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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Amarillo TX School System: Kids Inhaling Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

Courtesy of Amarillo Globe News
 (click on title link for original source)

I guess if someone needed a high bad enough, they could get one off toothpaste. Who knows? What makes anyone even think about something like this?

But here's a memo that was sent from the Amarillo ISD last week to its schools:

"Please share this with appropriate staff at your school.

"One of our schools reported that students are inhaling hand sanitizer to get high. After researching and calling the Texas Panhandle Poison Control Center, here is what we understand about this trend.

"The brand they are huffing is Germ-X. Germ-X is 62% alcohol. The alcohol makes the lining of the nose tingle and may make them dizzy. There is no known connection between inhaling hand sanitizer and truly getting high. The dangers are in other areas of concern:

"1. Germ-X contains phenol. While phenol does not create a high, it can lead to respiratory arrest and possible death. Huffing (inhaling) phenol is a bad idea.

"2. Several blogs cited inhaling Germ-X as the user's gateway to drinking alcohol. There have been cases where teens and others drink hand sanitizer for the alcohol. This is likened to the alcoholic that resorts to rubbing alcohol when that is the only thing that is available.

"3. The tendency to inhale Germ-X is most likely an indicator that the youth may be experimenting with other inhalants. According to our data, inhalant experimentatin is most likely to occur between 4th and 8th grade. Some youth will try it and never try anything else. Others will become addicted like gasoline, paint, etc. and contine using for many years.

"If you have Germ-X in your classrooms, keep an eye out for misuse. Also, if you have a child who inhales Germ-X or any other inhalant, get them fresh air and consider contacting the parents so they can safeguard their child once he or she leaves the school."

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