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Inhalant Abuse: 
It's Right Under Your Nose


Introduction: Inhalant abuse is the breathing in of gases and vapors with the intent to produce an altered state of consciousness. Commonly abused substances include computer gas duster ("Dust-off" and other similar products) White Out, gasoline, butane (from cigarette lighters and refills), propane (from barbecues), air fresheners, FreonŽ (from air conditioners), spray paint, dry erase and magic markers, glues and adhesives, and any aerosol, to name a few. Inhalant abuse causes significant neurological impairment and can result in death by asphyxiation and heart arrhythmia as well as accidents, fires and explosions. Studies show that for seventh and eighth graders, inhalants are the third most abused substance (after alcohol and tobacco). Use of inhalants  is a significant problem, yet many people are unaware of this silent epidemic.

Goal: The goal of the workshop is to acquaint participants with the problem of inhalant abuse and to equip them with the skills to understand prevention strategies and to intervene with and treat youth and adults who are inhaling gases and vapors to get high.

Presenter: Howard C. Wolfe has been working with adolescents in the field of substance abuse for many years and is the former Associate Director of the CASPAR Alcohol and Drug Education Program. He has completed several projects on inhalant abuse for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health including a state wide research project on inhalant abuse, developing educational materials for health professionals, teachers and parents and planning a statewide conference on inhalant abuse treatment. He is a founding member of the Massachusetts Inhalant Abuse Prevention Task Force. In 2003, he was awarded a grant from the US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention to initiate the New England Inhalant Abuse Coalition, which has been able to reduce first time use among New England Teens by over 40%. He has trained over 15,000 people on inhalant abuse prevention and treatment and has been a keynote speaker at two National Inhalant Summit in Washington, DC. and has appeared on the Today Show. He is currently the director of the New England Inhalant Abuse Coalition  and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Arlington, MA.

Content Overview:


Defining the problem.

What is inhalant abuse.
What are the consequences of inhalant abuse.
How widespread is the problem. Who is abusing inhalants.
Why youth abuse inhalants.
What are the patterns of abuse.
How substances are abused.
How to recognize abuse.


Understanding strategies for the prevention of inhalant abuse.

Prevention lessons and activities.
Parent and community education.
Controlling access to inhalants in the school and community.
Prevention activities to avoid.
Prevention resources.


How to help someone who is abusing inhalants.

Assessing the problem.
What constitutes effective treatment of inhalant abuse for adults and youth.
Prevention in treatment settings.


For more information about training,
please contact Howard C. Wolfe at 781-643-7272 or