More kids resort to 'huffing' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More kids resort to 'huffing'

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 April 25, 2008

 Albany --  It's called huffing, bagging, or ragging-- sniffing inhalants to get high. Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Agents say they're hearing more about South Georgia kids doing it, and they want you to know it can be deadly.

Drug agents say they hear South Georgia kids inhaling dangerous chemicals is increasing.

"Inhaling, or the term, huffing, bagging, ragging. Those are just terminologies used for inhaling different chemicals," said ADDU Investigator George Camp.

Chemicals like aerosols, from computer cleaner canisters, to solvents like paint or white out, or even transmission fluid. Even inhaling freon right out of air conditioning units.

Kids don't have to meet drug dealers in alleys, they use common items found in their home--gallon size freezer bags and rags.

"Pour a little bit in there. Turn it around. Close it up. Let it sit for a few minutes. Mix it up a little bit so the chemical get in the bag. Open it up, wrap it up, and breathe," Camp said.

Even innocent items like a Cool Whip can be used, for the aerosol in the can. It's called kiddy dope, because kids as young as eight are doing it, and they can find out all about it on the Internet.

Doctors say many are dying; 22 percent of those who die from huffing are killed the first time they try it. The chemicals not only cause a high, they kill brain cells,as well as damage the liver, lungs, and heart.

Drug agents want parents to know the warning signs. "If you know what to look for. If you see there is a change in mood behavior. If you see there is a change in the way that they dress. The people they hang out with now. That makes a big difference, that should at least ring a bell in your mind as a parent," said Camp.

Drug agents say parents should be suspicious if kids start to have a lot of even deodorant cans, because inhaling dangerous chemicals is becoming fashionable again.

A.D.D.U. Agents often talk to kids and parents at schools and recreation centers to warn them about the dangers of huffing.

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