Huffing a danger for preteens, study says
There was some concerning news Thursday from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A study found that more 12-year-olds have used potentially lethal inhalants than those who used marijuana, cocaine and hallucinogens combined.
Health officials said they are trying to get the word out about the dangers of common household products -- cheap and easily accessible -- that youngsters may inhale to get high.
They include refrigerant from air conditioning units, aerosol computer cleaners, shoe polish, glue, air fresheners, hair sprays, nail polish, paint solvents, degreasers, gasoline and lighter fluids.
The use of inhalants can lead to cardiac arrest, addiction and other health problems.
The 2006-2008 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health shows a rate of lifetime inhalant use among 12 year olds of 6.9 percent, compared to a rate of 1.4 percent for marijuana; a rate of 0.7 percent for use of hallucinogens; and a 0.1 rate for cocaine use.
"Parents must wake up to the reality that their child might try huffing and the consequences could be devastating,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. said in a statement "That’s why SAMHSA is leading the way to get information out to healthcare providers, kids, parents and everyone in the community so that our children hear a consistent message about the dangers of huffing."
-- Maria Glod
March 11, 2010; 3:33 PM ET
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