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20th annual National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week
(NIPAW) are March 18 – 24, 2012






One on five students in America has used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the eighth grade. Parents don't know that inhalants, cheap, legal and accessible products, are as popular among middle school students as marijuana. Even fewer know the deadly effects the poisons in these products have on the brain and body when they are inhaled or "huffed." It's like playing Russian Roulette. The user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time a product is misused as an inhalant.

Prevention through education has proven to work against this popular form of substance abuse. This is why the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition has developed National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW), an annual media-based, community-level program that takes place the third week in March. NIPAW is designed to increase understanding about the use and risks of inhalant involvement. It is an inclusive program that involves youth, schools, media, police departments, health organization, civics groups and more. It has proven to be an effective means of mobilizing communities to reduce inhalant use. Almost 2,000 organizations and individuals from 46 states participated in the last NIPAW campaign.

Does NIPAW work? Yes. Results from Texas, where extensive state-wide NIPAW campaigns have been conducted, have been remarkable. Between 1992 and 1994, there was a reduction of more than 30 percent in elementary school inhalant use and a reduction of more than 20 percent at the high school level (based on state agency surveys of more than 176,000 students). This translates into over 100,000 students who may have used inhalants but didn't.

Who should join? NIPAW Partners have included sponsors from state government agencies (education, health, alcohol & drug, etc.), state associations such as retailers, medical and pharmacy groups, state alliances of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, local anti-drug coalitions, community and regional drug and alcohol councils, police departments and DARE officers, district attorneys, scout troops, firefighters, the National Guard, PTO/PTA chapters, faith communities, civic and voluntary organizations, student councils, local retailers, schools, individual parents, Poison Control Centers, local medical communities (hospitals, emergency medical services, individual doctors and nurses, retailers, pharmacists, etc.) and TV and radio stations - just to mention a few. If you fall into any of these groups and want to prevent or reduce inhalant use in your community, this campaign is for you. The campaign can be conducted anytime and anywhere there is a need for inhalant awareness education.

If you have an interest in reducing inhalant usage in your area, this campaign is for you.




Each NIPAW Partner receives a Local Coordinator's Kit and weekly NIPAW UPDATES detailing what activities are happening around the country and what is working in various communities. The kits are available in England and English/Spanish.

The kit includes:

  • up to date statistics about inhalant use in the country
  • a comprehensive "How To" guide to conduct a local media/awareness campaign
  • inhalant education and background information
  • suggested campaign activities
  • tips on working effectively with the media
  • camera-ready art for print reproduction (with space to add local identification) for:
    • bag stuffers
    • window flyers
    • posters
    • newspaper/magazine print ads
    • brochures
    • handout flyers
  • sample copies of:
    • letters to the editor
    • op eds
    • radio scripts
    • editorials
    • news releases
    • media advisories
  • camera-ready art for overhead presentations
  • regular NIPAW UPDATES indicating what other Partners are doing and any new statistics and information that become available
  • tips for teachers
  • a list of NIPAW Partners in your state

(Print art will be available in two versions in each kit: one with the products depicted and the other without the products. Coordinator's kit will be available in English and Spanish.)



Joining is easy.

  • Either e-mail NIPC with your name, organization, address and phone number or call 1-423-902-9266 to add your organization to our list of NIPAW Partners.
  • NIPC waits to include the latest national inhalant statistics ("The Monitoring the Future Survey," available in December) in the Local Coordinator's Kit. Accordingly, kits are not mailed to Partners until the end of January.