Common household items make easy access for huffing

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police have made several arrests in the past week for huffing.


According to police reports from a recent case, Wednesday, April 18, officers arrested 39-year-old Misty Michelle Carr on charges of shoplifting and breathing, inhaling, or drinking certain intoxicating compounds.


Carr told police she was addicted to inhalants for a few months and "me getting arrested is a blessing cause (sic) I have a problem with this."


The arrest for breathing intoxicating compounds is Carr's third since September 2011.


"When we deal with someone who has been caught huffing, it's not a one time thing, usually. It's usually offenses on the same person," said Jonesboro Police Department sergeant Lyle Waterworth.


"The Jonesboro Police Department has three cases where she was involved ingesting Freon, or ingesting air duster or other compounds."


A Walmart employee told police Carr stole six cans of Ultra Air April 17, and April 18 stole five cans of an air duster, purchased four cans, and stole two 20-ounce sodas.


According to the April 18 police report, Carr smelled of urine, but told police she could not remember if she had urinated on herself.


Better Life Counseling Center therapist Jeff Cline said using household items such as computer keyboard cleaner, mouthwash and hand sanitizer to get high is common among substance abusers.  "I've worked with several cases," Cline said. "It's easy access and a pretty potent thing."


"There's over a 1,000 household products that have some type of potential mood altering affect. One of the challenges of inhalants is the accessibility of it and the low cost of it."


Cline said the addiction symptoms are similar to the symptoms from other drugs, such as dizziness and slurred speech. "I think that one thing parents need to do is just make the warning of inhalants part of those talks about the dangers of any kind of potential drug use."


Cline said the consequences from inhalants are also the same, such as an increased heart rate, cardiac arrest and death.


"It's basically drowning yourself. You're removing the oxygen from your brain and you're replacing the oxygen with other compounds," said Sgt. Waterworth.


Inhaling intoxicating compounds is a Class B misdemeanor in Arkansas.  The penalty is up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Police say a judge sentenced Carr to 30 days at the Craighead County Detention Center for shoplifting and 300 days for inhaling intoxicating compounds. The judge told Carr he might reconsider the sentence if she agreed to complete an eight-month rehabilitation program. 

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