JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department has charged five people with "breathing, inhaling or possessing certain intoxicating compounds" since April. Police told Region 8 News that underaged people, 16 to 20 years old are the ones looking to get that quick high.
"We've had problems with it before," Sergeant Lyle Waterworth with the Jonesboro Police Department said. "It's very cyclical."
Sergeant Waterworth said they're seeing an increase in huffing incidents. "Huffing" isn't a new fad. It's where people take common, household items such as spray paint, glue or air duster to get high.
Drug Recognition Expert with JPD, George Martin said this is something he and other DRE cops are seeing more of. Chiefly, because the items are so easily obtainable.
"Now they've got laws where they have to be a certain age to get it but, it's something where anyone can get it for them and most likely it's in all of our houses," Sergeant Martin said.
He said that when people inhale these compounds, not only do they lose brain cells, but it can cause them to black out. Wednesday, a Jonesboro woman inhaled air duster and got behind the wheel. She then crashed into a home. However, Sergeant Martin said the outcome can be much worse.
"While you're inhaling it, it can kill you. There have been cases of that where it's killed them right there with the can in their hand...so it's a dangerous substance," Sgt. Martin said.
Martin said they're working to inform people of the dangers that come along with huffing.
We can put the education out there but you're still going to have those kids that are curious, wanting to know what the draw is," Martin said. "So we're going to combat it all the time."
If that doesn't stop them, Martin said they have no problem cracking down on offenders, as they have no tolerance for huffers.
"We will arrest, and we will charge them with it and then we'll send them to court and that's the only way they're going to learn," Martin told Region 8 News. "The more arrests we make on it, we're hoping, that that's in the long run, going to deter people from trying it, or even wanting to experiment with it."
Sgt. Waterworth told Region 8 News that if a person is charged with breathing, inhaling or possessing intoxicating compounds, they'll be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. Waterworth said that means up to 90 days in jail and a fine no more than one thousand dollars.