A 19-year-old Albemarle. man is dead after huffing Renuzit air freshener.
Christopher "Chris'' Oliver Goins' great-grandmother found him on the bathroom floor passed out Saturday night, said Albemarle Police Chief Chuck McManus. "And he obviously had been sniffing aerosol, Renuzit air freshener. And it appears to have: killed him." Police have sent Goins' body to the state Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy to pin down the cause of death. McManus said Goins, of 309 Old Charlotte Road, told his great-grandmother he was going to take a bath. After Goins had been in the bathroom a while, his great-grandmother checked on him and discovered him on the floor. When Rescue Officials arrived, they tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Goins, Officials entered the bathroom and immediately noticed., a strong odor of propellant from the air freshener.
McManus said Goins sprayed the Renuzit into a towel
and then sniffed it. "We've had kids inhaling gas fumes and White Out and
glue, but this if the first time we've had a death from aerosol," the chief
said. McManus said a person can overdose any time he or she inhales
aerosol. When a person inhales the propellent, the body's blood vessels
constrict and the body's vital organs get less oxygen, McManess said. If
enough propellant enters the body, the lungs shutdown. Inhaling of aerosol
cans is a problem nationwide"' he said, "but it's the first -death that
LOOKING FOR A HIGH IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
I use solvents, I feel like I'm dead' People who treat addictions say
long-term solvent users like Jeanette Reid are among the most difficult
patients they treat. "They completely detach from reality," says Dr. Michael
Morrison, who works with addicts at the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Commission recovery centre in downtown Edmonton. "They start to lose the
tools we all have to communicate and learn." Reid was given a six-month
jail sentence earlier this week for violating the Public Health Act by
inhaling an intoxicating vapour.
The 33-year-old was arrested July 17 for sniffing from a solvent-soaked rag. She was pregnant at the time and gave birth to her seventh child the next day. Morrison, who has worked with AADAC for nine years, said Thursday the recovery centre treats few solvent abusers each year. One reason for the low numbers may be that solvent addicts do not seek treatment, he says. Nick Desilva, nursing supervisor at the recovery centre, said solvent addicts who do seek help often fail to stick with a program long enough to kick the habit. "It's very difficult to keep them in one setting because their memories are so short." Solvents like paint thinner, glue, nail polish remover, gasoline and lighter fluid all contain toxins which act on the body and brain similar to the way alcohol does, though "with much more dire consequences," said Morrison. Those who sniff them report sensations of "floating and detachment," he said. "One woman told me 'When I use solvents, I feel like I'm dead.' "
Solvent abusers are a tight-knit group and tend to gather in abandoned homes in the inner city. "They're almost like crack houses," Morrison said. One inner-city worker, who asked not to be named, said solvent-soaked rags are available on the streets for as little as 50 cents each. He said Reid was part of a group of four young women and half-a-dozen young men who sniff solvents together regularly. "Everybody around here knows her, she's been doing it for years," said the man, who thinks police did the right thing by arresting her. "At least they got her off the street. When you're using, you don't care about yourself. They should have done it a long time ago."
AADAC estimates there are about 40 chronic solvent abusers in Edmonton's core. A larger group sniff solvents when they can't afford alcohol or other drugs, says Evelyn Kohlman, manager of the AADAC Recovery Centre. Kohlman says solvent abusers are often intoxicated all the time. They sniff 20 to 30 times a day in hopes of never coming down. The high only lasts about 45 minutes, and the withdrawal symptoms can be horrific.
"It's very difficult to get them clean long enough so they can think," Kohlman said. "They don't want to stay in treatment. They just want to go back out and use." A coalition of inner-city social agencies was formed three months ago to look for ways of helping them deal with their habit. But there are no easy answers, Kohlman said. The committee wants to assist addicts with such basics as nutrition and cleanliness. "Many of them are very skilled individuals -- a number are referred to as being artists," she said. "We want to minimize the time they use during the day." Lena Reid, Jeanette's mother, said her daughter is feeling all right in jail, but she wants to get out and get on with her life. "Maybe, with six months of no sniffing, she'll dry out."
Subj: US MA: Inhalant Use
Steady Among Middle School Children ] From: John Smith ] Date: Thu, 19
Mar 1998 23:38:19 -0800 Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thu., 19 Mar 1998
Source: The Standard-Times, Serving the South Coast of Massachusetts Contact: YourView@S-T.com WebPage: http://www.s-t.com Author: Robin Estrin, Associated Press writer Note: Please mail any comments to Newsroom@S-T.com INHALANT USE STEADY AMONG MIDDLE SCHOOL CHILDREN BOSTON
-- Massachusetts eighth-graders are sniffing less paint thinner, nail polish remover and glue than they did three years ago, public health officials said yesterday. But over-the-counter inhalant abuse among other middle school-aged children is holding steady, and the state remains above the national average for a risky behavior that can be fatal. After alcohol and tobacco, inhalants are the third most abused substance among Massachusetts middle-school students.
Children are attracted to them because they are free or inexpensive, easy to get their hands on, and difficult to detect. More than 1,000 common drug store and household products, including solvents, gases, fuels and aerosols, can be inhaled to produce a high that lasts a few seconds to 45 minutes. Typically, the substances depress the nervous system, lowering breathing and heart rates and impairing coordination and judgment. Inhalants can cause permanent damage to the brain, nerves, kidneys, liver and other organs. They can also kill from heart problems or suffocation.
Although all youth are considered at risk for using inhalants, health officials say white students in towns of 50,000 to 90,000 abused the substances the most. Inhaling after eighth grade tends to decrease. Since the mid-1980s, public health officials have polled school students about their drug and alcohol use every three years. The survey reaches about 7,000 students.
The 1993 study showed a sharp increase in the use
of inhalants from the 1990 survey. The percentage of seventh-graders who
said they used inhalants, for example, jumped from 3 percent in 1990 to
7.9 percent in 1993. The percentage of eighth-graders inhaling went from
3.6 percent in 1990 to 11 percent in 1993. The increase startled state
health officials and prompted them to launch an anti-inhalant campaign,
called "A Breath Away."
Now entering its third year, the program is designed to teach parents, teachers and youth counselors about the danger of the poisonous inhalants. "Adults are the ones that need to understand about inhalants and the behaviors and what to look for," said Mayra Rodriguez-Howard, director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services in the Department of Public Health. "We don't want to educate kids about what inhalants they can use." The 1996 survey results, released yesterday, showed some encouraging news. Eighth-grade use dropped from 11 percent to 7.5 percent. But that's still higher than the 5.8 percent of eighth-graders nationally who say they use inhalants. Health officials are still trying to figure out why kids stop using inhalants when they reach high school. Students interviewed in focus groups have said inhalants are considered a "kiddish" thing to do.
The last individual treated was the 18 year old
and was set on continuing his self-destructive practices. After a couple
of days in treatment we noticed the temperature within our buildings getting
higher and we were perplexed as to why until one of the staff caught the
inhalant abuser taking freon right out of our A/C system! Not long after
that it became obvious that he was not going to quit inhaling and he was
very resourceful in procuring stuff to inhale. Gold paint was his favorite.
I saw him talk about gold paint once in group and he was so full of euphoric
recall that I terminated his participation. This guy was locked up
by law enforcement and jail is probably the safest enviroment for him.
I do not have a clue how to effectivly provide treatment for individuals I have just described. Evidently there are intense cravings associated with inhalants. One user stated that when intoxicated on paint he literaly could not quit until he had spent a substaintial amount of time away from the substance. Sort of reminds me of cravings crack users experiance. All three of these inhalant abusers were well aware of the wholesale damage that occurs to the nuerons, lungs, liver, etc...Any ideas? Robin Maroney http://www.TheFreemanCenter.org ---
Butane sniffing, called huffing, is a growing health threat
The Associated Press
01/27/99 5:42 PM Eastern
SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Health officials say new kind
of drug abuse is tempting
young Oregonians -- sniffing butane fumes.
The practice is called huffing, and it claimed
the life of James Mitchell
Stolberg, 18, on Sunday.
Stolberg and two teen-age friends were filling
plastic bags with vapors from
disposable lighters Sunday, then inhaling the fumes from the bags, Salem
Police Lt. Dan Deitz said.
According to authorities, Stolberg had stopped
breathing three times before
one of the friends called medics. By the time the ambulance arrived, he was
"It sounds like a typical sad end result of typical
huffers," said Officer
Dave Driscoll, a drug recognition expert for Salem police. "People will try
pretty much any chemical. Unfortunately, they may not survive it the first
Huffing is most common among young people age 11
to 19, Driscoll said. While
butane is often used, huffers also seek other cheap inhalants, such as spray
paint, air freshener and nonstick cooking spray.
Some Salem-area grocery stores have had problems
with teens who inhale the
propellant from cans of whipped cream. When a buyer tries to dispense the
whipped cream at home, nothing but liquid comes out.
In Stolberg's case, the teens had heard that the
butane fumes would enhance
their highs from the marijuana they were smoking.
What makes huffing so dangerous is that people
inhale substances based on
rumors that the practice is safe, said Oregon State Police Lt. Chuck Hayes,
who heads the state's Drug Recognition Expert training program.
Most inhalants act as depressants that slow down
the central nervous system,
Driscoll said. The effects kick in almost instantly, often causing the
huffer to pass out. Symptoms can include dizziness, drowsiness, distorted
vision that may alter shapes and colors, feelings of floating or spinning,
distorted spatial perception and nausea.
"It varies greatly from inhalant to inhalant, and
nobody really goes out and
studies these real hard because they are so dangerous," Driscoll said.
Some inhalants also coat the inside of the lungs
and cause the huffer to
suffocate. Often, people who pass out die from choking on their own vomit or
on the bag they use to collect the vapors. Just a few uses can cause
long-term damage to the central nervous system, as well as decreased memory,
concentration and coordination.
Police are taught to recognize drivers who may
be under the influence of
inhalants, but Oregon's laws still do not include inhalants in its
definition of driving under the influence of intoxicants despite their
"Without a doubt, we've had many incidents in the
state where people have
been driving under the influence of paint, paint thinner, gases," Hayes
said. "And yet we cannot charge them with DUII because the law does not
cover those offenses."
Hayes and Driscoll said huffers' deaths will probably
end only through
education. Hayes hopes a current radio campaign that warns of the dangers of
inhalants will help inform young people.
"It's really unfortunate that people have to die
to bring this information
out," Driscoll said.
By Stacy D. Johnson and Steve Wedel
MOORE -- The state medical examiner ruled Thursday that
smoke inhalation killed three girls found dead in a locked
garage storage room Wednesday afternoon.
'Huffing' fears raised
An electric space heater probably ignited gasoline fumes,
killing Fallon Jennifer Brown, 16, her sister, Brandie Marie
Brown, 13, and friend Shelly Franklin, 12, said Moore fire
inspector Ken Pontius. A gas can, which was nearly full,
had apparently tipped over. A large amount of gasoline had
spilled onto the floor.
Suction created by the flash fire was so strong that
wallboard was buckled inward inside the room, Pontius
Firefighters who first arrived on the scene also found a radio
playing in the room. Pontius said the radio also could have
started the fire.
"It does appear that they were just hanging out together,"
Moore police spokesman Sgt. Scott Singer said.
Fire Chief Charles Stephens said a high concentration of
fumes inside the sealed room meant a spark from any
ignition source would have created an internal explosion
and a flash fire that quickly extinguished itself due to a lack
"What we're thinking happened is that it flashed and in that
flash, it burned up all the oxygen and ignited their clothing,"
All three girls had second-degree burns on their hands and
faces, state medical examiner spokesman Ray Blakeney
Police are awaiting toxicology test results before they say if
any of the girls had been sniffing gasoline fumes. Results
are not expected for at least a week.
Veronica Brown, mother of Fallon and Brandie, told police
she had recently caught her older daughter sniffing gasoline
fumes, Singer said.
Singer said there have been five other incidents in the past
year of fires being started in Moore as the result of people
Children walking home from school Thursday afternoon
didn't want to discuss the deaths. And yet, that's all they
could talk about as cars crept through their neighborhood
with people pointing at the house where the girls died.
Shortly after school was dismissed, a group of students
gathered on the porch of the house at 729 SW 11, arms
locked around one another. Some left stuffed animals and
cards before going home.
Paul Dillon, 13, described Fallon as a free spirit.
"Fallon just liked to have fun," he said. "That's what she
was about -- having fun. She liked to listen to music."
He also talked about the younger girls.
"Brandie and Shelly liked to walk through the
neighborhood," Paul said. "They weren't like Fallon, they
weren't as wild."
Brandie liked to jump rope and swim, and the three often
played pool and video games at a local arcade.
Nova Dillon, Paul's father, said he was shocked by the loss.
"It's tough for a parent to lose one child, let alone two," he
said. "I thought of their mother in my prayers last night. All
of us, everyone who lives around here, are just so sorry this
had to happen."
The house is in an older neighborhood of mostly rental
"Generally speaking, that neighborhood is actually very
close," Singer said. "They formed a citizens patrol group,
which has done wonders preventing crime in the area. Many
of the children play together."
Early Thursday, firefighters visited with Plaza Towers
Elementary School students, trying to calm their fears and
warning them about the dangers of sniffing gasoline fumes,
Pontius said. Two of the victims attended the school.
Stephens said he asked Oklahoma City Fire Department
chaplains to debrief his firefighters after they worked the
scene Wednesday night.
"It does affect firefighters. It was bothering them," the fire
The girls' family members spent the night with other
relatives, because they did not want to be alone and
because firefighters were worried about the high
concentration of gasoline fumes in the house, Singer said.
Power to the house was turned off Wednesday night to
reduce the possibility of another explosion, Singer said.
Singer added that the families of the girls "are doing as well
as can be expected" as they make arrangements for burial.
Moore schools Superintendent Wayland Bonds said
counselors will be available today if needed by students or
Fallon was an eighth-grader at Highland West Junior High.
Brandie and Shelly were both sixth-graders at Plaza Towers
The Western Michigan Survey conducted in
our school system on March 17,
1999 concluded that:
1. the lifetime use of inhalants among 8th graders (125 cases) was
36.1%; among 10th graders (99 cases)was
22.7%; and among 12th graders (59 cases) was 30.5% (compared to the National High School Senior Survey: Monitoring the Future conducted by the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Spring 1997-- 16.1%).
2. the past-year use of inhalants among 8th graders was 26.1%; among
10th graders was 14.9%; and among 12th graders was 5.1% (compared to the National High School Senior Survey: Monitoring the Future conducted by the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Spring 1997--
3. the past-month use of inhalants among 8th graders was 11.8%; among
10th graders was 5.3%; and among 12th graders was 1.7% (compared to the National High School Senior Survey: Monitoring the Future conducted by the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Spring 1997--
4. sex differences in past-year use among male and female 8th graders were 12.7% and 37.5%, respectively; among male and female 10th graders were 11.4% and 18%, respectively; among male and female 12th graders were 6.9% and 3.3%, respectively; (compared to the National High School Senior Survey: Monitoring the Future conducted by the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Spring 1997-- males 8.3% and females 5.2%).
5. college plans related to past-year use among college bound and not
college bound 8th graders were 24.1% and
31.4%, respectively; among college bound and not college bound 10th graders were 14.3% and 18.2%, respectively; among college bound and not college bound 12th graders were 5.6% and 5%, respectively; (compared to the National High School Senior Survey: Monitoring the Future conducted by the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Spring 1997-- college bound
6.5% and not college bound 8%). "College bound" are those who report they "probably will" or"definitely will" graduate from a four year college.
6. grade of first use of inhalants for 8th graders was 6.7% grade 5 or below, 14.4% grade 6, 11.1% grade 7, and 4.4% grade 8.
7. grade of first use of inhalants for 10th graders was 6.5% grade 5
or below, 2.2% grade 6, 4.3% grade 7, and 5.4% grade 8, 3.2% grade 9, and
1.1% grade 10.
8. grade of first use of inhalants for 12th graders was 1.9% grade 5
or below, 5.7% grade 6, 9.5% grade 7, 3.8% grade
8, 3.8% grade 9, 0.0% grade 10, 3.8% grade 11, and 1.9% grade 12.
9. grade of first use of inhalants for the national sample 12th graders
was 1.5% grade 6, 4.3% grade 7-8, 3.4% grade
9, 3.4% grade 10, 2.2% grade 11, and 1.2% grade 12.
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