I teach a class with a group of volunteer moms in my children's middle school called SMART START. It has been a big eye opener for me. As a 40 something mom of two, I really thought I knew my stuff when it came to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Boy, was I wrong.
Before I went through the 21 hour training course put on by the Child and Human Development Center in Pleasant Hill, California, I had no idea that 1 in 3 first time users of inhalants dies instantly. That is shocking to me! I had no idea.
I also had no idea that children have discovered that the propellant in an empty can of whipped cream will make them high. Nor did I realize that helium is an inhalant. A number of 6th graders raised their hands to show that they had inhaled helium to make funny voices. I recommended that they never inhale it again and to let their parents know how dangerous it is.
The bottom line is, inhalants can be fatal. It is called Sudden Sniffing Death or SSD. Another term I had never heard of. I sure hope my young students were impressed by the message of the lesson.