Inhalant abuse is a hidden problem that can only be stopped when parents, educators and the general public get involved before our children do. Use these strategies to reduce inhalant abuse in your community.
Here are 4 activities that you can do in your community to help increase public awareness and prevent inhalant abuse:
1. Know the facts about inhalant abuse.
Visit our website and read our fact sheets ( http://www.mass.gov/dph/inhalant). They contain the most recent Massachusetts data on inhalants as well as strategies for inhalant abuse prevention.
2. Get the word out to adults.
Distribute inhalant prevention materials to parents, educators, youth workers, and other concerned individuals. All handouts can be easily copied but materials marked "Adults Only" should not be given to youth as this could stimulate their curiosity about inhalants. Contact your local newspaper, cable TV, and radio stations to carry the message about this unseen problem.
3. Educate Youth.
Distribute copies of Inhalants Poison Your Body. (Additional free copies are available at 617-624-5140 or send E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.) The main prevention message is inhalants are poison! Avoid equating inhalants with drugs unless teens are already making that association. Avoid telling youth what products may be misused, how they are abused or that they can get you "high." Teach about the safe use of products. Choose a science-based approach to comprehensive substance abuse prevention. *
4 Choose Safer Products for your home, school, and community program.
Purchase safer products and reduce access to solvents, gasses and aerosol cans. To obtain a list of substitute products, see "A Parent's Guide: Preventing Inhalant Abuse Among Children and Teens" at the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse.
Visit our website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/inhalant. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Massachusetts Inhalant Abuse Task Force at 617-624-5140 or send E-Mail to email@example.com.
*For more information about science-based prevention programs, visit the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) at nrepp.samhsa.gov