Anti-Huffing Program

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Alabama will be among six states that will participate in an anti-huffing program for teen-agers who use inhalants to get high.

The Alliance for Consumer Education and the American School Counselor Association are sponsoring the program. The organizations estimate nearly half of parents mention the abuse of inhalants, called "huffing," when discussing drug abuse with their children.

According to the Alliance for Consumer Education, about one of every five students has abused inhalants by eighth grade. Though deaths are relatively rare, huffing can cause damage brain, heart, lungs, kidney and liver damage.

Also participating are Pennsylvania Ohio, Virginia, Texas and Alaska. As many as 90-percent of elementary school children in Alaska have at least tried huffing, according to some estimates.

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Inhalant Abuse

  • Huffing is the act of getting high by inhaling toxic fumes from legal household or industrial items.

  • Other names for this act are bagging and sniffing.

  • Huffing is responsible for more than 1,000 U.S. deaths annually.

  • Inhalant abuse is third to alcohol and marijuana in drug use by teens.

  • Twenty percent of all eighth graders have huffed inhalants.

Common Signs

  • Red, runny eyes or nose
  • Chemical breath
  • Slurred speech
  • Excessive or odd laughter
  • "Drunk" appearance
  • Glassy, dilated or constricted eyes
  • Sweating
  • Nonsensical talk, paranoia
  • Withdrawal from family
  • Apathy
  • Rags/Cotton balls and plastic bags with chemical odor
  • Correction fluid on nose, fingers, or clothes
  • Markers in pockets

Common Items Used for Huffing

  • Hair spray
  • Gasoline
  • Rubber cement glue
  • Furniture polish
  • Air fresheners
  • Spray paint
  • Liquid correction fluid
  • Paint thinners
  • Inhalers
  • Breath spray
  • Felt tip markers
  • Propane gas
  • Cleaning fluids
  • Tape head cleaners
  • Aerosol whipped cream
  • Vegetable cooking sprays
  • Paint thinners
  • Art or office supply solvents

Source: http://www.departments.dsu.edu/student_services/ra_projects/huffing.htm (Dakota State University Web site) contributed to this report.


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