Huffing Concern Among Young People

A police and ambulance call last night brings a reminder about the dangers of huffing among young people.

Negaunee City Police got a call about a possible case of a boy inhaling gasoline vapors.

They say the boy did not actually do that but was emotional and was threatening to inhale gas.

The boy has asthma, so crews applied oxygen and took him to Bell Hospital in Ishpeming.

The Marquette County Health Department says inhalant abuse is more common, and more dangerous, than most of us realize.

Inhalant abuse can be fatal on the first contact.

Fred Benzie says more than one in six 8th-graders have used inhalants at some point.

But 9 out of 10 parents of kids who’ve done it – don’t know it.

He says kids need to hear about the risks starting in kindergarten or first grade.

And he suggests watching for symptoms like weight loss and disorientation, combined with items like empty spray-paint cans or chemical-soaked rags.

Huffing is not reported to local police nearly as often as it once was.

Negaunee City Police say this was the first suspected incident they’ve had in the city in at least 5 years.

And they say they don’t hear about many cases from other agencies either.