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Q. My 12-year old nephew almost died using cooking spray as an inhalant. He is going to be o.k. but our whole family is shocked. What substances can be abused? What should I say to my kids?

A. First, thank goodness your nephew will recover. Inhalants are among the most dangerous of the illicit drugs. Sudden sniffing death syndrome which brings on cardiac arrest, can occur the first time inhalants are used or at any time after that.

Common household products such as the cooking spray your nephew used, nail polish remover, whipped cream, glue, hair spray - all these and more can be abused. Younger children can be drawn to them as an easy - and available - high. In 2001, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported that 9.1 percent of 8th graders have used inhalants at least once in the past year.

This week (March 17-23, 2002) is National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week. For more information about inhalants, check the links below:

National Inhalants Prevention Coalition

NIDA Notes - Facts About Inhalant Abuse

A Parent's Guide to Preventing Inhalant Abuse

Good luck!

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy