By Alfa · May 17, 2005 · ·
  1. Alfa

    Despite Deaths Of Two Teens Last Year, Inhalant Abuse Among Youths Rises In Bay County

    One year ago this week, a fire in a vacant home on 16th Street claimed the lives of two students in Bay City.

    Jordan H. Gray, a 15-year-old student at Wenona Center Alternative High School, died in the fire. David Commire, a 14-year-old student at Central High School, died months later from burns received in the fire.

    The fire occurred because the two were huffing gasoline and then lit a cigarette, engulfing them in flames, according to investigators.

    The tragedy lies not just in the deaths, but in recent statistics that show that the lessons of the incident haven't taken hold.

    The most recent Monitoring the Future study, a nationwide survey of substance abuse among students, found illicit drug use is down among teens, but inhalant abuse is climbing.

    And a recent survey of Bay County students conducted by Western Michigan University found that more older students are continuing to abuse inhalants, going against a perception that huffing is for younger kids.

    The survey also showed that Bay County youths at all levels are well above the national average for inhalant use.

    Inhalants come in several categories, including aerosol propellants, gasoline or any type of solvents. Experts say there are more than 1,400 potentially abused substances readily available.

    "Huffing is a really cheap high because you can use household chemicals,"

    said Bay County Probate Judge Karen A. Tighe. "The general public is not aware necessarily of what the danger is.

    "I think there needs to be more attention to the fact that this is highly dangerous behavior that does permanent brain damage," she added. "It doesn't take much to start you on the road to losing brain cells."

    Older Abusers

    Huffing long has been an easy, if unglamorous, way to get high for youngsters, as the items are readily available.

    Now, students are continuing to abuse inhalants into later grades, said Janine Kravetz, prevention coordinator for Bay Area Social Intervention Services.

    The survey done by Western Michigan University in 2004 found that more 12th-graders had used inhalants than in 2002.

    In 2002, 2.8 percent of Bay County students used inhalants; in 2004, the figure was 4.6 percent.

    "The fact that they are hanging onto it is what concerns me," said Goldie Wood, project director for the Bay County Neighborhood Resource Center and member of the Bay County Prevention Network, both agencies that deal with drug and alcohol abuse and prevention in Bay County.

    Traditionally, older substance abusers move to alcohol and marijuana, she said.

    Inhalants are hard to regulate because they are so easy to get, Kravetz said.

    "It's not illegal - that's what makes this so difficult," she said. "Kids don't see a spray-paint can bust; you can't arrest a kid for buying spray paint."

    No state laws exist regulating the sale of the products, and possession of those chemicals isn't illegal.

    However, under Michigan law, it is illegal to abuse the substances to get high.

    In Bay County Juvenile Court last year, three teens were convicted under a law that forbids intoxication by intentionally inhaling chemical fumes.

    "We take it very seriously and try to get those kids into counseling and substance abuse treatment," Tighe said. "It's not just an addiction, it's a developmental problem."

    Many times, though, inhalant abusers aren't charged with violations of that law; rather, they find themselves in court for crimes related to their substance abuse, Tighe said.

    "We see the substance abuse to be part of the behavior," she said.

    Signs Of Abuse

    There are several physical and behavioral signs that kids are huffing, Wood said.

    Evidence of abuse includes paraphernalia lying around a room, such as empty cans, bandanas or bags, or the smell of gasoline on clothes.

    Physically, abusers can have discoloration or sores around the mouth, appear light-headed or dizzy, have glossy, red or glazed-looking eyes, and exhibit significant behavior or mood changes, Wood said.

    Other tell-tale signs include paint or chemical stains on clothing, or fingernails painted with typewriter correction fluid or permanent markers - some abusers do that so they can sniff fumes off their fingers.

    But aside from visual signs, abusers can show a change in behavior.

    Irritability, a dazed appearance and a sudden poor performance in school are just a few signs, Wood said.

    Most chronic abusers are white males, although experimental use among females is common. Parental income is not a factor, Kravetz said.

    If parents think their children have a problem or if someone has admitted to abusing inhalants, Kravetz and Wood recommend they talk to a substance abuse counselor.

    After the deaths last May, both the Neighborhood Resource Center and BASIS were flooded with requests to do programs about huffing at area schools.

    But drug counselors can't do it all, they said.

    Parents need to learn the dangers of inhalants and communicate to their children about the topic, Wood said.

    "The earlier (parents) start talking to their kids about drug abuse, the better," she said

    "Parents have to be knowledgeable. Knowledge is prevention."

    Education on the dangers of inhalants as poisons should start before school, according to Marty Doring, coordinator for health, safety and drug education for the Bay-Arenac ISD.

    As soon as kids become independent, they could have access to substances that can be used as inhalants, Doring said. "Parents are the No. 1 protective factor for their kids."

    Parents should teach kids the proper manner for using chemicals, Doring said - for example, washing their hands when they are through, replacing all caps and putting the chemicals away.

    At the middle-school level, educational efforts can emphasize the effects of individual chemicals and the dangers of their use.

    In area schools, inhalant education is part of anti-drug messages based around a philosophy of good risks versus bad risks.

    "It's very important to do an educational piece on inhalants, because they are everyday things we have in our house," Doring said.

    Curbing Sales

    With more than 1,000 abusable products, inhalants are easy to get, which contributes to their popularity,

    "They even give you the bag," said Wood, referring to the practice of kids getting high by spraying a substance into a bag to huff the fumes.

    Some stores, such as retail giant Wal-Mart, have restrictions placed on some of those products.

    Wal-Mart stores in the area require buyers of certain abusable products to be 18 years old, and the cashier is prompted to check identification when those items are scanned.

    Age-sensitive products include strong adhesives, typewriter correction fluid and some aerosol sprays.

    Wood recommends employees of other stores know what products youths are abusing. If a minor is frequently buying glue or spray cans, employees should cut that person off.

    Educators and law-enforcement officials agree that it is up to everyone to help curb the practice.

    "Initially, it's the parents' responsibility to educate their own children and monitor their own children to make sure they're not engaged in this behavior," Tighe said.

    "Ultimately, the community needs to educate each other on those dangers. If we are a caring community, ultimately we should take care of each other.

    "It's all of our responsibility," Tighe said.

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  1. angeliclight
    I'm a teacher. I'm sure some people know me a little by now. I must say that communicating and being open with kids is the key to knowledge. I've had more luck helping troubled kids through being known as a teacher who is trustworthy, and actually LISTENS to what kids say. Kids I have that are in the next grade pass along my reputation to the younger ones in my classes. It's pretty easy to figure out that something is going on if you just watch and listen. Sometimes being the quiet observer can lend adults a wealth of information. For example: As kids are working on a writing assignment...look at their fingers. As spray paint is choice for some kids who aren't savy in the more extensive ways to "huff" there is usually a mark...and if those kids aren't into art...well figure it out. That's probably the simplest example I can think of. But WATCH AND LISTEN. I try not to run my mouth all the time when interacting with a kid....usually they want to do the talking if they've come to you alone.
  2. Beeker
    the only reason this # grows into the older ages is not because of solvents. A can of duster next to a computer doesn't bat an eye but that duster comes with a tube to suck on and $4 of brain death fun for a day.

    "Mom, I need some keyboard duster for my computer, can you get the 12 pack at Sams? I dust a lot."

    I'd point a moron to DXM syrup ASAP if I ever saw the behavior ... at least that would save enough brain to continue a normal life for a few more years without pissing themselves off the planet.
  3. angeliclight
    With younger kids, I've noticed throughout my 9 year career, that they generally slip and say something they don't mean to when speaking with someone they trust. I've had kids who jokingly inhale fumes from markers handed out for projects, of course there are regulations as to what kind of markers we can use in the they know it's not one that will hurt them...BUT...they let out a little secret in the process. Just the fact that they mentioned even thinking about it shows you that they are comtemplating the idea of it. Speaking just of kids....they always leave clues behind...whether it's in their writing...speach...or actions.
  4. TitusCrow
    I remember seeing an article about this in the paper a few years ago.

    Hopefully they don't start relating this kind of behavior to cocaine or heroin use...I'd suspect that if a bunch of morons got together and began promoting an anti-huffing program, kids would use the knowledge of what products are being used tfor inhaling, to experiment on themselves.

    I think most kids would much rather try marijuana than huff a tank of gas, but I may be wrong.
  5. drugsrbad
    In my opinion people should stop worrying about huffing. They should start worrying about the kids that do the huffing instead. All they teach in health class is that it kills brain cells and that you can die instantly from it.... the reason kids do it is because of these bullshit things. The schools need to tell kids the truth, you won't die but it is pathetic and there are way better "legal" drugs out there like dxm, propylhexedrine, and nitrous(nitrous is like the same thing just a million times better and doesn’t have the gross taste of huffing glade or paint thinner). If a kid is going to huff to get fucked up, they are defiantly going to do a lot worse when they can get their hands on it. What is worse huffing or smoking crack?

    I am younger and I haven’t met many people that have huffed. I don't think it much of an epidemic. I am pretty sure meth is a lot worse of an epidemic.
  6. Sky Walker
    Are you aware that you just said, the reason people huff solvents is because it kills their brain cells and can cause instantaneous death?
    Also, huffing solvents can and does cause instant death, just so you know.

    IMO huffing solvents is much worse than smoking crack, if someone is huffing solvents I believe it can only get better for them in regards to what they can get high on.
  7. drugsrbad
    i typed that wrong sorry i mean't to say all health classes do is scare tactics. Then kids have friends that huff something, they don't die, so that kid does it so on and so on. Then they think hey if they are lieing about huffing they are probably lieing about heroin....etc. I don't think huffign is worse than smoking crack. I don't see old men rooming the ghetto stracthing themselves asking for a hit of glad. I see crack heads do this, they have nothing in life but that next hit of crack. I also havent heard of guys sucking dick for some paint thinner. Im not saying that huffing is much better tho.
  8. Sky Walker
    Realise this though, your talking about addiction not crack.
  9. drugsrbad
    your right, but what i stated earlier is that crack is worse of a problem then huffing solvents. I said that kids would do worse things like crack which you can easily get addicted to especially if you enjoy a crappy solvent high. You don't have to agree with what i stated, its only my opinion. I do agree with some points you had though
  10. angeliclight
    I have found that many times the reason for doing different drugs is classic peer pressure. However, in some circumstances, it's the example parent's set for there kids. I taught in a title one school for three years...Just in case you don't know what that's a school that is at risk due to economic problems...and test scores that are the lowest in the county.

    For example, I had a female student who would constantly sleep during my class...I didn't call her out about it because I had a feeling that something was terribly seemed that she just could not stay awake. I asked her to stay and have lunch with me. I asked her why she was so tired...she said it was because her mother forced her out of the house and she had to move in with her father...and that since moving in, her father had moved her into three different houses. Then after a little bit of prodding, she said the reason why she was so tired was because her father had a lot of parties. Even during the week. She said she tried to go to bed but the music was so loud that she ended up getting up and staying awake until 3 or 4 in the morning. I suspected that her father was a drug dealer...and it seemed that she was getting into it. I had to report the whole thing to children's services. This was a major example of how kids follow the patterns that their parent's set for them. This was her second time in the seventh grade as well.
  11. drugsrbad
    Good thing you did something about it. That is so messed up, how are people such terrible parents. This is why I’m not sure about Darwinism because if its survival of the fittest, then why the hell are all these idiot scum bags pieces of shit procreating. Sorry about the language but I have a lot of friends with screwed up families or shitty parents. I am the only one of my friends that actually has both of my parents still married and happy. I am used to my parents being civil and mature with each other and me, so when I see or hear about the opposite it really bothers me. :mad: Did that girl end up in a better situation?

  12. AntiAimer
    Huffing, could be stopped if more drugs were available to kids\anyone. No one would have even thought about huffing there bathroom cleaner\freshner, if they could just run down to the store. Then again, Smurf can't have sympathy for someone who wanted to be stupid. First not attempting to do research for the hazords, then just going totally mental and not careing by lighting cigs and haveing a flame near GASOLINE!!!!!! The drugs\chemicals are not the problem here, it's the people and the society they must contend to. Getting high or feeling good, can't be stopped, people must wake up(Parents! MAJOR MAJOR FACTOR!!) so there child isn't the next victim. They must learn not everyone want's to live a sober, go to work\school everyday life, nor is LIFE all about this.

    Back in the day people would be lucky to live to 50-60, nowadays, people can live past 100. Now life is all about decisions and learning from them, why can't this factor always be key??? More and more kid's nowadays are mentally *f#cked" because the life styles that are forced on to them\they choose to live. We will never have a utopia, reality smells great though.

    Yet again, another cause in this so called "drug war".
  13. angeliclight
    Part of the problem is that these parents don't have the money to take their kids to psychiatrists and they don't take the time to take them to free clinics. Also, they seem to forget that planned parenthood can help them avoid further pregnancies. They just don't take the time to care for themselves or their kids. Also, many of the young mothers, 15-23 believe that if they have a child with their boyfriends, they won't leave them. It's a status thing as well. So, their friends follow suit. Infact, many kids are too young to consider financies. When they do have kids, they end up malnurished and sick. We see many of these children in school, which is why we must provide them with free breakfasts and lunches. These kids are more likely to follow the "leader" and do drugs...huffing is kind of cheap. They can steal what they need to accomplish their goal. It's a scary situation...and what's even more difficult is that teacher's become baby sitters. We provide counseling ourselves and through the guidence office as well. We have to have after school programs so that some of the kids won't be home alone. If kids stay after school for tutoring with a teacher...their parents are often late, and I'm talking like an hour and a half. This contributes to teacher burn out. We are responsible for spotting abused children, children on drugs, children who are neglected. And we can actually be taken to court if we don't catch these things we can be taken to court.
  14. drugsrbad
    I do not get why a lot of people have children in the first place. There are too many people in the world with children that treat them like they are not important. Many people have to realize the "meaning of life" is procreation and to advance our species the best they can. The world is full of moron's.
  15. Thirdedge
    Perhaps NOS could be introduced as a safer substance to inhale?
  16. mfrieze
    Actually i didn't beleive NOS is safe to inhale either. Doesn't it have alot of other chemicals in it besides nitrous oxide? You are talking about the NOS for automobile's right?
  17. drugsrbad
    i think he mean't n20. not vin diesel shit for crappy civics with loud mufflers and neon lights
  18. MadShroomer
    what about n20? i understand that using a plastic bag and hyperventalating with straight gas is bad. but what about AIR + N2o gas to eliminate drops of O2 levels in the blood/brain. N2O is used in dr. offices and mixed with O2 it isn't considered dangerous or harmfull....
  19. drugsrbad
    can u please read other posts before tying nonsenscial comments? The person above said said NOS like name brand fast and furious movie stuff for cars. so i corrected that person and said its n20 not NOS. Even though same chemical there are adulterants in n20 that are injected into car engines.
  20. ~lostgurl~
    'Huffing' danger highlighted (NZ)

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] 'Huffing' danger highlighted

    By JARED MORGAN - The Southland Times | Saturday, 30 December 2006

    The possibility that 15-year-old Luke Taylor, of Milton, died after inhaling gas has highlighted the dangers of "huffing" , or inhaling to get a high, a medical expert said.
    Police said Luke died suddenly at Falstone Camping Ground, on the banks of Lake Benmore in South Canterbury, on Thursday night. Huffing, sniffing or chroming are slang terms for getting high by inhaling toxic fumes, like those used as propellants in spray-paint cans, cooking sprays, aerosol fly sprays, hairsprays, camp cookers and gas cylinders.
    Dr Michael Beasley, of the National Poisons Centre, said the side-effects of inhalants, when abused as drugs, were complex and varied.
    Breathing those substances in was like playing Russian roulette, he said.
    High doses could lead to unconsciousness or sudden sniffing death syndrome – a term coined after studies showed the inhaling of gases when linked to the victim becoming excited or having a rush of adrenaline that led to cardiac arrest.
    This could happen the first time someone abused an inhalant or the 100th time, Dr Beasley said.
    Inhalants depressed the central nervous system and affected the heart's electrical system, meaning it did not pump properly, he said.
    Other risks included nausea and vomiting and the danger of aspirating vomit through being drowsy.
    Another risk was if gases were in a compressed form they could freeze the throat resulting in what is known as vasovagal shock where the sudden change in temperature shocked the heart into stopping, Dr Beasley said.

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