Blog Report

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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inhalant Death in Oklahoma, Friends Charged with Manslaughter

Via KXII TV in Oklahoma:

On January 1st at 6 am, a 15 year old Ardmore girl died at a home in Wilson. Three 20 year-old individuals who were with her are being charged with manslaughter for allegedly buying an inhalant at a local grocery store and encouraging the girl to abuse the product.

The local district attorney noted "The autopsy came back showing what her cause of death was and it was because of a substance found in inhalants.”

Pennsylvania Man Caught Huffing Second Time After Prison Release

Via the Sentinel in Pennsylvania:

A 28 year-old Carlisle man was arrested after police found him in a mall bathroom “visibly intoxicated on computer duster and unable to stand on his own.” He was arrested on public intoxication.

The article also notes that it is the second time he has been charged with public intoxication by computer duster “since being paroled from an almost year-long stint in Cumberland County Prison on similar charges.” More information on that here. Previously he had been caught huffing computer dusters on August 3rd and before that he served 11-and-a-half months in prison for three huffing related incidents.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Delaware Crash Attributed to Inhalant Abuse

Via Delaware Online:

A 28 year-old woman was arrested after crashing her car in an inhalant related accident.

When police responded, the woman was huffing computer dusting spray from the canister. They ordered her out of the car and she continued huffing the product until she passed out. Police then had to break the window to rescue her. She was taken to the hospital and charged with “reckless driving and inhaling substances releasing vapors or fumes.”