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Michael Fay in Drug Clinic for Gas-Sniffing Habit

September 29, 1994

KETTERING, Ohio (AP) _ Michael Fay has entered drug rehab for a butane-sniffing habit he relied on to forget about his flogging in Singapore, his stepmother said.

Jan Fay said her stepson was admitted to the Hazelden clinic in Minnesota several weeks ago after she and his father learned he had been inhaling the gas from pressurized cans to get high. Butane is used in cigarette lighters.

Fay, 19, told her sniffing butane helped him forget about the four lashes to the buttocks with a rattan cane he got in Singapore for vandalizing cars.

″But you can’t blame Singapore for everything,″ Mrs. Fay said Wednesday. ″Michael knows that now. He knows that he has to take responsibility for his actions.″

Fay denied he spray-painted cars and said police coerced a false confession from him. After spending 83 days in a Singapore prison, he returned to his father’s home in suburban Dayton on June 22.

On Sept. 2, Fay was treated at a hospital for burns to his hands and face. Fay claimed he and some friends had been working on a car when someone struck a match and there was a flash, Mrs. Fay said.

But a few days later she found about a dozen cans of butane in his room, and she and her husband confronted him.

″Finally, it all came out,″ Mrs. Fay said.

She said he admitted he had inhaled butane in Singapore and was sniffing the gas when he was burned. He agreed to get treatment.

″He does want to get on with his life,″ she said.

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