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Partnership for a Drug-Free America Targets Inhalant Use


April 1995

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) launched an advertising campaign on Apr. 12 to discourage teens from abusing inhalants.

The PDFA cited National Institute on Drug Abuse statistics showing that one in five teenagers have tried inhalants. According to NIDA Director Alan Leshner, more teenagers experiment with inhalants than cocaine, LSD, or other drugs.

Users achieve a euphoric or hallucinogenic effect by inhaling the fumes from aerosol cleaners, air fresheners, nail polish remover, gasoline, model glue, and other household substances. Abuse of inhalants can cause mild brain damage, and some abusers have been severely burned when lighting a cigarette around fumes. A few users have died from heart seizures or asphyxiation.

PDFA said that warning labels on the most abused household products will be counterproductive because teens will look for the labels when choosing products to inhale.

[For more information, contact PDFA at 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10174, 212-973-3500. Also contact the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at 5600 Fishers Lane, Parklawn Building, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-443-0365. The Center has prepared educational materials about inhalants for parents and teens that can be ordered at 1-800-729-6686.]