once he told his uncle to move out of their apartment because of his habit of huffing gasoline, his uncle threw gasoline on him “and it started burning.” The nephew was rushed to the hospital for treatment; skin graphs were not necessary.

Thirty minutes before the uncle doused his nephew that day, he threw gasoline on his girlfriend while the two were refilling a sports drink bottle with gasoline at a gas station. The girlfriend claims he threatened to set her on fire after she told him she was leaving him. The uncle is charged with attempted murder in the second degree, third-degree felony assault with intent to commit a violent felony, third-degree felony aggravated battery against a household member, fourth-degree felony false imprisonment and third-degree felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Woman Endangers Life of Infant Son

Via WJAC-TV in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania woman is being charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence, and endangering the life of her infant son for a violent car crash in July. The woman was huffing computer duster before she lost control of her car, crossed five lanes of traffic and crashed into an embankment. When asked if she had been huffing before the crash, she said, “I don’t think so.” The can was seen between her legs by first responders after the crash.

Firefighters used ropes to rescue the woman and her son from the severely damaged car. The infant suffered from a skull fracture and was flown to the hospital.

Man Arrested 3 Times In 1 Month For Huffing

Via KFYR-TV in North Dakota

30-year-old man was arrested twice on Saturday for inhalation of vapors. His first arrest came after being spotted at 2:30 AM in an area used by dump trucks kneeling in the front seat of his car and not responding. Eight hours after posting bail, he was found passed out in his car in front of a building. Police say the same man was also arrested in late August, after he was driving while huffing and drove into a ditch.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Two Wisconsin Women Face Huffing Charges

Via WQOW in Wisconsin

Two separate cases highlight the growing problem of huffing in Wisconsin. One woman was recently seen huffing from an aerosol can then lying on the ground next to a grocery store. The same woman was arrested two years ago after rolling her car while huffing. Several weeks after that she was found in a motel room surrounded by 35 empty aerosol cans.

Another woman was witnessed “huffing, then screaming and falling into various stages of consciousness.” Both women are charged with possessing a hazardous substance with intent to abuse it.

Man Huffs $1,800 Worth of Neighbors’ Refrigerant, Charged With Theft

Via AppleValleyPatch in Minnesota

A 36-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with theft after inhaling almost $1,800 worth of refrigerant from the air conditioning systems of five of his neighbors. Last fall, the man was discovered multiple times by his neighbors slumped in their yards between the house and the air conditioning unit. Whenever police arrived, he would not respond and appeared unconscious. The man admitted to police he had inhaled refrigerant and was taken to the hospital. The felony charge of theft carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Texas Man Huffs Spray Paint, Assaults Police Officer

Via Pro8News in Texas

A 39-year-old man was approached by a police officer when he was spotted sniffing spray paint. The man allegedly turned around and punched the officer in the eye, causing him to be sent to the hospital. The man was charged with assault of a public servant, possession of inhalants and evading arrest.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Senator Herb Kohl Takes A Stand On Huffing Abuse

Via Ashland Current in Wisconsin

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl asked the Office of National Drug Control Policy “to take steps to ensure that people understand the risks and consequences of huffing common household products.” Kohl specifically requested that the ONDCP include inhalant abuse as part of its larger campaign to curb drug abuse and drugged driving. To help prevent minors from purchasing products that are commonly inhaled, he suggests retailers “verify the customer’s age for certain products to ensure that he or she is at least 18 years old before completing the sale and limiting the number of products that can be purchased at once.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than two million kids between the ages of 12 and 17 have abused inhalants and 12-year olds are more likely to abuse common household products than smoke cigarettes or use marijuana.

Substantial Increase in Inhalant Use Among Children in India

Via Press Information Bureau in India

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) plans to bring awareness to the problem of inhalant abuse by children. The Commission visited five NGOs “to review the prevention, reduction and rehabilitation strategies adopted by the organizations for those suffering from different kinds of addiction.”

According to a study from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the use of “volatile solvents” among children has increased substantially – from 31.0 % in 2008 to 40.5% in 2009.

Huffing Computer Duster, Man Crashes Car With Children In Backseat

Via HometownLife

A 32-year-old man in Michigan crashed his car into two trees when he went unconscious while huffing and driving his two young daughters. The man’s car crossed into oncoming traffic, hit a tree, continued straight, then hit another tree. The car stopped just before entering the creek. The man told police he remembers huffing a can of computer duster before the crash. While speaking to police, the man seemed dazed and even began to huff from the can. A second can was found in the creek.

The man was charged with child abuse and reckless driving. His daughters, ages 2 and 5, were not injured. He was ordered no contact with his children.

Huffing Refrigerant Can Freeze Lungs, Cause Brain Damage

via KING 5 in Washington

A shocking new trend has emerged among teens: huffing refrigerant, the gas found in air conditioning systems. Refrigerant causes a quick high similar to alcohol intoxication. Gail Henry says it’s not worth it – her 18-year-old son was found dead after huffing refrigerant. Huffing the gas can make your lungs freeze, cause frostbite to your airway, a loss of consciousness, sudden cardiac death, and brain damage.

Some air conditioning service businesses report customers call believing they have a refrigerant leak only to find out someone has been siphoning off the gas.

Man Causes Injury To Himself While Huffing Paint

via WCPO in Ohio

A 33-year-old man was arrested after causing serious injury to his face. He was spotted huffing spray paint fumes from a plastic bread bag. The arresting police officer says “he was so intoxicated, he was oblivious to the fact he was bleeding profusely from his face after falling into a glass door.” The man was hospitalized for his injuries.

Monday, September 19, 2011

He turned to Huffing to Escape Bullying

Via KSN TV in Kansas:

In 2002 the station covered the story of a young teen being bullied over his mild mental retardation. The boy’s mom explained that over the next decade he turned to inhalant abuse to escape the teasing and at twenty-four his “brain stopped working the last time he “huffed” to get high.”

The article notes for six days doctors tried to save him, but he was diagnosed as brain dead and his family was forced to let Nik go. His mom says “her heart has been broken “into a million pieces.”

The story adds "but she wanted his story told, hoping someone can learn a lesson that bullying devastates kids, and the scars it leaves can lead to making bad choices with potentially fatal consequences. "He walked a little different, he was a little different,” Kat said. “If they would have just taken the time to get to know him, they would have realized that he had such a wonderful soul.”

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nebraska Woman Found Guilty of Helping Children Abuse Inhalants

Via the Houston Chronicle:

An 18 year old Nebraska woman has been found guilty of child abuse after an inhalant abuse related incident. The woman was supervising children in an after-school program at an elementary school when she “inhaled from empty whipped cream cans and from a can used to clean electronics.” She then helped two of the children inhale from the cans.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Arrested After Threatening Walmart Greeter

Via The Sentinel in Pennsylvania

In an update to a story posted last week, a 46 year-old man has been arrested yet again for inhalant abuse. He’s reported to have been wielding a hunting knife at a Walmart and threatening to stab a 71 year-old greeter.

The article points out that the man has had “run-ins with local police for more than two decades, many of which involved carburetor fluid, unique weapons and had to be handled with Tasers”
On February 17th police found him passed out in a park with a can of carburetor fluid and rag nearby. When they woke him up, he became combative and was subdued with a Taser. The November before, a similar incident occurred and in 2009 he was found near a middle school using a knife to open a can of carburetor spray and again resisted arrest so he was Tasered.

Stolen Dusters in New Jersey

Via the Daily Record in New Jersey:

A 20 year old man was charged with “shoplifting and possession of a toxic chemical to cause a condition of intoxication.” The man has stolen three cans of computer dust remover from a Walgreens and then huffed from the cans in the store parking lot.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Butane Abuse in Guam

Via the Pacific Daily News in Guam:

Last Wednesday a 20 year-old man was arrested after breaking into an upholstery store twice in one night and attacking the owner so he could steal four cans of butane.

The owner lives in the building and heard the man in the store. When he confronted him, the man “fled the store empty-handed.” The owner was again woken soon after and again, confronted the same man and caught him opening the sink counter. The man “tackled the store owner, sitting on his chest and punching him in the face.” He fled and the police caught him at a nearby apartment building, huffing from one of the butane cans. He was charged with “burglary as a second-degree felony, attempted burglary as a second-degree felony and third-degree robbery as a third-degree felony.”

The article also notes that “a decade-long study by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse has determined that inhalant abuse by young people is more prevalent in Guam than in the rest of the United States.”

Friday, September 9, 2011

New National Inhalant Data: 68.4% are under 18 for first use

Yesterday, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released the results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The full findings can be accessed here.

Interesting new stat about inhalant abuse:

  • In 2010, there were 793,000 persons aged 12 or older who had used inhalants for the first time within the past 12 months, which was similar to the numbers in prior years since 2002;

  • 68.4 percent were under age 18 when they first used.

  • The average age at first use among recent initiates aged 12 to 49 was also similar in 2009 and 2010 (16.9 and 16.3 years, respectively).

Arizona Youth Survey 2010: Inhalant Fact Sheet

The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission’s recently released the results of the Arizona Youth Survey 2010 which surveyed 63,784 students in 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in all 15 state counties.

The accompanying “Inhalant Fact Sheet" includes a number of noteworthy data points:

  • For 30-day use, inhalants were the 6th most prevalent drug used by Arizona junior high & high school students

  • In 2010, 12.3% of youth reported having used inhalants in their lifetime

  • Lifetime inhalant use among youth in Arizona peaked in 2006

  • Youth in 10 of Arizona’s 15 counties reported higher lifetime usage rates compared to the state average

  • 30-day inhalant use among Arizona youth peaked in 2006 followed by slight decreases in 2008 and 2010

  • In 2010, youth in six Arizona counties reported higher 30-day inhalant usage rates compared to the state rate

  • Greenlee,Mohave, and Cochise counties reported the highest rates of 30-day inhalant use; all three counties’ youth 30-day usage rates were more than 1.5 times higher than the state rate

  • Navajo, Graham, La Paz, Santa Cruz and Yavapai counties reported the lowest 30-day inhalant usage rates

  • Usage rates for inhalants decrease with grade level, indicating that 8th graders
    used inhalants at a higher rate compared to their 10th and 12th grade
    counterparts, 1.9 times and 3.7 times higher statewide, respectively

  • Between 2008 and 2010, inhalant usage rates increased for the 8th grade population

  • inhalant use among males has consistently decreased from 2006 to 2010 while the percentage of females that used inhalants peaked in 2008 and remained the same in 2010

  • The data also show that females used inhalants at a rate 1.6 times higher than males in 2010

  • Inhalant use among Native American youth has consistently increased since 2004

  • Native American adolescents reported the highest usage rates compared to any other racial group

  • Asian and Black youth also reported increased usage rates between 2008 and 2010, 61.1% & 28% higher in 2008 than 2010, respectively

  • In 2010, Hispanic youth reported higher inhalant use compared to Non-Hispanic youth.

  • In Arizona according to this data, inhalant use is most prevalent among younger females, Native Americans and Hispanic youth.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Huffing Ordinance in Iowa

From the Daily Reporter in Iowa:

Earlier this week, the Spencer City Council unanimously voted to enact a huffing ordinance.

One councilman expressed concern that the individuals caught huffing were not getting the treatment they needed. However the police chief noted that the magistrate can order treatment as deemed necessary and that the ordinance was the initial step in getting the individuals into the system. “As written, the city ordinance allows for the magistrate to determine the most appropriate consequence, while the county ordinance has a $150 fine associated with it.

Spencer’s Youth Director pointed out recent studies show that “7% of Spencer 6th, 8th and 11th graders reported huffing within the previous years” while a councilman countered that “7 percent represented about 50 or 60 students and "that's 50 or 60 kids too many."

Inhalant Related Car Crash in West Virginia Claims a Life

Via the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia:

A 29 year-old Fayette County man has been arrested and charged with “driving under the influence causing death” for a July 31st inhalant related crash. The accident claimed the life of a 24 year-old female passenger in the car and injured a pedestrian.

Police determined the driver had been using computer dusting spray behind the wheel and that he was “still high at the time of the crash.” He has been released from jail on a $25,000 bond.