What's New - October 15, 1998

Inhalant Abuse Awareness Day

October 15, 1998 was declared "Inhalant Abuse Awareness Day" in the United States Senate. A resolution initiated by Sen. Frank Murkowski of Alaska, and supported by Republican Majority leader Trent Lott and Demo Minority Leader Tom Daischle draws attention to a serious substance abuse problem, particularly among young people.

Inhalants are generally characterized as chemicals which have the capacity to cause intoxication when their vapors are inhaled. Because of the availability of substances like paint thinners and household cleaners (most inhalants are common household products), this form of chemical abuse occurs often among younger people, teens and even elementary school students.

The current initiative occurs in concert with the release of a video entitled EDUCATE: Creating Inhalant Abuse Awareness Together. The video is aimed at an adult audience, particularly people who interact with children - parents, coaches, teachers, health care workers. The video was developed by the S.C. Johnson Company, a manufacturer of household cleaning, personal care and pest control products like Windex® and Raid®.

The company is legitimately interested in insuring that their products are only used as intended, and that accidental or purposeful misuse in prevented. According to Cynthia Georgeson, Director of Corporate Public Affairs, "SC Johnson feels very strongly about issues that affect families, especially those as damaging as inhalant abuse. That's why our family company helped create the EDUCATE video and is going directly to parents with th facts about inhalant abuse."

Inhalant abuse can lead to a variety of health problems, including xxxxx, and can be fatal. According to Join Together, hundreds of children each year die from inhalant use--and inhalants are the third most abused substance among those in their early teens. Statistics show that, after some effective prevention in the '80s, abuse is on the rise again. It's hoped that calling national attention to the issue via actions such as the congressional resolution, and making educational materials available to those who can best use them will help.

For more information on the S. C. Johnson initiatives, call Cynthia Georgeson at 414-260-3999, or Kerry Patzke at 202-326-1776. To obtain a copy of the video and additional support materials you can contact the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (1-800-729-6686), the American Council on Drug Education (1-800-488-DRUG), or the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (1-800-269-4237).
For more inhalant information on the Web, check out the following links: