HOW DO I
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.
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
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.
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.
you have an interest in reducing inhalant usage in your area,
this campaign is for you.
DO I GET WHEN I JOIN NIPAW?
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.
to date statistics about inhalant use in the country
comprehensive "How To" guide to conduct a local media/awareness
education and background information
on working effectively with the media
art for print reproduction (with space to add local identification)
to the editor
art for overhead presentations
NIPAW UPDATES indicating what other Partners are doing and
any new statistics and information that become available
list of NIPAW Partners in your state
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.)
DO I JOIN NIPAW?
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.
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.