NEW YORK [Reuters, Apr 24, 2006] --- About 20 percent of U.S. teenagers admit they have gotten high by inhaling common household products, and fewer understand the dangers of this practice compared with teenagers five years ago, according to a report released Monday.
Sniffing or "huffing" vapors from ordinary products like glue, spray paint, nail polish remover, and gasoline was once a "fringe" activity, said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership.
But by the mid-1990s, the practice had "exploded nationwide," he told Reuters Health, and even elementary school children were experimenting with the inhalants readily available under their kitchen sinks.
Here, if you are observant enough while driving or walking, you would see street children holding plastic bags and sniffing it. What's inside? A cheap contact cement substance or glue or "rugby," which can be bought at a cheap price in any hardware or small stores that sell construction materials. It is easily accessible and anyone can buy it. It is the cheapest form of a dangerous substance.
Street children usually would like to get "high" to forget their problems and most probably also to forget the ever nagging pain of hunger. Occasionally, there would be local drives by the city government to curb this practice, but after some time, it dies down, and the street children will be back sniffing the lethal fumes of "rugby." Because of the practice, they're even given the moniker "rugby boys," which any Western fellow might mistake for some new sports group.
The surveys say that the main reason for inhalant abuse is "lack of education." Maybe. I would like to think it is just one of the many reasons. In the US setting, it can also be due to boredom or depression. Here, I think it is mainly depression. And yes, I almost forgot, it can also be indifference from most people.