This gripping program shares unforgettable real stories of teens fighting their abuse of inhalants (huffing), as well as two families who lost children to inhalant abuse. Another interview segment involves an Ohio police officer, Jeff Williams, whose son died after a brief experiment with inhalants. In between these true stories, a group of teens talk directly to viewers addressing the addictive nature of inhalants and clearly outline the damage these toxic chemicals cause to the brain, heart and lungs. The accompanyingTeacher’s Resource Book provides additional follow-up assignments and reinforces the program’s powerful never-use message.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Inhalant Abuse, Huffing, Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE), Abuse of common household products, Inhaling toxic substances, whippets, Sudden sniffing death syndrome (SSDS), Kim Manlove, Professor George Rodgers
DVD contains Spanish subtitles.
Starred Review This video packs a wallop, as it focuses primarily on the devastated family members of a teen who died from inhalant abuse. While having less clinical information than most of the distributor’s videos, the program features two reenactments of sniffing-related deaths. The one of 13-year-old Aria really hits home when her parents, sister, and numerous friends share how awful and unexpected her death was. Her mother recalls how, in retrospect, there were signs that something was wrong, but they weren’t obvious at the time. Police sergeant Jeff Williams is also emotional and effective when talking about his 14-year-old son, Kyle, who also died. Dr. George Rodgers details the number of common household products that can be inhaled, including computer duster, furniture polish, paint, and paint thinner. He points out that inhalants damage organs as well as cause cancer and that they create an adrenaline spike that often leads to cardiac arrest. It is emphasized that huffing may be the most dangerous form of substance abuse. The animation depicting heart, lung, and brain interaction with inhaled chemicals is very easy to understand. Still, the best and most impactful part of the short film is the anguish every affected person expresses. It’s doubtful that anyone can watch this without being moved by the ending, which features the names and ages of four teens killed by inhalants. VERDICT This is an excellent video for schools.
–John R. Clark, formerly with Hartland (ME) Public Library
School Library Journal