CMPD Arrests Northlake Mall Shooting Suspect

Shooting Took Place in Broad Daylight in Parking Lot of Busy Shopping Mall

From The Charlotte Observer by Meghan Cooke, February 25, 2012

A 25-year-old man who has been on the run since a shooting outside Northlake Mall more than two weeks ago has been arrested, police said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they took Carlton Lamonte Ardrey into custody about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Charlotte.

CarltonLamonteArdrey.jpg

Carlton Lamonte Ardrey, 25.

Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Ardrey is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a gun by a felon in connection with the Feb. 6 shooting, which happened in the parking lot outside of the Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dillard’s stores at Northlake.

Police said Ardrey shot a 23-year-old man, whose injuries were described as non-life-threatening. Police said they believe the shooting was not random.

Records show Ardrey, who goes by the nicknames “Psycho” and “Sike,” has been arrested about 20 times in Mecklenburg County, mostly on drug charges.

His criminal convictions include drug possession and breaking and entering vehicles, according to the N.C. Department of Correction.

After Ardrey is questioned by investigators, he’ll be taken to Mecklenburg jail, police said.

Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Support U.S. Armed Forces Organization Hosting Events to Help Soldiers, Looking for Volunteers

Support U.S. Armed Forces is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare, and encouragement to our men and women in uniform. Serving in the Armed Forces is often seen as both courageous and brave, garnering much respect by all. However, it is no secret, while battling for our freedom on foreign soil, troops are often battling anxiety over how their families are doing back home. By supporting our military and their families, we hope to reduce our soldiers’ burden so that they may protect the freedoms that we continue to enjoy.

We want to shower our military and their families with the support that they need and deserve to keep them encouraged for the next mission. As you know, a lot of the military personnel have been at War for over 10 years now, and some have made three or more tours of duty in a foreign country. They have left their families for periods of up to 15 months at a time, often leaving a very large burden on the families to carry on without them. Feeling alone, coupled with financial strain, can take a toll on both the families and the active duty soldier serving us many miles away.

Welcome Home Packages

We delivered over 2000 Welcome Home Packages to Fort Bragg and Norfolk Naval Station in January. Here is one of the testimonies we received from a battalion commander of the 82nd Airborne that shows how your support is making a difference.

“Thanks so much for your generous donation to our redeploying Soldiers. It’s great to return, but it is so much sweeter when you are met with gratitude and appreciation. The Soldiers you affect through your donation will certainly remember it and I’m sure every box will make an impact.Just a quick note to say your actions are appreciated.

2012_02 Verizon_Delivery_Picture

LTC Craig A. Whitten, Battalion Commander, 264th CSSB, 82nd Sus Bde
We would like to thank Verizon for providing Volunteers to deliver Welcome Home Packages and to encourage our heroes.

Upcoming Event:  Support U.S. Armed Forces Inaugural Clay Shoot

Plans are currently underway for our next fundraiser, our Inaugural Sporting Clay Classic.  The fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 12th at Deep River Sporting Clays in Sanford, NC.  Sponsorships and shooting slots (both individual and team) are currently available.  The day will be begin with shooter registration and warm-ups followed by a great lunch provided by Unforgettable Food Affairs.  We will then hold the competition rounds and the day will end with an awards ceremony based on the Lewis Scoring System.  Based on this scoring system, no matter how much (or little) you shoot, you will have an equal opportunity to win.  With the registration fee each participant will also receive ammunition for the event and a Cabelas Gear Bag.  The participants will have a fun and exciting day while supporting our servicemen and women and their families.  For more information and to register, visit our event Facebook page at or contact our Development Director, Donna Murray, at 919-554-6252 or dmurray@supportusarmedforces.org.

Would you like to Volunteer?

We are looking for volunteers in the Raleigh, NC area with skills in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and other related disciplines to assist on fundraising and special event committees throughout the year.  Volunteers will work with Support U.S. Armed Forces Staff and other volunteers in all aspects of fundraising, event planning, and event execution.

Our organization also welcomes Supporter Organized Fundraising Events.  There is always a way you can be involved.  Maybe you have a special craft you make and sell, consider hosting a community-wide yard sale, help your child set up a lemonade stand, or hold a bake sale or raffle at your office.  The possibilities are endless when you put your imagination to the task.  No matter how large or small the event, every dollar raised helps us carry out our mission.  If you are interested in serving on a Fundraising or Special Events Committee or holding a Supporter Organized Event, please visit our volunteer webpage and fill out the volunteer form.  Or you can contact our Development Director, Donna Murray, at 919-554-6252 or dmurray@supportusarmedforces.org.
With the end to the Iraq War and normal troop rotations, we have over 15,000 military personnel returning in the next 6 months, so please consider donating to encourage our military and their families at www.supportusarmedforces.org.
Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMS Bus Driver, Disorderly Students Battle It Out

Information From www.wbtv.com By Molly Grantham, Anchor, February 20, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Some Garinger High School students say their bus driver is rude to them, swears at them and has physically trapped one student’s arm in bus doors.

19-year-old Tequilla Banks, a senior, showed WBTV cell phone video of the bus driver calling her a “stupid b**ch.” 

Bad bus behavior

 

Banks admits there has been some back-and-forth problems between she and the driver, most recently when the driver accused her of smoking on the bus. 

Banks says she wasn’t smoking. She does admit she slapped the driver’s hand out of her face when the driver, she says, put it up in front of her. Banks got suspended for “assault on a school official.” 

Banks younger sister, a junior at the school, also got suspended for allegedly threatening the bus driver. She maintains she didn’t.

The girl’s mother says it’s the bus driver’s responsibility to be the bigger person.

“If she was trying to keep them under control she wouldn’t curse at them,” Kathy Banks said. 

“She would’ve stopped the bus and parked it and called in on them and had the police come and remove them off the bus. But she didn’t. She provoked them. And that’s the wrong thing for a bus driver to do.”

Three different students showed us cell phone videos (one of them being Tequilla’s video of the name-calling).  All three videos show disruptive conduct from the students.

The students involved are at the bus stop at Delivau Drive and Barrington Drive in east Charlotte.

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

When 911 Is a Joke

Detroit Citizens No Longer Rely on Police as Self-Defense Killings Skyrocket

From TheDaily.com By Mara Gay Sunday, February 5, 2012

The people of Detroit are taking no prisoners.

Justifiable homicide in the city shot up 79 percent in 2011 from the previous year, as citizens in the long-suffering city armed themselves and took matters into their own hands. The local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average. Residents, unable to rely on a dwindling police force to keep them safe, are fighting back against the criminal scourge on their own. And they’re offering no apologies.

“We got to have a little Old West up here in Detroit. That’s what it’s gonna take,” Detroit resident Julia Brown told The Daily.

The last time Brown, 73, called the Detroit police, they didn’t show up until the next day. So she applied for a permit to carry a handgun and says she’s prepared to use it against the young thugs who have taken over her neighborhood, burglarizing entire blocks, opening fire at will and terrorizing the elderly with impunity.

“I don’t intend to be one of their victims,” said Brown, who has lived in Detroit since the late 1950s. “I’m planning on taking one out.”

How it got this bad in Detroit has become a point of national discussion. Violent crime settled into the city’s bones decades ago, but recently, as the numbers of police officers have plummeted and police response times have remained distressingly high, citizens have taken to dealing with things themselves.

In this city of about 700,000 people, the number of cops has steadily fallen, from about 5,000 a decade ago to fewer than 3,000 today. Detroit homicides — the second-highest per capita in the country last year, according to the FBI — rose by 10 percent in 2011 to 344 people.

On a bleak day in January, a group of funeral directors wearied by the violence drove a motorcade of hearses through the city streets in protest.

Average police response time for priority calls in the city, according to the latest data available, is 24 minutes. In comparable cities across the country, it is well under 10 minutes.

Citizens like Brown feel they have been left with little choice but to take the law into their own hands.

The number of justifiable homicides, in which residents use deadly force in self-defense, jumped from 19 in 2010 to 34 last year — a 79 percent rise — according to newly released city data.

Signs that vigilantism was taking hold in the city came earlier, around Memorial Day 2009, when former federal agent Alvin Davis decided he’d had enough of the break-ins at his mother’s home on the east side. She called the police again and again, but the brazen robberies continued. Davis, then a 32-year-old Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, snapped.

Prosecutors said he spent days chasing and harassing the teenagers who were allegedly robbing his mother, even shoving his federally issued firearm into one of their mouths. No one was killed, but by the time he was done, Davis had racked up charges of unlawful imprisonment and assault. In August 2010, he was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.

But many residents in his mother’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood are sympathetic to Davis, whose case is on appeal.

“He basically did what a lot of us wished we could do,” said Ken Gray, 58, who lives down the street from Davis’ mother.

One high-ranking official in the county legal system, speaking to The Daily, said the rise in justifiable homicides mirrors a local court system that’s increasingly lenient of the practice.

“It’s a lot more acceptable now to get your own retribution,” the official said. “And the justice system in the city is a lot more understanding if people do that. It‘s becoming a part of the culture.”

Detroiters are arming themselves with shotguns and handguns and buying guard dogs. Anything to take care of their own. And privately, residents say neighborhood watch groups in Detroit are widely armed.

“It’s like the militiamen who stepped up way back when. That’s where the neighborhood folks are,” said James “Jackrabbit” Jackson, a 63-year-old retired Detroit cop who has patrolled the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood for years.

“They’re ready to fight,” Jackson said. “We don’t hardly see police anymore.”

The city’s wealthier enclaves have hired private security firms. Intimidating men in armored trucks patrol streets lined with gracious old homes in a scene more likely seen in Mexico City than the United States.

That kind of paid protection can run residents anywhere from $10 to $200 per month, and companies say business is good.

“We’re booming,” said Dale Brown, the owner of Threat Management Group, which along with Recon Security patrols neighborhoods like Palmer Woods in black Hummers.

“We’re paramilitary, but we’re positive. I’m not a vigilante. I’m an agent of change.”

The Detroit Police Department, grappling with deep funding cuts in a city with a spiraling budget crisis, acknowledges that response times are high and says it is working on a plan to lower them. But a spokeswoman for the department insists the rise in justifiable homicides is unrelated.

“It’s not about police response time because often the act has already taken place by the time the police are called,” said Sgt. Eren Stephens. She said citizens have a right to defend themselves.

“Anytime a life is lost, we’re concerned,” she said. “But we can‘t be on every corner in front of every home. And we know that there are citizens who will do what they have to do to protect themselves.”

That’s the terrifying position in which Kevin Early found himself in November when he was held up at gunpoint outside his home in the upper-middle-class Rosedale Park area. Neighbors called the police, but it was 25 minutes before an officer arrived.

Early, the director of the criminal justice studies program at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus, reasoned with the men for more than 20 minutes before he sensed they were about to shoot him in the head — then he ran. As his attackers fled in the opposite direction, neighbors emerged from the street’s stately homes with shotguns.

“All I could think of was my daughter coming home,” Early said. “I didn’t want her to see me shot dead.”

Weeks later, Early packed up his home and left Detroit. He hired Threat Management to supervise the move.

“Where else do the police come to your house after you’ve been robbed and ask you, ‘Why did you call us?’

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 11:55 am  Leave a Comment  

“911 System Is a Joke”: Self-Defense Killings Skyrocket as Law Abiding Detroiters Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

From The Buckeye Firearms Association by Chad D. Baus, Vice Chairman, February 16, 2012

TheDaily.com reported recently that justifiable homicide in the City of Detroit shot up 79 percent in 2011 from the previous year, as citizens in the long-suffering city armed themselves and took matters into their own hands.

According to the article, the local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average. Residents, unable to rely on a dwindling police force to keep them safe, are fighting back against the criminal scourge on their own. And The Daily says they’re offering no apologies.

From the article:

“We got to have a little Old West up here in Detroit. That’s what it’s gonna take,” Detroit resident Julia Brown told The Daily.

The last time Brown, 73, called the Detroit police, they didn’t show up until the next day. So she applied for a permit to carry a handgun and says she’s prepared to use it against the young thugs who have taken over her neighborhood, burglarizing entire blocks, opening fire at will and terrorizing the elderly with impunity.

“I don’t intend to be one of their victims,” said Brown, who has lived in Detroit since the late 1950s. “I’m planning on taking one out.”

How it got this bad in Detroit has become a point of national discussion. Violent crime settled into the city’s bones decades ago, but recently, as the numbers of police officers have plummeted and police response times have remained distressingly high, citizens have taken to dealing with things themselves.”

The article goes on to say that in Detroit, a city of about 700,000 people, the number of cops has steadily fallen, from about 5,000 a decade ago to fewer than 3,000 today. Detroit homicides — the second-highest per capita in the country last year, according to the FBI — rose by 10 percent in 2011 to 344 people.

According to the latest data available to The daily, the average police response time for priority calls in the city is 24 minutes. In comparable cities across the country, it is well under 10 minutes.

Citizens like Brown feel they have been left with little choice but to take the law into their own hands.

The number of justifiable homicides, in which residents use deadly force in self-defense, jumped from 19 in 2010 to 34 last year — a 79 percent rise — according to newly released city data.

Signs that vigilantism was taking hold in the city came earlier, around Memorial Day 2009, when former federal agent Alvin Davis decided he’d had enough of the break-ins at his mother’s home on the east side. She called the police again and again, but the brazen robberies continued. Davis, then a 32-year-old Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, snapped.

Prosecutors said he spent days chasing and harassing the teenagers who were allegedly robbing his mother, even shoving his federally issued firearm into one of their mouths. No one was killed, but by the time he was done, Davis had racked up charges of unlawful imprisonment and assault. In August 2010, he was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.

But many residents in his mother’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood are sympathetic to Davis, whose case is on appeal.

“He basically did what a lot of us wished we could do,” said Ken Gray, 58, who lives down the street from Davis’ mother.

One high-ranking official in the county legal system, speaking to The Daily, said the rise in justifiable homicides mirrors a local court system that’s increasingly lenient of the practice.

“It’s a lot more acceptable now to get your own retribution,” the official is quoted as saying. “And the justice system in the city is a lot more understanding if people do that. It’s becoming a part of the culture.”

Detroiters are arming themselves with shotguns and handguns and buying guard dogs. Anything to take care of their own. And privately, residents say neighborhood watch groups in Detroit are widely armed.

“It’s like the militiamen who stepped up way back when. That’s where the neighborhood folks are,” said James “Jackrabbit” Jackson, a 63-year-old retired Detroit cop who has patrolled the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood for years.

“They’re ready to fight,” Jackson said. “We don’t hardly see police anymore.”

The city’s wealthier enclaves have hired private security firms. Intimidating men in armored trucks patrol streets lined with gracious old homes in a scene more likely seen in Mexico City than the United States.

That kind of paid protection can run residents anywhere from $10 to $200 per month, and companies say business is good.

“We’re booming,” said Dale Brown, the owner of Threat Management Group, which along with Recon Security patrols neighborhoods like Palmer Woods in black Hummers.

“We’re paramilitary, but we’re positive. I’m not a vigilante. I’m an agent of change.”

For its part, The Daily reports the Detroit Police Department, grappling with deep funding cuts in a city with a spiraling budget crisis, acknowledges that response times are high and says it is working on a plan to lower them. But a spokeswoman for the department insists the rise in justifiable homicides is unrelated.

“It’s not about police response time because often the act has already taken place by the time the police are called,” said Sgt. Eren Stephens. She said citizens have a right to defend themselves.

“Anytime a life is lost, we’re concerned,” she said. “But we can’t be on every corner in front of every home. And we know that there are citizens who will do what they have to do to protect themselves.”

That’s the terrifying position in which Kevin Early found himself in November when he was held up at gunpoint outside his home in the upper-middle-class Rosedale Park area. Neighbors called the police, but it was 25 minutes before an officer arrived.

Early, the director of the criminal justice studies program at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus, reasoned with the men for more than 20 minutes before he sensed they were about to shoot him in the head — then he ran. As his attackers fled in the opposite direction, neighbors emerged from the street’s stately homes with shotguns.

“All I could think of was my daughter coming home,” Early said. “I didn’t want her to see me shot dead.”

Weeks later, The Daily reports Early packed up his home and left Detroit, and that he hired Threat Management to supervise the move.

“Where else do the police come to your house after you’ve been robbed and ask you, ‘Why did you call us?'”

 

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

National Shooting Sports Foundation: “Santorum ‘Stands Tall’ for 2nd Amendment at NSSF Member Range”

From The Buckeye Firearms Association by Bill Brassard, February 16, 2012

Fresh off primary victories in three states, presidential candidate Rick Santorum demonstrated his strong support for the individual right to keep and bear arms by visiting H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City en route to a rally today.

H&H is a NSSF Five Star member range owned by Miles and Jayne Hall.

The Santorum rally originally was scheduled to be held at H&H, but a surge of requests to attend the event forced a change to the Magnuson Hotel and Convention Center, where a crowd estimated at close to 2,000 gathered. The candidate delivered a speech that focused largely on energy, reported News On 6.

During his pre-rally visit at H&H, Santorum said, “I wish we could have had it here, this would have been perfect.”

He added, “I am very impressed. It is easy to see why gun ownership is so strong here, and I stand tall with the Second Amendment.”

Said Miles Hall, founder and president of H&H, “It was a great honor to show a small but important part of the shooting industry to one of our presidential hopefuls.”

Republished from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s NSSFBlog.com.

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Salisbury Home Invader Shot, Killed by Intended Victim

From http://www.wcnc.com, February 19, 2012

SALISBURY, N.C. — An attempted robbery suspect was killed Saturday in a scuffle with his intended victim, according to Salisbury police.

Marlon Barber, 23, tried to pull a gun on a man during attempted robbery at the man’s home on North Lee Street around 10:30 p.m., according to police.

Man shot and killed by homeowner

The two began fighting. The homeowner was able to grab the gun and shoot Barber in the chest.

Officers later found Barber at a nearby home, but were unable to revive him. Police are trying to determine if the two men knew each other.

Man Dies in Robbery Attempt on Salisbury’s North Lee Street

From The Salisbury Post by Shavonne Potts, February 19, 2012

SALISBURY — A man is dead after authorities say he attempted to rob a Lee Street homeowner late Saturday night. The suspect broke into a home at 813 N. Lee St. and “pistol-whipped” the occupant. But the homeowner was able to get the gun and shoot the suspect.

Salisbury Police confirmed the struggle and that the would-be robber tried to run away around the corner from the house.

Police didn’t identify the dead man pending notification of relatives. He died on the front porch of a nearby home at 125 E. Steele St. of a gunshot wound, said Salisbury Police Capt. Shelia Lingle.

The homeowners at 125 E. Steele St. were home at the time of the incident, around 10:30 p.m.

A second person may have been involved in the robbery attempt, but investigators could not confirm that.

The North Lee Street homeowner, a 47-year-old man, was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and as a precaution, Lingle said.

One neighbor, Addie “Sue” Judge, said the homeowner knocked on her door and asked for help.

He told Judge he was hurt and he had just shot someone.

Judge said she was scared and regrets not letting the man into her house while she called police.

She said she saw two men running up the street after the shooting.

“He’s a sweet guy,” she said of her neighbor.

James Woodson, another neighbor, said he didn’t hear the shooting.

Woodson said he was asleep and was awakened by the telephone. A neighbor called to ask him if he knew what was happening next door.

“She called me and said, ‘Look outside your door,’ ” Woodson said.

Other neighbors said they heard someone screaming for help, but didn’t know who it was. No one gathered on the street Saturday night said they heard any gunshots.

The neighbors said the homeowner had just been robbed about two weeks ago.

Salisbury Police detectives continue to investigate.

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Offering Workshops for Mecklenburg Residents

 From www.crimeclt.blogspot.com by Meghan Cooke, February 17, 2012

Registration is now open for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s spring workshops for the public.

The “community education workshops” will teach people about the department’s history, recruitment process, training of recruits and officers, crime prevention techniques, criminal investigations, gangs, volunteer opportunities and more.

The workshops are open to Mecklenburg County residents age 18 and older. Applications are not necessary to attend, but registration for each workshop is required.

Mecklenburg residents who are at least 18 years old can also apply to participate in the Citizens Academy program. Those who participate in this program will be able to see exercises and demonstrations of police operations. An application and background check is required to participate in the Citizens Academy.

The workshops will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at CMPD headquarters on East Trade Street in uptown or at the Police and Fire Training Academy on Shopton Road in southwest Charlotte.

The workshops begin March 13.

For more information and registration, visit CMPD’s website or call 704-432-1655.

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD: Woman Attacked by Man Posing as Employee at Hotel

From The Charlotte Observer by Meghan Cooke, February 17, 2012

Police are searching for a man they say attacked a woman at a southwest Charlotte hotel after apparently posing as a maintenance worker.

The woman was in her room on Feb. 11 at the Days Inn on East Woodlawn Road, not far from Interstate 77, when she heard a knock at the door, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The man said he was with maintenance, police said. The woman let him in, and then he briefly looked around the room and left. But he soon returned, and she let him in again.

The man stayed in the bathroom for some time but emerged and “came at her aggressively,” police said.

The man lunged for the phone in her hand, according to police, but the woman pulled out a knife and struggled with him. The suspect took the knife from her, cutting her on the hand, police said.

Then, the man fled, taking the woman’s phone with him.

He was described as a black male in his 30s who is about 5-feet-11 with a medium to large build. Police said he has a receding hairline and gold in his mouth.

He was last seen wearing glasses and a two-piece jogging suit with a triangular design on the front. He was spotted leaving the hotel in a light color, possibly gold, Ford Crown Victoria-style car.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

 

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

3 New Dangerous Drug Habits in Kids and Teens

By Allison Becker | LiveScience.com, February 18, 2012

It’s well-known that teens experiment with illegal substances such as alcohol and marijuana. But recently, children and teens have turned their attention to substances found at home or local convenience stores. They’re abusing parents’ prescription painkillers, energy drinks and computer cleaners. 

Here are three new drug trends among kids:

Energy drinks in elementary school

In recent years, drinks that combine alcohol with caffeine, such as Four Loko, have been blamed for the deaths of teens and college students. But a new epidemic involves younger children: elementary school students are drinking highly caffeinated energy drinks to catch a buzz. Even without alcohol, these drinks are dangerous to kids’ health.

“Energy drinks are gateway for elementary school kids,” said Mike Gimbel, a national substance abuse educator. “They drink it like it’s water. Nurses have kids coming in with heart palpitations.”

Gimbel said he has also observed a growing fascination among elementary school students with caffeinated gel strips that you place on the tongue, such as ones made by the brand Sheets. 

“One strip is equal to a cup of coffee, but kids are putting five or six in their mouth at once,” he said. “You can overdose on caffeine by taking three or four.”

Overconsumption of caffeine, especially in young children who have smaller bodies, can cause seizures, strokes or even sudden death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Huffing Dust-Off

Huffing, or inhaling household products, is not a new phenomenon. But experts have started to see an increase in teens huffing the computer cleaner called Dust-Off, a trend that started a few years ago. 

Dust-Off, sold at office supply stores, can be inhaled to produce a high lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. 

“One of the attractions is that it can be felt almost immediately,” said Harvey Weiss, executive director of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition. “You don’t have to wait for something to happen.”

Inhalants can cause nausea, nosebleeds, impaired coordination and, in some cases, death.

According to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2010, about 2 million kids ages 12 to 17 had tried inhalants, the most popular being glue, shoe polish or toluene, a solvent.

Weiss said that parents should look to see if their children have a “sudden drop in grades, a rash around mouth or nose, a change in friends, weight loss or an odor of products on their breath.”

Thirty-seven states currently regulate the sale of inhalants to minors, but many of these products are easily accessible within the home, he said. 

“I hear from parents, especially those who have lost children, that they were aware of inhalants, but never imagined their kids would do them, so it wasn’t discussed,” Weiss said.

Pharm parties

At age 14, Brittany Gaydosh, walked into a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house, drank a couple of shots of Bacardi 151 rum, and made her way to a Ziploc bag filled with pills. 

“There were Ecstasy, Xanax, Percocets, Valium and other pills in the bag that night,” Gaydosh said. “I took four Ecstasy pills and a Xanax.”

Throughout her teenage years, Gaydosh attended at least 20 parties like this, the now 23-year-old said. She would take handfuls of pills, wash some down with alcohol, and save the rest for later. And she’s not alone. According to experts, such parties, known as “Skittles parties” (because of the brightly colored pills) or “pharm parties,” have rapidly gained popularity among teens. 

“At a lot of the parties, they just throw the pills on the table,” Gaydosh said. “It’s like candy that you can take home with you.” 

Teens are taking painkillers, mainly highly addictive opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin, from medicine cabinets in their own homes, said Dr. Petros Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York in Manhattan. 

“They’re getting these prescription pills from parents or grandparents,” Levounis said. “Say I go to the dentist for a tooth extraction and I get 30 painkillers and maybe take one. My granddaughter could go into my medicine cabinet without me knowing and bring the rest of the pills to a party.”

A recent report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that each year, more people die from prescription painkiller overdoses than from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. 

“Addiction to prescription opioids has become the most important problem we face,” Levounis said. 

Pass it on: Many teens are getting dangerous highs from drugs easily found in stores or homes.

This story was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow MyHealthNewsDaily on Twitter @MyHealth_MHND.

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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