DANGERS OF INHALANTS

05/03/2012

Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor would like to remind all citizens about the dangers of inhalants.  Over the past two months, drivers suspected of inhaling aerosol compounds have contributed to three separate motor vehicle collisions.  

            Inhaled compounds are rapidly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream and are quickly distributed to the brain and other organs.   Within minutes, users may experience intoxication, with symptoms similar to those produced by drinking alcohol.  Alcohol-like effects may include slurred speech, an inability to coordinate movements, dizziness, confusion and delirium.  Users will have difficulty performing basic actions such as talking and walking.  Many of the effects caused by frequent huffing include kidney and liver damage, weight loss and depression which can eventually lead to death. However, infrequent or even first-time users can die from inhaling aerosol compounds. Any user, whether frequent, long-term or first-time, can die from a condition called Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. The condition causes heart failure and may strike any person any time he inhales the chemicals in solvents and aerosol sprays.

This rise in abuse of driving and inhaling aerosol compounds is a concern for public safety.  We want our citizens and parents to be cognizant of this recent trend.   In Arkansas, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug, including inhalants.  A conviction of violating the law can result in a suspension of driving privileges, fines and imprisonment.

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