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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

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By Maria Glod  |  March 11, 2010; 3:33 PM ET
Categories:  Facebook , Maria Glod , Narcotics , Personal Safety  
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Comments

7,000 people were murdered by the Mexican drug cartels last year because we in the US kept marijuana illegal, many of the victims were children, police officers and politicians. This year the cartels are on track to kill at least 9,000 more. Who supports keeping it illegal?

Posted by: jway86 | March 11, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Inhalant abuse is a world-wide epidemic and has been for many years. In Asia you frequently see people walking down the street with a rag over their mouth and can of lighter fluid in a back pocket. Such chemicals are the essence of a cheap thrill, altho the results are far from trivial. The liver of a 10 year old can look like that of a 50 year old alcoholic, just to note one typical outcome.

So many are anxious the "take the edge off" their current reality and inhalants are cheap and available. It is the poor man's pot, just as meth is the poor man's coke. Where you have massive poverty, you have inhalant abuse ... better to give the kids organically grown marijuana than have them comatose by the age of 15.

And least you go crazy and think that is absurd, I must tell you that with pot, you get straight again ... with inhalants, all you get is permanently brain dead. Face reality on reality's terms - decriminalize pot and let people grow what they need and want. And do not blindly lash out at this idea unless you are prepared to never, ever take another drink or pop another pill.

Posted by: Disgusted123 | March 11, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

As a parent, I would be much more alarmed to learn that a child was using inhalants than to learn that he or she were using marijuana. Marijuana users generally settle in for a quiet evening with the TV, some snacks, and a nap. Not exactly a threat to themselves or society.

It's time to allow ordinary Americans to grow a little marijuana in their own back yards (maybe a $100 permit for a dozen plants).

It would rip the guts out of the drug cartels' pocketbook and free up our tax dollars for education, repairing our bridges, fighting terrorism, and a hundred other worthy goals.

Does anybody really think that locking up marijuana users, or even people who grow a few plants for themselves... Does anybody _really_ think locking those people up is a good use of our tax dollars?

Posted by: conservativechristian1976 | March 12, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

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