Most treated for 'huffing' are adults

March 20, 2011 at 12:35 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- "Huffing," or inhaling chemical vapors to get high is often linked with youth, but U.S. officials say in 2008 the majority treated were adults.

A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition says 54 percent of U.S. treatment admissions for inhalant abuse in 2008 were those age 18 or older.

The report also indicates an estimated 1.1 million adults age 18 and older used inhalants in the past year and 52 percent of the adult admissions involved people ages 18-29, 32 percent involved those ages 30-44 and 16 percent were 45 or older.

Chronic use of inhalants can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs, or even death.

"Just because a product is legal doesn't mean it is safe," Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, says in a statement.

"Our homes are increasingly becoming the source of dangerous drugs of abuse for young people. Whether these products are inhalants found under our sinks and in our utility rooms, or dangerous prescription drugs stored our medicine cabinets, parents need to act today to protect our young people by securing these products and discussing the harms that they cause."

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