Inhalant Abuse in Kentucky Broad Issues for Consideration by the SPF- SIG Strategic Planning and Related Committees Developed by: SPF SIG Data Analysis Committee Onset Firstuse usually occurs between late childhood and early adolescence. Accessibility,low cost, and inconspicuousness often make inhalants one of the first substances abused. Onset (cont.) Inhalant abuse is considered a „gateway‟ drug, and is connected to the use of multiple illicit drugs and IV drug use. Adolescents in juvenile detention facilities appear to be at particularly high risk of starting inhalant use early and using multiple drugs. Source: Wu, Pilowsky, Schlenger, 2004 National Comparison According to the National 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, 12.1% of high school students have sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans, or inhaled any paints or sprays to get high at least once in their lifetime, compared to 14% of Kentucky high school students . 2004 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey On how many occasions (if any) have you sniffed glue, breathed the contents of an aerosol spray can, or inhaled other gases or sprays, in order to get high in your lifetime? 1-2 occasions: 7% of 6th graders 9% of 8th graders 8% of 10th graders 6% of 12th graders 2004 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey On how many occasions (if any) have you sniffed glue, breathed the contents of an aerosol spray can, or inhaled other gases or sprays, in order to get high in the past 12 months? 1-2 occasions 3% of 6th graders 6% of 8th graders 4% of 10th graders 3% of 12th graders 2004 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey On how many occasions (if any) have you sniffed glue, breathed the contents of an aerosol spray can, or inhaled other gases or sprays, in order to get high in the past 30 days? 1-2 occasions 2% of 6th graders 4% of 8th graders 2% of 10th graders 1% of 12th graders Inhalant Administration There are more than a thousand different household and commercial products that comprise the term “inhalants.” These products can be intentionally abused by sniffing or “huffing”(the act of inhaling through one‟s mouth.) Products like rubber cement or correction fluid are sniffed or huffed directly from their containers. Alternately, users may sniff fumes from plastic bags over the head, or sniff a cloth saturated with the substance. Other modes of administration include direct inhalation from an aerosol can or a balloon filled with nitrous oxide and inhaling intoxicated vapors from a heated substance. Common Inhalants The most commonly used inhalants are: Glue ShoePolish Gasoline Source: McGarvey et al., 1999 Other Commonly Abused Products Adhesives Model airplane glue, rubber cement, household glue. Aerosols Spray paint, hair spray, air freshener, deodorant, fabric protector. Anesthetics Nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform. Cleaning agents Dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, degreaser. Food products Vegetable cooking spray, dessert topping spray (whipped cream), “whippets” nitrous oxide). Gases Nitrous oxide, butane, propane, helium. Solvents and gases Nail polish remover, paint thinner, paint remover, typing correction fluid and thinner, toxic markers, pure toluene, toluol, cigar lighter fluid, gasoline, carburetor cleaner, octane booster. Source: National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. Kentucky Admissions to Drug Treatment 29 admissions for inhalant abuse in 2001 30 admissions for inhalant abuse in 2002 46 admissions for inhalant abuse in 2003 Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, State of Kentucky Profile of Drug Indicators, August 2004. Demographics of Users Several studies have found that, nationally, among all American racial/ethnic groups, African Americans are least likely to use inhalants, while American Indians are most likely to use inhalants. Source: Wu, Pilowsky, Schlenger, 2004 Withdrawal Continued inhalant use causes tolerance to the inhalant, and physical withdrawal symptoms may develop within several hours to a few days after discontinuation. Withdrawal symptoms include: Sweating Rapid pulse Hand tremors Insomnia Nausea Vomiting Physical agitation Anxiety Hallucinations Grand Mal Seizures Street Terms for Inhalants Air blast Kick Ames (amyl nitrite) Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) Amys (amyl nitrite) Medusa Aroma of men (isobutyl nitrite) Moon gas Bagging (using inhalants) Oz Bolt (isobutyl nitrite) Pearls (amyl nitrite) Boppers (amyl nitrite) Poor man's pot Buzz bomb (nitrous oxide) Poppers (isobutyl nitrite, amyl Climax (isobutyl nitrite) nitrite) Discorama Quicksilver (isobutyl nitrite) Glading (using inhalant) Rush (isobutyl nitrite) Gluey (one who sniffs or inhales Shoot the breeze (nitrous oxide) glue) Snappers (isobutyl nitrite) Hardware (isobutyl nitrite) Snorting (using inhalant) Hippie crack Thrust (isobutyl nitrite) Honey oil Toncho (octane booster) Huff Whippets (nitrous oxide) Huffing (sniffing an inhalant) Whiteout (isobutyl nitrite) Source: Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse. Signs of Use Slurred speech Drunk, dizzy, or dazed appearance Unusual breath odor Chemical smell on clothing Paint stains on clothing, body or face Red eyes Runny nose Spots or sores around the mouth Loss of appetite Excitability or irritability Source: Tips for Teens: The Truth About Inhalants, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2000 Effects Effects of inhalant abuse are similar to drunkenness. Inhalation causes the body to become starved of oxygen, forcing the heart to beat more rapidly in an attempt to increase the flow of blood to the brain. Stimulation, loss of inhibition, and distorted perception of reality and spatial relations may be experienced by the user. Source: ONDCP Inhalant Fact Sheet, 2001 Effects (cont.) Other effects of inhalant use include short-term memory loss, hearing loss, limb spasms, permanent brain damage, bone marrow damage, liver and kidney damage, death, and possible fetal effects similar to fetal alcohol syndrome. Inhalant use is associated with delinquency, depression, and suicidal behavior. Source: Wu, Pilowsky, Schlenger, 2004 Effects (cont.) Following the initial reaction (sometimes referred to as a “head rush”), a sense of lethargy may arise as the body attempts to restabilize the flow of blood to the brain. Repeated intoxication over a few hours is possible because of the chemical‟s short acting, rapid onset effect. Many users experience headaches, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, loss of motor coordination, and wheezing. Source: ONDCP Inhalant Fact Sheet, 2001 Behavioral Consequences There is a correlation between inhalant abuse and problems in school such as failing grades, memory loss, learning problems, chronic absences, and general apathy. Inhalant users tend to be disruptive, deviant, or delinquent due to the early onset of use, lack of physical and emotional maturity, and the physical consequences that occur from extended use. Source: ONDCP Inhalant Fact Sheet, 2001 Issues According to a study by Wu et al., 2004, inhalants are one of the least researched or discussed groups of abused substances. A University of Kentucky study found that 9 out of 10 parents do not believe that their child would use an inhalant.