Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Carmel on the Case: Hidden High
Parents already have enough to worry about when it comes to drugs and alcohol. But now there's a new danger that can be nearly impossible to detect. In tonight's Carmel on the Case, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero uncovers this "hidden high" that's being used by kids as young as 9 years old.
WSVN--Maeleen Cardoni: "She was very smart. She did very well in school. No marijuana, no cocaine, meth...nothing.
Maeleen Cardoni taught her daughter Shannon to say *no* to drugs.
But the one danger not on her parental radar: "dusting" - inhaling compressed gas from computer cleaners to get an instant high.
It penetrates your brain with toxic poisons.
Just a few months ago, the hidden addiction ended Shannon's life at only 19 years old.
Maeleen Cardoni: "I was not aware of the things that kids were doing with this."
Dramatized in the film "13" -- dusting is the latest chapter in inhalant abuse... Where kids get high off of household products like glue or air fresheners.
In the state of Florida, such abuse is actually on the rise.
Experts estimate there was a 22 percent increase among 7th to 9th graders from 2000 to 2004.
Jim Hall: "Inhalant abuse is significantly on the rise and unfortunately it's occuring in mostly younger children."
In Florida it is against the law to buy, use, or sell inhalants for the purpose of getting high.
Some stores won't even sell computer cleaners unless you're 18 or older.
Jim Hall: "They are also often the most deadly and most likely to kill in just a single episode."
Shannon's mom knows all too well what can happen.
Now, she can only hope other parents will protect their kids from this hidden high.
Maeleen Cardoni: "I don't want another parent or family to feel the hurt and the grief and the loss i have and my family has."
Carmel Cafiero: "There are safer alternatives - like dusting spray made with carbon dioxide. If you're worried about your child using inhalents, keep an eye out for signs of misuse like irritabilty, mood swings, rashes, and dilated eyes. Carmel Cafiero 7 News."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
If you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE