'Huffing' linked to teen suicide behavior

Oct. 30, 2007 at 11:20 PM
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DENVER, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A University of Denver study found inhaling, or "huffing," vapors of glue or nail polish are associated with increased suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found 33 percent of the study participants reported having inhaled volatile solvents, 25 percent had attempted suicide and 58 percent reported suicidal thoughts.

Stacey Freedenthal and Jeffrey M. Jenson of the University of Denver, along with colleagues at Chapel Hill in North Carolina and the University of Pittsburgh, say they did not determine which came first, the huffing or the suicidal behavior, but the two are undeniably connected.

"Inhalant use has many serious, physiological consequences, including death," Freedenthal said in a statement. "Now we are learning ever more strongly that they are also linked to suicidal thoughts and behaviors."

The study, which involved 723 participants incarcerated by the Missouri Division of Youth Services -- 629 boys and 94 girls with an average age of 15 -- found the correlation between huffing and suicidal inclinations greater in girls than boys.

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