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.