Anti-drug groups want YouTube to yank clips that show 'huffing'
Two drug abuse prevention groups are calling on the video-sharing website YouTube to remove dozens of videos that show people getting high by "huffing," inhaling chemicals such as air fresheners, computer cleaning sprays and helium.
The National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) sent e-mails to its 9,000 members just before Thanksgiving, asking them to complain to YouTube about the videos. This month, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), an organization of more than 5,000 anti-drug groups, asked its members to do the same. NIPC also posted public service ads on YouTube, warning that inhaling chemicals can cause brain damage and death.
"These videos portray (inhaling chemicals) as a fun activity without showing the consequences," says Harvey Weiss, executive director of NIPC, a non-profit organization based in Chattanooga, Tenn. "This is a potentially fatal activity."
The outcry over the videos reflects concerns about teenagers' abuse of inhalants, which has increased in recent years, according to Monitoring the Future, an annual drug use study by the University of Michigan.