Sue Scheff Parenting Teens and Substance Abuse

inhalant3As the new year has started, parents need to become more educated and informed about today’s teens and the issues they face.
Many parents know about substance abuse, and teach our kids to say no to drugs – but do you know about Inhalants? Ordinary household items that can be lethal to teens looking for a quick and inexpensive high? More importantly, sometimes deadly high.
Parent learn more about Inhalant Abuse.


Here is a great “talking tips” page from The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) – take the time to learn more today. You could save a child’s life.

Sue Scheff: New Inhalant Abuse Report from SAMHSA – (The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)

I have been very vocal in bringing awareness to Inhalant Use among teens and tweens since a wonderful parent shared her story of losing her son to this.  Parents need to understand this is a growing and major concern – like drug use, kids are turning to huffing as a form of getting high.  Unlike many street drugs, inhalants can be found in many homes today.  Learn more at


The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just released a new National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) Report.

The report is entitled,” Inhalant Abuse and Major Depressive Episode Among Youth Aged 12 to 17: 2004-2006. “The 2006 NSDUH Report surveys youth 12-17 years old to assess “co-occurrence of inhalant use and Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the past year.”

Some of the findings include:

Inhalant Use:

  • Past year inhalant use was almost 4 times higher among persons aged 12 to 17 than among young adults aged 18 to 25 (1.3 vs. 0.4 percent).
  • In 2004 to 2006, 1.1 million youths aged 12 to 17 (4.5 percent) used inhalants in the past year
  • Females in this age range were more likely than males to use inhalants in the past year (4.8 vs. 4.2 percent)
  • Youth aged 14 or 15 (5.3 percent) were more likely than youths aged 12 or 13 (4.3 percent) & those aged 16 or 17 (3.9 percent) to have used inhalants in the past year.

Inhalant Abuse & Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

  • The rate of past year inhalant use was higher among youths aged 12 to 17 who had MDE in the past year than among those who did not (10.2 vs. 4.0 percent)
  • Males with past year MDE were about twice as likely as those without past year MDE to have used inhalants (9.6 vs. 4.0 percent)
  • Females with past year MDE were about 3 times as likely as those without past year MDE to have used inhalants (10.5 vs. 3.9 percent)
  • In each age group, youths with past year MDE were more likely than youths without past year MDE to have used an inhalant in the past year.

Which comes first: MDE or Inhalant Abuse:

  • An estimated 218,000 (.9 percent) youths aged 12 to 17 used inhalants and experienced MDE in the past year.
  • 43.1 percent experienced their first episode of MDE before initiating inhalant use.
  • 28.3 percent used inhalants before they experienced their first episode of MDE
  • 28.5 percent started using inhalants and experienced their first episode of MDE at about the same time.

Inhalant Abuse – Parents Need to Learn More

Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of “getting high.” Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be “gateway” drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual’s head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

What Products Can be Abused?

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.

Visit for more information.

Sue Scheff: “A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain” This new site is designed to help parents decode teen behavior and connect with their kids.



The Partnership for a Drug Free America to Hold a Virtual Press Conference Announcing Launch of “A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain”


– New Site to Help Parents Decode Teen Behavior and Connect with their Kids

– Release of the 20th annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study


WHAT: The Partnership for a Drug Free America will debut their newest online parenting tool: “A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain.” The site launch also coincides with the release of the 20th annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), a survey of parents’ attitudes about drugs and alcohol. 


WHY:  For every parent of a teenager who has ever wondered “who is this kid?” the website aims to make answering that question easier. Designed to help parents navigate the confusing, often frustrating teen years, “A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain” translates recent scientific findings that shed light on how brain development shapes teens’ behavior and personalities into easy-to-understand tips and tools for parents.


The site explains that the human brain takes 25 years to fully develop, with areas responsible for complex judgment and decision-making maturing last. Through video, humorous interactive segments, role-playing and advice from experts, parents learn how adolescent brain development explains the “normal” teen behaviors that often confound parents—impulsiveness, rebellion, high emotions and risk-taking, especially with drugs and alcohol—and how to use this new information to connect with their teens.


The 2007 PATS study shows that as kids become teenagers, their parents need for information and help talking about drugs and alcohol peaks, and parents’ confidence in their ability to keep kids from using drugs and alcohol begins to wane.


WHO: A distinguished panel of experts will participate in a discussion about “A Parent’s

           Guide to the Teen Brain including:

·         Steve Pasierb:  President and Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership for a Drug Free America

·         Ken Winters, Ph.D.: director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, and a Senior Scientist with the Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

·         Tara Paterson: certified parenting coach, mother of three, founder of the Mom’s Choice Awards (which honor excellence in family friendly media, products and services), author of the upcoming book Raising Intuitive Children and contributor to


Highlights of the Virtual Press Conference will include:

·         Detailed explanation/run through of “A Parents Guide to the Teen Brain”

·         Explanation about the links between teen behavior and the physiological changes happening in the teen brain

·         Explanation of findings from the 2007 PATS study

·         Discussion of how to apply the scientific findings about the teen brain to real life

·         Valuable insight from a parent and parenting coach




WHEN:      June 11, 2008 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am


To download video of the webcast in broadcast quality format (available June 11th from 10am – 11am ET) please visit the coordinates below:


Galaxy 26 Transponder 1 C BAND Analog

Downlink frequency is 3720 Vertica


Beta copies can be requested after the event, but will require additional time for delivery.


Media Contacts:    Judy Klein, o: 212-251-1204, m: 917-282-9352, e:

                             Paul Costiglio, o: 212-973-3530, m: 917-686-8697, e:


For more information about the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, visit

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Sue Scheff – Parents Universal Resource Experts – Huffing Freon

As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) I think there needs to be more awareness on inhalant use of today’s kids. Huffing Freon can be so accessible to kids today – especially since I am in Florida – I think parents need to take time and learn more. is a good place to start. Read More.

Sue Scheff: Alliance for Consumer Education, Inhalant Abuse Prevention

Welcome to the Alliance for Consumer Education’s (ACE) inhalant abuse prevention site! ACE is a foundation dedicated to advancing community health and well-being.
Did you know 1 in 5 children will abuse inhalants by the 8th grade? Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of fumes, vapors or gases from common household products for the purpose of “getting high”.
This site is designed to assist you in learning more about inhalant abuse prevention and giving you tools to help raise the awareness of others. While here be sure to check out our free printable resources, post any comments or questions on ACE’s community message board, and visit our new blog by visiting

Sue Scheff: Kids Trying Legal Products for Legal Highs

Kids Try Different Products for ‘Legal High’

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?