updated 3/17/2005 3:14:21 PM ET 2005-03-17T20:14:21

Experts say a higher percentage of youngsters ages 12 to 13 used inhalants rather than marijuana in the past year.

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And they say that points to a need for more attention to the problem.

Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, says the dangers of inhalants must be underscored, especially since they’re readily available and legal.

Hair spray, deodorant, nail polish remover and paint thinner all can be dangerous. They are common products that are legal, but contain substances that affect how a brain works.

Clark also says studies show children who use inhalants move on to marijuana as they get older.

Clark’s remarks coincide with the release of supporting data. Next week is National Inhalants and Poisons Week.

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