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Local businesses take precautions to prevent inhalant abuse

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Aug 20 2013 06:36:37 PM MDT
Local businesses take precautions to prevent inhalant abuse
BUTTE, Mont. -

NBC Montana is taking a closer look at inhalants after Butte police said they're investigating whether huffing played a role in a recent crash.

Officers reported finding eight cans of Dust Off in a car that crashed into a Harrison Avenue business Saturday.

The Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff told us five teen girls between the ages of 13 and 15 were in the car at the time.

NBC Montana spoke with businesses today to learn how they work to keep those products out of the hands of people who might abuse them.

Staples is one of the local business that sells the keyboard cleaner commonly known as Dust Off.

General Manager Todd Gasser told me the company is well aware that the product could be abused.

Gasser said Staples takes two steps to control the sales of this type of product.

First, they won't sell it to anyone under the age of 18.

Secondly, all employees are trained to watch out for people who might be buying the product to abuse it.

We also tracked down the Facebook pages of the five girls allegedly involved in the crash.

We are not releasing their names because of their age, but we saw one published a post saying this was a "wake-up call."

Here are some facts about the dangers of inhalants from the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition:

The organization says inhalants slow down the body's functions, making the user feel high.

But the high can also result in a loss of consciousness, or worse, "Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome."

That means the user can die suddenly from a single use of the product.

Experts say it's never too early to talk to your kids about the use of inhalants.