Free Resources Available to Help Commemorate National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week

Source: ANTI-DRUG UPDATE, 3/16/09

Many children start huffing, sniffing, dusting, or bagging – slang terms that are often used – inhalants because they are inexpensive, widely available, and legal. But most of them don’t fully understand the dire consequences associated with inhalant use, including sudden sniffing death syndrome, a condition where the heart begins to overwork, beating quickly and unevenly, which can lead to cardiac arrest and death, even the first time a child inhales.

Many of the substances used by teens to inhale are usually found in the home and can range from paint and nail polish remover to deodorant, rubber cement, gasoline, and even cooking spray.Parents should be on the lookout for some of the common signs and symptoms of abuse, such as unusual breath odor or chemical odor on clothing; spots and/or sores around the mouth; nausea and/or loss of appetite; slurred or disoriented speech; or red or runny eyes or nose.

Throughout the year – and especially during National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week – please remind parents that there is a wealth of information available to them free of charge.  Information about inhalants is available on the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign’s parent Web site, www.TheAntiDrug.com, at http://www.TheAntiDrug.com/drug_info/drug_info_inhalants.asp.  Conversation starters, to help parents talk to their teens about often uncomfortable topics, can be found at http://www.TheAntiDrug.com/advice/safeguarding-and-monitoring/conversation-tips/sample-conversations.aspx.  Finally, teens in your communities who need a reality check should be encouraged to visit http://www.AboveTheInfluence.com/facts/drugs-inhalants.aspx#.

About National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week:

National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) developed the National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW), an annual media-based, community-level program that takes place the third week in March.  NIPAW is designed to increase understanding about the use and risks of inhalant involvement.  It is an inclusive program that involves youth, schools, media, police departments, health organizations, civics groups and more.  It has proven to be an effective means of mobilizing communities to reduce inhalant use.  For more information about NIPC, please visit www.inhalants.org.

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