Blog Report

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.