Police: teens huffing chemicals from air horns on the rise
In the last two weeks the Lincoln Police Department has responded to at least ten cases of teens huffing chemicals.
Lincoln Police Officer Luke Bonkiewicz said huffing is when someone releases the chemicals in an aerosol can in a confined space and then inhales them to get get high.
He said a teen had to be hospitalized this week after huffing, prompting the department to release a new PSA to raise awareness.
Most of these recent cases have involved teens using canned air horns stolen from sporting goods stores.
The medical impacts can be serious and long lasting, he said, and require immediate medical attention.
"When LPD responds to a suspected case of huffing our main priority is not law enforcement action, we're not looking to charge or arrest someone,” Bonkiewicz said. “Our main priority is to save somebody's life and get them medical treatment."
Symptoms include paint or chemical smells around the mouth, acting drunk or disoriented and light headedness or nausea.
LPD urges parents and school employees to pay attention to sounds of air horns coming from cars or confined spaces and look out for discarded aerosol containers.
They also ask store managers to reduce access to the chemicals and report it immediately if they are stolen.