Inhalants don’t show up in drug tests

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- Inhalants don’t show up in drug tests.

- 2.6 million teenagers are using inhalants in US

- Anytime one uses this stuff, it can be fatal from Sudden Sniffing Syndrome

- 20% of youth use – Utah’s numbers are high

- There level of perception of risk is low; increasing adolescents’ perception of risk is key to reducing inhalant abuse.

Sharp Survey Utah

6th grade

8th grade

10th grade

Ever Used


13.8 %


Used in last 30 Days


5.3 %

3.1 %

Native American

Ever Used

15.1 %



Native American

Last 30 Days Use




National 30 Day




- In Utah, inhalants are #4 of drugs used after tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.

- Over 1,000 products have been documented as having been used.

(helium from balloons does not seem that bad, but people can suffer burst emboli in lungs)

- Don’t give children scented markers; it creates a behavior (sniffing the markers)

- The majority of inhalants are used 30 minutes before school and 30 minutes after school. Must use is usually on school grounds.

- Toulene (methylbenzene – a solvent) brain damage is Not reversible.

- If you come upon a person huffing (inhaling a chemical) DON”T startle

the person; it can cause an immediate cardiac arrest when the person is startled and has an adrenaline surge.


- In the UK, 25% of inhalant deaths are due to sudden sniffing deaths on the first use.

- Adding inhalant prevention messages in with other drugs causes an increase in inhalant use. We need different messages for different age groups.

- Inhalants are Pollutants, Poisons, and Toxins

^ Policy Changes:

- Include inhalant information in science curriculum under poisons, pollutants, fire hazards

- Develop inhalant legislation to limit the sales of these products to minors (the best way is to work with retailers directly)

- Encourage use of solvent-free and non-aerosol products

Good Video:

DANGER! Toxic Chemicals by Hazelton (don’t show to under 6th graders)

Talking Tips:

6 – 11 years old:

- body’s need for oxygen

- poisons (talk about their effects)

- products (how to use them properly and for the right purpose)

- use proper ventilation when you (adult) use chemicals and talk about this to kids

- read labels together

- discuss purpose of household chemicals

12-18 years old:

- ask what they know about inhalants (don’t tell WHICH products are used for inhalants or how to use them)

- be clear of the dangers

- reinforce resistance skills

- tie inhalants to poisons and environmental toxins

- tell about sudden sniffing death and harms to body organs

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