Inhalants Back in the News
> 3/17/2006 11:42:31 AM

Remember when huffing was all the rage with news shows and it seemed like our nation's youth were all going to die horrible deaths with a tube of glue or spraypaint can in their hands? Well, as with most of these trends, the fact that the story fell out of the news doesn't mean that the problem went away. In fact, as this CNN story makes clear, inhalant abuse is still relatively high, and demographically it is concentrated much more highly in white and affluent areas.

Some interesting points:
Each year between 2002 and 2004, about 600,000 young people said they tried inhalants for the first time, according to study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)...

about 34 percent of young people between 12- and 17-years-old who tried inhalants for the first time came from families that earned at least 200 to 399 percent more than the federal poverty threshold. About 33 percent came from families that make 400 percent or more of the poverty level.

According to the CNN story, the most common inhalants used for huffing are: glue, shoe polish or toluene--a chemical found in paints, lacquers and solvents (30%), gasoline or lighter fluid (24.9%), nitrous oxide or "whippets" (24.9%), and spray paints (23.4%). The availablility of these products make them an easy high for kids and just because huffing hasn't been a hot news item recently doesn't make it any less of a threat. It is important for parents to look for changes in behavior or mood that might indicate drug abuse or huffing specifically. The effects that these daily household items can have on young brains is nothing short of devastating. Make sure that your children understand these threats and that they aren't tempted to try something that could damage their future.

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