Inhalant use concerns me due to the availability of substances for young people. I don't feel that
most students comprehend how dangerous they can be since they are not illegal products. Prior to reading
this article I didn't realize that there are three ways to use inhalants - huffing, bagging, and sniffing. The
average age of first use of inhalants is 12.3 years, occurring before the first use of alcohol which is 12.6
years. This didn't surprise me since I suspected that 2 of my third grade students had experimented with
inhalants due to comments that I've overheard and by lack of supervision by their parents. The article cites
reports of high levels of violence by inhalant users, fights. accidental injuries, lower grades, not completing
work, and skipping class. As I look through our grade school I suspect that there are several other children
already experimenting with these substances, some of whose families are involved with SRS.
A surprising fact in this article was that of the students surveyed, the lowest abuse rate of inhalants
was reported by African American students. The highest use group was bi-racial with Caucasian students
ranking second in use.
I feel that inhalant use needs to be addressed by the schools by educating both students and parents
of the dangers of these substances. Inhalant users are more likely to use other drugs and six times more
likely to abuse alcohol. Risk of death from inhalant intoxication comes not only from medical complications
but also from impulsive behaviors such as suicide, homicide, and accidental injury.