Many Crees now talk about drinking and drugs in the communities, but the growing problem of sniffing among children is less out in the open.
“We are certain that children are sniffing in some communities, and suspect it ishappening in all the communities,” says Bob Imrie, health promotion officer with theCree Health Board’s Montreal office.
Kids usually sniff to imitate parents or family who are drinking heavily. Solventslike gas, nail polish remover and glue are sniffed
because they are free, easy to get and not illegal.
“Lock your gas and other solvents away from kids,” says Imrie.
“Sniffing is very dangerous. If used repeatedly, it causes severe and permanent braindamage. In some cases, it can kill.”
To combat sniffing, the Cree Health Board has supported the creation of an activitybook for children that will soon be available in all schools.