The annual National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week is the third week of March.


While most parents and caregivers are understandably concerned about their children’s use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, many are unaware of the dangers posed from common household products that contain volatile solvents or aerosols. Products such as glues, nail polish remover, lighter fluid, hair sprays and cleaning fluids are widely available and potentially dangerous if misused.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in July 2010 that, “national surveys indicate that nearly 22.3 million Americans have used inhalants at least once in their lives.” The National Inhalant Prevention Coalition states that 1 in 5 children have tried inhalants by the time they are 8th graders.


Inhalants are volatile substances that produce chemical vapors which can be inhaled to produce a psychoactive or mind-altering effect. They are not drugs - they are poisons. Most inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication, with initial excitation then drowsiness, lightheadedness and agitation. Because intoxication lasts for only a few minutes, abusers frequently try to prolong the high by repeat usage. Depending on the level of usage and individual tolerance loss of consciousness and even death may occur. In addition, other effects may include damage to the heart, kidneys, liver, brain or other organs.


For more information contact:

National Inhalant Prevention Coalition 800-269-4237  e-mail or

National Institute on Drug Abuse


Please forward to your networks. Thanks for all you do!  If you’d like to comment, please email


Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

c/o Tompkins County Youth Services Dept.

320 W. ML King Jr./State St., Ithaca