KTVZ of Central Oregon posted Part Two of a special report, “Teens and Legal Highs“. This article seeks to inform parents about the prevalence of inhalant abuse in youth.
A School Resource Officer interviewed said that computer duster is a particularly popular inhalant.
One teenager that the interviewer spoke with says his peers “take the nozzle of that dust off stuff, put it in their mouth, and spray. Your lungs can collapse. Teens also do that with hairspray you put a towel over it. I saw it on TV.”
YouTube is also mentioned, as many students are able to find videos of their peers huffing and laughing, without showing any of the negative side effects.
Other legal highs are explored, such as eating nutmeg and poppy seeds. One woman, after losing her poppy plant, said that she “wondered where did my plant go? I realized kids took it to get high. I bet they didn’t get high from it, but I miss my plant.”
I see this as another argument against restriction of inhalants in retail stores – it’s clear that kids aren’t looking for a specific product, but for anything to get the high sensation. If one product is banned, next week it will be another popular ‘drug’ that kids ingest. Should nutmeg be kept locked in cabinets? Should poppy seed products only be sold to adults with valid ID?
Perhaps the focus should be on why youths are so intent on getting high by any means possible. Is it a form of escape? Is peer pressure so overwhelming? Is it just juvenile experimentation? Boredom?