Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grieving Mom: Can of compressed air can kill

Kaitlyn Vallery was a 16-year-old girl fighting a drug problem. She’d tried marijuana and cocaine but that’s not what killed her said her mother Cheri. “Heard the water running in the bathroom still and that’s when the sense of panic came over me.”
Panic from the water running too long after Kaitlyn went to take a bath.
They found her with a can of Freon-laced compressed air dusting spray nearby.
Kaitlyn, her mother says, had inhaled it to get high, passed out and drowned. “We were in the hospital saying our final goodbyes to her.”
Goodbyes voiced two years ago. But for Cheri and Jon Vallery the pain and the promises to their daughter live on.
“I made a promise to her that night that I would do whatever I could to make sure no one else had to go through the pain the heartache we were feeling that night,” said Cheri.
That was the beginning of Kaitlyn’s Promise.
It is a website that educates teens about the dangers of inhalant abuse.
It is a problem on par with illegal drug use. It’s where spray cans, lighters, and other household products are the source of a cheap and sometimes deadly high.
The latest studies have shown that by eighth grade one in five teenagers have tried this.
And they’re not just learning it from their friends.
Like anything else these days, it’s glamorized on the internet too.
To fight this, the Vallery’s will take their story to Washington DC later this week.
They plan to tell a nationwide audience about the dangers and about the daughter they lost. “Oh I have to. I’m still her mom and this is what I’m doing for her, “ said Cheri.
She does that while hoping no other mom will have to do the same.
taken from

US Teens Prefer Inhalants to Marijuana, Researchers Say

Studies by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, with sponsorship from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, revealed that kids on the brink of being teenagers are using inhalants more often than marijuana and prescription painkillers.
According to these studies, inhaling common household products such as shoe polish, glue, aerosol air fresheners, hair sprays, nail polish, paint solvents, degreasers, gasoline and lighter fluid now appear to be the preferred way to get high in this age group.
About 3.4 percent of 12-year-olds reported using an inhalant, while only 1.1 percent tried marijuana, and 2.7 percent took prescription painkillers in 2007. That trend continued with 13-year-olds, with 4.8 percent using inhalants, 4 percent trying marijuana, and 3.9 percent taking prescription painkillers. By age 14, inhalant use dropped behind the use of marijuana, painkillers and other drugs.
“Our data show that 1.1 million 12-to-17-year-olds acknowledge using inhalants last year. Our data also indicate that there are almost 600,000 teenagers [who] start using inhalants annually,” Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse, said Thursday, according to Forbes.
Adolescent girls seem particularly vulnerable to inhalant abuse. According to the report, 41 percent of hospital admissions for inhalant abuse involved teenage girls, whereas only 30 percent of hospital admissions for non-inhalant drug abuse involved teen girls.
Dr. Clark added that short-term effects of inhalants include dizziness, nausea, confusing and lack of coordination. They can also cause neurological damage, along with sudden death from cardiac reactions or lack of oxygen. An exact number of adolescent dying from inhalants is not known though.
“Once kids start using inhalants, they are more susceptible to using other drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine as they age. Inhalants can produce psychological effects, but because they're readily accessible they are substitutes for other drugs,” Dr. Clark said.
He urged parents to be aware that preteens and young teenagers are at risk for using inhalants, just as older teens are, and they should be discussing these issues with their children.
“Parents should be able to clearly explain that inhalants are not drugs of abuse, but deadly poisons that while they may produce an effect also produce unintended consequences,” Dr. Clark said.
The studies also found that forty five percent of teens who used inhalants suffer from psychiatric disorders, compared with 29 percent of teens who used other drugs.

taken from eFluxMedia

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Essex Shop owners warned over solvent sales

03 March 2008 06:47


SHOP owners in Essex will be punished if they sell solvents to people under the age of 18, trading standards officers have warned.

It follows random testing during which 10% of shops supplied a youngster with lighter fuel. Throughout February Essex County Council Trading Standards conducted test sales for solvents at 50 stores across the county, using an underage volunteer.

Five stores broke the law by agreeing to sell the test purchaser, a 14-year-old girl.

On each occasion the volunteer, who was supervised throughout the process, attempted to purchase butane lighter refills.

Statistics show that these account for the majority of deaths among people using them for intoxication purposes, due to volatile substance abuse (VSA). A number of shops visited also indicated that they would have made the sale, but were out of stock or unable to locate their supply.

Trading Standards officers re-visited these retailers to advise them on age restricted sales. The stores visited included both smaller independent stores and major retail chains.

Trading Standards officers said they were concerned that some retailers still believe that the legal age for purchasing solvents is 16, rather than 18.

Statistics compiled by St George's University of London show that VSA is responsible for more deaths amongst young people aged 10-16 than “conventional” illegal drugs.

Roger Walters, county council executive member for Trading Standards said: “Solvent abuse is a serious problem, which is why these products should not be made available to young people under the age of 18. “There is simply no excuse for stores to flout the law on this.“We are planning to conduct more test sales for solvents, and any retailers who continue to ignore our warnings can expect to be punished severely.”