Wednesday, June 27, 2018

VSA Headlines - June 2016

UK

Blackburn woman, 37, had a history of solvent abuse: A woman who died after inhaling from a canister had a history of solvent abuse, an inquest has heard.

Birmingham shisha bar 'lets children inhale hippy crack': Children as young as nine have inhaled laughing gas provided by a shisha bar where the practice draws hundreds of youths at a time, police say.

Laughing gas canister dealers not bovvered by Council campaign: Photos taken by residents in Wapping show that the Council’s Nitrous Oxide – No laughing matter campaign is just a bit of a giggle to the people selling laughing gas canisters by the box load on our streets.

USA

Vero Beach police identify man found dead in car parked off U.S. 1 in suspected overdose (FL): DeWitt said investigators found aerosol cans inside his vehicle and believe he overdosed while huffing. The three cans were all Maxwell Blast Away, typically used for cleaning electronics.

Cody psychiatrist convicted, sent to prison for DUI crash (WY): A Park County jury convicted [him] of a felony count of aggravated assault and battery and misdemeanor counts of driving while under the influence of a substance and unlawful use of a toxic substance.

Quinhagak Man Assaults Tribal Police Following Huffing Incident (AK): According to the report, Tribal police contacted [the] 32-year-old as he was “huffing” gas and attempted to take him into custody.

Brutal Police Officer Knew Nothing of Autism, Parents Say:  Suing the Buckeye, Arizona, police officer who beat up their autistic 14-year-old while he was playing with a piece of string in a public park, the boy’s parents say department brass justified it by saying the boy’s repetitive behavior indicated that he was “under the influence of an inhalant.”

Huffing and graffiti problem addressed with one ordinance (OK): A Tulsa city councilor says it's time to get tough on teenagers who mis-use spray paint and has now proposed an ordinance to regulate the sale of spray paint to juveniles.

Hollister City Council approves emergency ordinance limiting butane sales (CA): [The city attorney said] the ordinance would only regulate the quantity to 600ml for a 30-day period [and] would also require vendors to keep sales records on how it was sold and to whom.

Major retailers say they’ll phase out sales of paint stripper with chemical linked to dozens of accidental deaths (NY): Home Depot, Sherman Williams and Lowe’s all have announced that they will no longer sell products containing methylene chloride.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in FL and MI while other VSA-associated arrests took place in LA and WV.

MEXICO

Will ‘Mexico’s Corbyn’ clean up at the country’s elections? Jobs are scarce, solvent abuse common, conditions miserable. La Cuesta is a stark reminder that Mexico’s steady economic growth has bypassed its poor majority.

RUSSIA

Glue sniffing, street fighting and crushing poverty – life on the margins of Russian life revealed in photographer’s incredible iPhone pics: Markov's bleak depiction of Russia's grittiest streets has sparked waves of backlash on his Instagram account.

JAPAN

Cannabis consumption rates surpass huffing paint in Japan for the first time: Cannabis consumption is on the rise on Japan. And while marijuana continues to be illegal and highly stigmatized, rates of cannabis use have surpassed the consumption rates of other inhalants for the first time.

INDIA

Gutka-thinner inhalation rampant among school students in Trichy, say doctors (Tamil Nadu): Doctors speaking at the World No Tobacco Day, which was observed on May 31 said that the practice of inhaling gutka along with paint thinner after a certain process is predominantly done by students between 15 to 17 years of age. The feeling of instant and prolonged high, affordability and availability of gutka are considered to be the reasons for teenagers resorting to this practice

NEW ZEALAND

Fears terrifying, deadly LPG huffing craze could sweep country: New Zealand emergency services and health officials have warned Kiwis not to partake in a "dangerous", "idiotic" and potentially deadly craze that's sweeping Australia.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

VSA Headlines - May 2018


On 23rd May, David Hanson, Chair of the All Party Political Group on NPS and VSA moved a debate in the Commons on Psychoactive Substances: "The use of NPS is a small part of a much wider drug problem, but it is important. I wanted to bring air the matter in the House not to be critical of the Government but to raise an issue that I hope they will look at today or after the debate." Read the full text of the debate in Hansard.

UK

Family's aerosol warning after daughter dies from inhaling deodorant: A family from Gloucester whose daughter, 12, died after inhaling aerosol spray from a can of deodorant have launched a campaign to warn other children and parents about the danger: Visit the Facebook page.

Teenager who killed two elderly best friends after inhaling 'hippy crack' at wheel of car is jailed for decade: [The 18-year-old] was seen holding a balloon to his mouth and inhaling gas before crashing into a car.

Hundreds of motor bikes roll into Exmouth for addiction charity: This year’s ride has raised more than £7,000 and organiser John Bramble, whose son Craig died from solvent abuse 17 years ago, said the support the family has had this year is ‘amazing’ and believes the event is getting bigger ‘year after year’.

Ringstead charity’s campaign to raise £30,000 in 30 days to mark 30 years: Solve It, which is based in Ringstead, raises awareness of the dangers of abusing solvents and new psychoactive substances (NPS). The charity needs to raise funds to ensure it can continue delivering the service into its 30th year.

CanadaHub brings five new productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: One-man show Huff from Toronto’s Native Earth Performing Arts is the tale of Indigenous brothers struggling with solvent abuse and the death of their mother, with more than a dozen characters portrayed by Cliff Cardinal.

Two delivery drivers are caught on CCTV ‘inhaling “hippy crack” while at the wheel of their company van: Shocking CCTV footage claims to show two delivery drivers driving off a busy main road then inhaling 'hippy crack' while at the wheel of their company van.

I found God after solvent abuse overdose: Writhing on his bedroom floor, his mind and body wracked with pain from a solvent abuse blackout, Andy Elmes said a quiet, desperate prayer, ‘God, if you’re there, help me.’

Luke Haines - I Sometimes Dream of Glue: Album reviews from Cherry Red, Brooklyn Vegan: Indie Basement and Soundblab.

CANADA

White Buffalo Treatment facility celebrates grand reopening: The treatment centre, one of the few facilities in Saskatchewan which treats solvent addictions, is part of a national network of facilities providing a holistic form of addictions treatment to young girls between ages 12 and 17.

Long time Ka-Na-Chi-Hih employee retires: Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Specialized Solvent Abuse Treatment Centre’s Sarah Simon, in white jacket, celebrated her retirement with two of her children and the staff and clients at the Thunder Bay-based treatment centre. Photo by Rick Garrick.

USA

Driver huffed air duster prior to fatal crash, police say (NM): New details have surfaced regarding a deadly pedestrian crash in Farmington last Thursday.

Driver who huffed, then drove wrong way on I-94, killing 3, gets 75 years in prison (WI): The driver charged with killing three Minneapolis men after heading the wrong way down Interstate 94 last summer in western Wisconsin was sentenced Monday to 75 years in prison.

Western Alaska teen injured in propane huffing incident, troopers say: A teenage Alakanuk girl was injured when a propane tank a group of young people were huffing fumes from caught fire, the Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

Temporary (hopefully) GDPR restrictions are limiting access to a number of US websites presently but reports of traffic incidents and other VSA-associated arrests have come in from AR, CAFL, MINE, NYPASCTN, VA and WY.

MEXICO

Solvent abuse a growing, but invisible,problem for Mexico City’s homeless: In Mexico, a growing problem of solvent abuse amongst the capital’s poorest residents has the government concerned. But not, it appears, the wider society.

AUSTRALIA

Petrol sniffing education campaign to ramp up as NT police investigate death of 12 year-old boy (NT): Northern Territory authorities are set to ramp up an education campaign about petrol sniffing following the death of a 12-year-old boy in Arnhem Land this week.

Croc attack most likely cause of boy's death (WA): The boy ... had severe intellectual disabilities as a result of suffering from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. So severe was the boy’s solvent abuse that he was hospitalised following near-fatal episodes a number of times.

Remote youth organisation urges supermarkets to lock aerosol cans up, reduce substance misuse: An outback youth organisation is calling on national supermarkets chains to help minimise volatile substance misuse in Mount Isa, by placing inhalants like deodorant cans in locked cabinets.

Perth parents warned to be vigilant over nang abuse, delivery (WA): Parents are being urged to be vigilant after an increase in the abuse of nitrous oxide cannisters, known as nangs.

NEW ZEALAND

Huffing blast survivor and domestic abuser  set to be released from jail: [He] made national headlines, after he and [a] fellow teen suffered critical injuries when an LPG bottle they were huffing from exploded at a Mosgiel home in 2012.

UGANDA

Crackdown on drugs should be sustained (Kampala): The police on May 15 carried out a crackdown on sellers of what is widely thought to be aviation fuel to street children, ending years of inaction on a menace that continues to openly plague major towns across the country.

SOUTH AFRICA

Glue-sniffing to ‘bear’ with life’s struggles: Not only adults, but children too fall prey to drug abuse, in order to cope with life’s realities. One of the most prevalent substances abused by many is glue.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

VSA Headlines - April 2018


£75,000 grant will help Stone charity tackle substance abuse: Stone charity Re-Solv has received a welcome cash boost of £75,000 from Lloyds Bank Foundation to help more people overcome the misuse of solvents and other household substances across the West Midlands.

UK

Girl, 12, died from deodorant overdose after she inhaled an aerosol: The pathology report said she had died from a condition known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome which results from increased adrenalin leading to heart arrhythmia.

Teenage driver who killed two men in crash after inhaling laughing gas is jailed: [He] had inhaled a balloon full of nitrous oxide just moments before smashing into a van in Farningham, Kent.

Inquest hears how ultra-fit ex-army bomb expert was found dead at his home: An ultra-fit former army bomb disposal expert found dead at his home just days after his wedding may have taken poppers before he died, an inquest heard yesterday.

Man who threatened father with claw hammer after being caught sniffing aerosols avoids jail: A man who bit and threatened his father with a claw hammer after being discovered sniffing aerosols has avoided prison.

Revving up to raise funds for addiction charity: John and Wendy Bramble, the organisers of the event, started the charity bike ride four years ago after their son Craig lost his life to solvent abuse in 2001.

Nitrous Oxide cannisters thrown from car on Hog's Back after occupants seen 'inhaling and driving': "Obviously I couldn’t see their faces properly as they were covered with a balloon."

Public drug taking to be targeted by new community wardens in Royal Borough: After evidence of large quantities of the legal high nitrous oxide was found in car parks and public toilets in the borough, the council agreed to increase the size of its street warden team from 18 to 25.

USA

Arkansas father pleads not guilty to battering 2-month-old; authorities say man acknowledged inhaling canned air: [The] man accused of injuring his 2-month-old son last year after deliberately inhaling canned air has pleaded not guilty to a felony battery charge.

Winona man was huffing propane before vehicle explosion last week (MN): A Winona man whose 1999 Chevrolet Blazer exploded on Prairie Island Road last week was huffing propane before the incident, Police Chief said Monday.

Dangers associated with huffing (IN): First responders and a local health expert wants to warn people about the dangers associated with huffing.

Serial huffer arrested for 18th time but still can’t be charged (MO): An man repeatedly arrested for huffing, was arrested for the 18th time on Thursday.  Then he was released for the 18th time because there isn't a specific law against "huffing".

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in MI (in Troy and Mount Pleasant) while other VSA-associated arrests and emergency call-outs took place in AR, CAIN, MAOHTX and WV.

CANADA

'Huffing' aerosol dust remover no 'risk of danger' — motorist wins acquittal (ON): An Ottawa man who parked his car at the Carlingwood Mall to get high on the contents of aerosol spray cans — his girlfriend didn’t like him “huffing” at home — did not put the public at risk, a judge has ruled.

INDIA

90 per cent of street kids in National Capital addicted to drugs, reveals MoS for Social Justice (New Delhi): While 21,770 of these cases are attributed to tobacco use and 9,450 can be linked with alcohol abuse, inhalants and cannabis do not fall far behind with 7,910 and 5,600 cases being reported in these regards respectively.

Bookseller sold intoxicants to minors, arrested (Delhi): A bookseller has been arrested from Jahangirpuri for selling intoxicants in the form of fluid tubes to children.

AUSTRALIA

'Petrol sniffing' teens call in fake stabbing to cops (QLD): Reports of a person being stabbed to death were confirmed as a hoax when emergency services were called to a Urangan home.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

VSA Headlines - March 2018

64 deaths from VSA in GB last year

New research published this week from the Office for National Statistics and National Records of Scotland shows that deaths caused by VSA are significantly higher than previously thought.

Re-Solv has had concerns for some years that VSA mortality has been underestimated since the loss of the annual St George's report in 2012, which drew on coroners' reports to provide detailed analysis. So this work by the ONS to really investigate the true extent of deaths caused by gases, solvents and other volatile substances across Great Britain is very welcome.

"In 2016, there were 64 deaths related to volatile substances registered in Great Britain; over 80% of these volatile substance abuse (VSA) deaths were males.

"There were 834 deaths involving volatile substances registered between 2001 and 2016.

"Residents of Scotland and North East England had an increased risk of death related to VSA, when compared with Great Britain overall." (Read the full report here.)

The ONS note that 27% of all VSA deaths involve more than one substance (volatile or otherwise) and/or alcohol. As always, if you are working in substance misuse services, please assess for VS-use. Our Guidance and Assessment tool is available to download or give us a call on 01785 817885 for additional information and/or support.

Other headlines this month include:-

UK

Popular teenager died of misadventure, inquest concludes: A grieving family and a coroner have warned of the “devastating” consequences of inhaling lighter fuel following the tragic death of a 15-year-old boy.

Thomas Cook aircraft engineer died surrounded by 'hippy crack' canisters: A 23-year-old aircraft engineer suffocated to death in his family home after inhaling nitrous oxide while wearing a military-style gas mask.

Tributes paid to ‘local champion’ ex-Wrekin MP Warren Hawksley [who] became Director at the Staffordshire-based substance abuse charity Re-Solv in 1998.

Number of people killed by glue sniffing and hippy crack soars by 15% in a year to claim 64 lives: More than 500 people have died inhaling helium in the past 15 years as glue sniffing and hippy crack fatalities soar by 15% in 12 months, new figures reveal.

USA

Grieving mother shares story of son’s deadly addiction to huffing (MO): A grieving mother is sharing the story of her son's addiction to huffing to warn others of the potentially deadly dangers.

Couple charged with child abuse, giving 5-month-old inhalant (TX): Port Isabel Police arrested a couple they say sexually abused a baby and gave the infant an air inhalant.

16-year-old Wyoming driver killed in crash near Pinedale (WY): Authorities are investigating excessive speed, drug use and possible huffing in the wake of a crash which took the life of a 16-year-old near Pinedale on Thursday.

She’s been arrested 10 times since September — twice in the Keys. Now a man is dead: A North Carolina woman arrested twice in January for allegedly huffing aerosol cans in Marathon is now reportedly facing a felony death charge in her home state.

Man shot by San Bernardino police after he crashes into vehicle, reportedly pulls firearm at officers (CA): A man who police said was acting erratically and huffing aerosol was rushed into surgery after he was shot by San Bernardino police officers Thursday night.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in FLIN and OR, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, MOMN, Greensburg PASpringettsbury Township PA, SCTX and WI.

Huffers hitting up homeowners' HVAC units for Freon (TN): People are going around to homes and sucking the chemical gas used as a refrigerant in HVAC systems to get high. It's called Freon huffing.

Legislators seek to include aerosol spray duster in DWI law (MN): In February, the Fox 9 Investigators exposed a dramatic rise in overdoses - some of them fatal - from huffing cans of spray-duster. The chemical in the cans is not covered by Minnesota DWI laws, so lawmakers are now taking steps to change that.

Michigan House of Representatives passes bill targeting 'whip-its' (MI): On Thursday, March 8, Michigan's house of representatives passed a package of bills limiting the sale and distribution of nitrous oxide containers.

MALAYSIA

Glue sniffing, ‘safe’ drugs no trivial matter, says Sarawak minister: Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Hamzah said the state’s fight against drugs is not helped by federal lawmakers’ failure to support its push for regulatory laws to curb glue sniffing and the abuse of non-scheduled drugs.

AUSTRALIA

Boy remained in care of drug-addicted parents (NT): A 12-year-old boy who died sniffing aerosol cans remained in the care of his drug-addicted, alcoholic parents despite numerous warnings made to child protection agencies.



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

VSA Headlines - February 2018

UK

Man who put ex-partner through 'terrifying' 20-hour ordeal while high on butane has jail term cut: [He] admitted two counts of putting a person in fear of violence and was locked up for 40 months at Bolton Crown Court in June last year.

My son’s death made me a tireless campaigner: ​Graham Tanner lost his son to solvent abuse. He now campaigns to make manufacturers adopt alternatives to lethal gasses and solvents

Fined: Former Dagenham shopkeeper after knife and butane gas sold to teenagers: A former shopkeeper who sold a knife and potentially lethal gas to two teenagers has been ordered to pay more than £1,700

Gwent Police warn of risks posed by inhaling nitrous oxide, or 'laughing gas': Reports of young people inhaling so-called “laughing gas” in Caerphilly have prompted police to warn of the dangers of the substance.

Thousands of children seeking treatment for addiction: Thousands of children in England are seeking treatment for drug addiction, according to the latest figures.

USA

Man found dead in New York beside 22 aerosol cans and one in his mouth (NY): A man has been found dead in New York City surrounded by almost two dozen aerosol cans, after he apparently “huffed” compressed air.

Blown Away: The Perils of Compressed Air (MN): Minnesota men are dying from an inexpensive and easily accessible way to get high that appears to be perfectly legal.

Woman who was convicted in 'huffing' crash that killed Highland Park girl is out of prison (IL): A woman who was high on inhalants when she drove her car onto a Highland Park sidewalk, plowing into a family and killing a little girl, was freed from prison Friday after serving less than four years.

Police say teen high on inhalants when he crashed into utility pole (KS): A Garden City teen was arrested Thursday on allegations of DUI and drug possession after driving into a utility pole on Kansas Avenue after passing out from alleged inhalant use.

Police charge Marion Elementary teacher with inhaling fumes (NC): A Marion Elementary School teacher was arrested and charged after she was reported by a staff member for inhaling aerosol fumes, according to reports.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in OH while other VSA-associated arrests took place in IAID, IN, OHTN, WI.

Here’s a quick and dirty history of poppers, the gay community’s sexual inhalant: Many gay and bisexual men use poppers as a euphoric sex-drug: The nitrate-based inhalants provide an intense and disorienting rush of sensation that helps relax involuntary muscles in the throat and anus, assisting with oral and anal sex. According to writer C. Brian Smith, the history of poppers itself is long and interesting — let’s take a peek at some of his factual finds.

BOLIVIA

Deadly Habits Passed Along to Children: I was in a taxi rushing to an interview when I passed a family of glue sniffers sprawled on the sidewalk. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. A man was helping a small child inhale something from a bag.

UAE

Butane abuse reaching worrying levels among UAE's teens, experts say: Sixty people were arrested for inhaling lighter fluid over the past three years, according to Ministry of Interior statistics.

TAIWAN

Woman arrested for driving while high on laughing gas: Not a laughing matter: Woman arrested for driving while inhaling laughing gas.

PHILIPPINES

Hardware stores told not to sell solvents to minors: The City Government of Cagayan de Oro issued a stern warning to hardware store owners in the city caught selling solvents to minors.

BANGLADESH

A new family for glue-sniffing street kids in Dhaka: Breathing in fumes from glue-soaked rags and glue-filled plastic bags is a normal activity for a large number of Dhaka’s slum kids and street children.

AUSTRALIA

Spike in petrol sniffing reported in Western Australian desert community despite rollout of Opal fuel: There's concern about a spike in petrol sniffing in a remote desert community in WA's north, despite a rollout of Opal fuel in the area.

SOUTH AFRICA

Why Did This Man Step In Front Of A Train On New Year’s Eve? Gays in South Africa are four times more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Deadly escape from reality: It is not very difficult to spot a street child addicted to glue. Maritzburg Sun ventured onto the streets to meet some of these children, many of them familiar faces to motorists and pedestrians.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

VSA Headlines - January 2018

Public Health England have published details of alcohol and drug misuse treatment in prisons and other secure settings from the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS).

In 2016-2017, 71 adults in secure settings received help for solvent use, down from 84 in 2015-16. 12 young people (aged, on average, 15 years old) also received treatment in secure settings, again down from 16 (aged, on average, 16.5) last year.

Read the full report here.

UK

Fourth Action on Addiction from Weymouth to Exmouth confirmed for 2018: The event was launched by Chickerell resident, John Bramble, in memory of his son Craig who sadly died from solvent abuse in 2001.

Man sentenced after being caught burgling north Belfast flat wearing socks on his hands: Belfast Crown Court heard that during the burglary, he "stopped to engage" in inhaling aerosol from an air freshener.

Megan McKenna and Love Island's Mike Thalassitis ‘caught inhaling hippy crack’ from balloons as they party with TOWIE pals: Megan McKenna and Mike Thalassitis were seen inhaling from a balloon during a night out in London on Boxing Day.

BULGARIA

Bars flogging 'hippy crack' to boozed up Brits in wild Bulgarian ski resort: Bars in a ski village dubbed “Magaluf on Ice” are flogging balloons of hippy crack to boozed-up Brits.

USA

'Huffing' being investigated in death of 31-year-old Superior woman (CO): Investigators are trying to determine if "huffing" played a role in the death of a 31-year-old Superior woman after a can of compressed air was found next to her body.

Woman helped girls huff, MC sheriff says (FL): A video given to the Marion County Sheriff's Office led to the arrest of a 26-year-old woman who stands accused of encouraging two underage girls to inhale from an air duster.

House committee rejects bill to legalize huffing (NH): Libertarian representative says he doesn't think practice should be illegal.

Huffing on the bus (WI): A man was captured on cellphone video appearing to inhale fumes to get high on a Milwaukee County Transit System Bus. It's not the police, but passengers themselves who jumped into action.

Buzzing Brain - Nitrous Oxide: from the Erowid Experience Vaults.

Man, who was on probation, sentenced to prison after huffing air, crashing & injuring 3 others (ID): A local man who huffed compressed air from an air duster and injured three people in a violent car crash was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in MIBlue Ash OH and Fairview Park OH while other VSA-associated arrests took place in Marathon FL, Palm Bay FLIAIL, NHOHOK and WV.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC

Teens detained in Naryn for sniffing aerosol cans and drinking alcohol: Teenagers were detained for drinking alcohol and sniffing aerosol in a public order maintenance raid in Naryn, Turmush reported.

AUSTRALIA

Kids arrested after attempts to steal deodorant, which police believe was intended for chroming use (QLD): A girl has been caught on camera trying to rescue her friend after he became trapped trying to steal aerosols for “chroming” in Townsville.

SINGAPORE

Man who assaulted wife while in remission jailed: He also has issues with alcohol and inhalant abuse, and was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

BANGLADESH

2.5 million Bangladeshi children are drug addicts: The Dhaka-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) said 19 per cent of such children use heroin, while 28 per cent took tablets and another 8 per cent injected drugs. Cannabis, heroin, stimulant or sleeping pills, glue and gasoline sniffing are popular among such children in Bangladesh, the BSAF added.

Friday, December 22, 2017

VSA Headlines - December 2017

PHE and the Department of Health have published the latest treatment statistics for both young people and adults.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, 359 adults and 430 young people were in in treatment services for VSA. Among young people in treatment, "primary solvent users have the lowest median age of 15" and 9% of under-13s in treatment services are using solvents.

Other headlines this month include:-

UK

Mystery of child who was found dead in bed: Post-mortem results showed [the 11-year-old] had died from cardiac arrest caused by inhaling butane or propane – the propellants in the Sure deodorant she was found with.

Professor Aneez Esmail, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the General Practice Awards: Professor Esmail has published extensively on areas related to public health and primary care, including work on prevention of cot deaths, epidemiology of solvent abuse, preventing paediatric admissions and evaluation of telemedicine.

Men filmed inhaling from balloons while driving long motorway: Even the driver can be seen sucking back air from the balloon, possibly because it contains nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas or hippy crack.

Moment driver overtakes on fast lane verge as passengers “inhale from balloon”: The man who captured the footage reported seeing passengers inhaling from balloons in the back of the car.

Shops face closure by Tower Hamlets Council for selling ‘laughing gas’ illegally: Police are making sweeps on council estates in east London to stop gangs hanging around using ‘laughing gas’ to get their kicks.

Out on his gas: Motherwell's Jacob Blyth ditched by footie club three weeks after holiday snaps appear to show him inhaling “hippy crack” in Marbella.

Police discover nitrous oxide canisters in Haddocks Wood in Runcorn: Officers invited residents to report any locations where canisters can be found to PCSOs so the council can safely dispose of the cans.

Ban energy drinks from schools because they're ‘legal highs’, demands teaching union: The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) says the stimulants in the drinks contribute to ‘poor behaviour'.

IRELAND

Judge says Ireland 'becoming an uncaring country' as he hears about homeless man addicted to abusing gas for a decade: Ireland is becoming an uncaring country, a judge has said after hearing that a homeless man has spent a decade addicted to abusing butane gas to forget his “tragic existence” on the streets of Dublin.

NETHERLANDS

Laughing gas sales rise by 400% in the Netherlands: Coupled with less restrictive sales and increased usage at dance festivals the sale of laughing gas canisters has risen by whopping 400 percent.

TURKEY

6,000 addicts applied to treatment center in Turkey’s Manisa in first five months of 2017: Users of synthetic cannabinoid do not use this substance on its own. They also use volatile substance, hashish, alcohol, and methamphetamine,” Aslıhan said.

USA

The latest Monitoring the Future report has been published. This year, 43,703 students from 360 public and private schools participated in the survey to report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Findings on the use of inhalants were as follows:

"Use of inhalants significantly increased among 8th grade students in 2017. Inhalant use includes sniffing glue, gases, or sprays, and is an unusual type of substance use because it is more common among younger than older adolescents. In 2017 the percent of 8th grade students who had ever used inhalants in their lifetime increased 1.2% to 8.9%, a significant increase; use in the past 12 months increased 0.9% to 4.7%, also a significant increase.

"This upturn may mark the end of a gradual decline that started nearly a decade earlier in 2008.
For some years MTF has warned that inhalant use is primed to increase. Perceptions of risk from using inhalants among 8th graders have been steadily declining since 2010, which is often a leading indicator of future increases in prevalence.

"Any illicit drug use including inhalants also significantly increased among 8th grade students in 2017. Lifetime use increased 2.7% to 23.3% and past 12 month use increased 2.3% to 15.8%, both significant increases. These increases were driven primarily by the upturn in inhalant use."

The survey is funded by the NIDA, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and conducted by the University of Michigan. Read the full report here.

Other USA headlines this month include:-

Inhalant abuse twice as common in adolescents vs. adults: Adolescents were more than twice as likely to abuse inhalants in 2015 than adults, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Siblings Seek to Close DWI Loophole in Brother's Memory (WI): A Rosemount man wrote to his lawmaker in hopes of closing a driving-while-intoxicated statute loophole in Minnesota by adding difluoroethane (DFE) to the list of intoxicating substances.

Northern Californian in fatal wrong-way crash was allegedly high on air duster (CA): A Cal­i­for­nia man ac­cused of caus­ing a crash last month that killed three men in Wisconsin has been charged with homicide.

Mother warns about the dangers of "huffing": "No mother should have this as the last picture of their children," says Danielle Wellard, who lost her son to the addiction in 2004.

Man who entered stranger's party naked drunk after sniffing glue sentenced to prison (OR): A man who showed up at a party naked and groped a woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

$1,000 on whipped cream? Huffer’s 75-bottle-a-day habit made him act ‘aggressively’: (WA) A man’s bizarre behavior is being blamed on the amount of whipped cream bottles he was huffing daily, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Thieves breaking into yards, "huffing" refrigerant from AC units: Throughout the country there’s a trend involving people “huffing” refrigerant from AC units.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in ARCT and MN, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, FL, MIOH, OH, OKPA, TX and WY.

AUSTRALIA

Growth in chroming worrying authorities after two teen deaths in Townsville (NQ): A 13-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl died in Townsville after inhaling toxic chemical fumes in search of a high, a practice known as chroming.

Homeless youth charity prepares for serious talks with government: A meeting has been scheduled between the State Government and Cairns charity Street Level Youth Care following the Cairns Post’s revelations this week of widespread inhalant abuse in the city.

MALAYSIA

Glue-sniffing at worrying level: Glue-sniffing especially among children is at a worrying level, said State Community Development and Consumers Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid.

Legislation needed against glue sniffing: An Intoxicating Substance Act should be put in place to prohibit the misuse of certain substances which may cause intoxication when inhaled.

Criminalising glue sniffing solves nothing: Whenever I hear of someone calling for the criminalisation of an addiction as a method of prevention, I get nervous.

Treat it as a health problem: Malaysia is now frequently showcased internationally as an example of what can happen when resources are invested in a programme supported by proven strategies and evidence-backed interventions such as needle exchanges and opioid substitution therapies, which is why criminalising glue sniffing or inhalant addiction in general is a bad idea.

Glue-sniffing addicts in Melaka feed their habit by becoming parking touts: A group of glue sniffers are using threatening tactics to extort money from unsuspecting motorists who wish to park their vehicles.

SOUTH AFRICA

Tips to help prevent your child from committing suicide or sniffing glue: Scientists have revealed that parents who are supportive protect their youngsters from wanting to commit suicide or sniff glue.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

VSA Headlines - November 2017

Rise in percentage of pupils in England who have used volatile substances in the past year - from 2.9% in 2014 to 4.4% in 2016

The new Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England - 2016 report has been published showing an increase in the number of 11-15 year old pupils who report having used drugs. In their summary, the ONS note:

24 per cent of pupils reported they had ever taken drugs. This compares to 15 per cent in 2014. Part of the increase since 2014 may be explained by the addition of questions on nitrous oxide and new psychoactive substances. After allowing for this however, it still represents a large increase which has not been observed in other data sources. Therefore an estimate from the next survey in 2018 is required before we can be confident that these survey results reflect a genuine trend in the wider population. In the meantime the results for drug taking from this survey should be treated with caution.

Rates of use were as follows:

"The proportion saying they had taken volatile substances has been around 3% to 4% since 2010, and class A drug use around 2% to 3% across the same period. Nitrous oxide and new psychoactive substances were included in the drug prevalence measure for the first time in 2016, with 4% and 2% of pupils respectively saying that they had taken them in the last year."

Pupils’ early experience of drug use was most likely to involve cannabis (40%) or volatile substances (39%). After cannabis (21%), pupils were most likely to have been offered volatile substances (11%) or nitrous oxide (9%). Pupils who tried drugs at an earlier age were more likely to report using volatile substances.

The percentage of pupils who have used volatile substances in the past year has risen from 2.9% in 2014 to 4.4% in 2016 (4.1% boys and 4.8% girls). This does not include nitrous oxide or poppers which have been used by 4% and 0.6% of pupils respectively in the past year.

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VSA Headlines this month include:

UK

'Hippy crack' nitrous oxide IS an illegal drug - but only when it's being used to get high, rule senior judges: The party drug known as hippy crack is not a 'medicinal product' and is illegal, senior judges ruled today.

Dundee man, 30, caused alarm by inhaling gas: [He] admitted that on February 27, at Murraygate, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm, repeatedly inhaled gas from a gas canister and refused to desist, causing members of the public alarm.

Inmate collapses after inhaling nitrous oxide with other prisoners: Footage appearing to show inmates inside a UK prison inhaling nitrous oxide, street name 'hippy crack.

‘Toxic Terry’ inspires band: The recovery journey of a man who was once Preston’s most notorious vagrant has inspired a local band to write and record a song in the hope of raising cash for addiction charities.

Blow-by-blow: Celebrity Big Brother star Calum Best filmed ‘inhaling from a balloon’ on wild night out in London

ICELAND

How one country persuaded teens to give up drink and drugs: Iceland used to have a big teenage smoking, drinking and drug problem. Now it doesn't.

USA

‘Very deadly’: Utah woman loses daughter to compressed air addiction (UT): Last June, at age 26, she relapsed from an addiction to air duster, compressed chemicals used to clean computer equipment. She’d been struggling with the addiction for years.

Huffing case was difficult to prosecute, but why? (FL): Last week, he was convicted of huffing a can of Endust, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and ultimately killing an East Hill woman.

Courtroom drama in Paoli teen case (OK): A detailed description of a night of huffing canned air was followed by heavy tears from one witness in a courtroom drama unfolding for a Paoli teenager facing a first-degree manslaughter charge.

Testimony begins in trial of man accused of child sex abuse (TX): In the interview, Sturgis admits to huffing but denies doing it around children.

Rexburg driver huffed compressed air before crash that injured 4 (ID): The driver of a vehicle who crashed into a light pole, injuring himself and three passengers, huffed compressed air from an air duster can moments before the wreck.

Man huffing gas cuts hole in Clay County apartment building (KY): According to police, England got high on gas fumes and then cut a large hole in the wall between his apartment and the one next door at a complex on Muddy Gap Road in Manchester.

‘Huffing’ problem leads man to break in OfficeMax twice in one morning (AK): Juneau resident doesn’t remember either crime, charged with burglary.

Inhalant deaths still a real, local concern (GA): The Chatham County Coroner is shining a light on a forgotten problem: deaths caused by using inhalants, which are found on store shelves everywhere.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in IN and TX while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, MI, NJ, NY and WI.

AUSTRALIA

Second Townsville teen dies from chroming (QLD): Police say the dangerous practice of chroming is on the rise in Townsville, with two teens dying in just over a week.

Sustained reduction in petrol sniffing after low aromatic fuel rollout: The rollout of low aromatic fuel has contributed to significant and sustained reduction in petrol sniffing and associated health problems in Indigenous communities, studies have found.

NT govt pledges nearly $1m for youth rehab: [This includes] $350,000 towards four full time volatile substance abuse workers in the East Arnhem region to support Miwatj community-based work to reduce and prevent harmful sniffing.

Confirmed cases of aviation fuel sniffing in West Arnhem Land: Today Jim Rogers, the regional Chief Executive from the Department of the Chief Minister confirmed that aviation fuel sniffing had reached the community of Gunbalanya.

No culture other than sex, drugs and alcohol: A group of young girls captured chroming on CCTV. Their faces have been blurred due to their young age but they can be clearly seen clutching deodorant cans, with one girls using a cloth to inhale the volatile substance.

INDIA

Substance abuse among street children in India - A drugged reality: The national capital, which also happens to be a capital for increasing drug abuse amongst children especially amongst street children, sees numerous deaths every day owing to volatile substance abuse.

More children falling prey in Jagtial (Telangana): A recent incident where about 20 fifth class students of Jagtial district caught inhaling fevicol and whitener shows the gravity of the situation of both urban and rural children getting addicted to these vices.

PHILIPPINES

Rugby kids: Lea Japson, head of Cebu City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services... told SunStar Cebu that the continued proliferation of solvent abuse alarms her.

THAILAND

Man arrested after ‘powerful’ temple statues attacked: A Buri Ram man believed to be delusional from sniffing glue was arrested on Thursday night after allegedly smashing statues at Wat Sawang Arom.

VSA Headlines - October 2017


UK

15-year-old died after inhaling lighter fluid, inquest hears: A teenage boy from Poole died after inhaling lighter fluid, an inquest has heard.

Alcoholic abused paramedic after being told to stop sniffing gas (South Shields): “As he was receiving treatment, he attempted to sniff one of the bottles of gas which was in his possession."

'It will kill you': Telford addict gave up drugs but turned to sniffing lighter fuel, court told: A Telford man successfully kicked his drug habit, only to become addicted to sniffing lighter fuel.

38 year-old pleaded guilty to theft at Worcester Magistrates Court: The court heard [he has] problems with drugs and alcohol, and more recently solvent abuse.

Parents' warning as school girls seen 'inhaling aerosols' in Lion Walk (Colchester): Parents are concerned after a group of schoolgirls were seen “inhaling aerosols” in the town centre.

Man described as ticking bomb by Norwich judge is jailed for repeatedly refusing to stop inhaling butane gas: A man who has repeatedly refused to stop inhaling butane gas on Norwich streets has been jailed by a judge who described him as a “ticking bomb” and “an accident waiting to happen”.

Could you be the next "Mrs Toxic Terry" as reformed Preston solvent abuser looks for love? A man who was once Preston’s most notorious vagrant says he is ready for romance after turning his life around ...

Young citizens learn life lessons at Franklin Gardens: Lessons learned included: cyber safety, how to react  to and prevent crimes and hazards, safety around lorries and understanding solvent abuse.

Number of hippy crack deaths DOUBLE in a year as expert warns the 'appalling trend' needs to be reversed before more young people die: Government data shows that eight people died from using laughing gas last year, a 100 per cent rise of the four deaths recorded in 2015.

Swan Housing Association reveals cause of Hornchurch explosion was ‘gas canister explosion’: A police spokeswoman said the flat where the explosion ignited, contained “a large quantity of Butane gas canisters”.

USA

Virginia Man Dies From Inhaling Cans of Compressed Air: The Virginia medical examiner's office has determined that a 28-year-old man found dead in a car in a Walmart parking lot died from inhaling cans of compressed air.

Driver accused of using inhalant before crash (OR): An 18-year-old St. Helens youth accused of killing a man walking along Gable Road faces new charges stemming from the incident.

Supreme Court overturns driver’s ‘huffing’ conviction (MN): For the time being, at least, huffing and driving do mix, legally speaking. The Minnesota Supreme Court on Oct. 11 ruled that a chemical commonly sold as the computer-cleaning product “Dust-Off” is not a “hazardous substance” under state law, and therefore cannot lead to a DWI conviction.

Rep. crafting bold drug bills on huffing, seized money (NH): State Rep. Brandon Phinney, L-Rochester, has drafted legislative service requests (LSRs) for two separate drug-related bills. One would increase the amount of money that prevention and treatment efforts receive when police seize funds during major drug busts; the other would make the huffing of chemicals a non-criminal act.

CANADA

Cliff Cardinal's Huff is a masterpiece in the making: Hard-hitting and endlessly creative solo show shines a light on the disturbing realities of life on a reservation.

RUSSIA

Teenagers laugh as they film friend dying after inhaling lighter fluid to get high (Leningrad Oblast): Mikhail Lukoyanov, 17, died after inhaling the fumes to get high with his friends in Volosovo in north western Russia - seen in mobile phone footage.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Three injured in UAE car explosion after inhaling gas (Sharjah): Three Emirati youths received serious burn injuries after the gas they were inhaling from a cigarette lighter caught fire in their car.

INDIA

‘More boys doing drugs now’ (Karnataka): Snorting and sniffing substance to be used to apply puncture of vehicle tubes and others is little bit high among boys and less among girls.

Youth addicted to sniffing glue kills self (Tamil Nadu): The police investigation revealed that he had a habit of sniffing the glue to get high for the past one year.

The problem of growing drug addiction among Kashmiri youths missing focus in years of Valley’s conflict: From cannabis to medicinal opioids to inhalants such as glue and paint thinner, the youth of Kashmir are getting hooked to different substances, officials said.

AUSTRALIA

Care kids’ stories tell of neglect and despair (NT): From turning to aerosol-sniffing to the devastating realisation they wouldn’t be going home, Indigenous children have told of the effects of being forcibly placed in care.

Ombudsman found that the capsicum spraying of a "skinny, quite small" boy aged 11 while he was handcuffed and contained in the cage of a police van was inappropriate and risky (NT). The boy, who had been sniffing a volatile substance, was spit-hooded and handcuffed after repeatedly spitting at officers, and tried to use the hood to choke himself, before pulling it off. 

Does Laughing Gas Cause Nerve Damage? Australian Student Inhales 360 N2O Canisters (NSW): An Australian college student is recovering after she was left with severe nerve damage to her spinal cord after inhaling 360 canisters of nitrous oxide (N2O), or laughing gas, in a week.

NEW ZEALAND

Man's death highlights rehab access issues - coroner: He had been taken out of his mother's care when he was two, had an abusive childhood and began huffing inhalants at the age of 12. This continued through to his death, when he was using three to four cans of fly spray a day.

Man fights police for rights of kids to huff glue: "That's glue. That's a legal product in this country. Abuse of solvents and glue is legal in this country!"

Friday, September 29, 2017

VSA Headlines - September 2017


Zoe Dunford, who lost her son to nitrous oxide, spoke on ITV's This Morning. Latest statistics from the ONS record 8 deaths in 2016 where nitrous oxide was mentioned on the death certificate, up from 4 in 2015 (see Drug-related deaths involving nitrous oxide, 1993 to 2015).

UK

Debut Monster Live to be mash-up of acoustic acts and genre-hopping DJs: Headlining this debut show will be Captain Hotknives - an acoustic artist, who tackles subjects such as begging, solvent abuse, pigeon hypnosis, and the terrible quality of muffins on trains.

Racist thug jailed after hurling abuse at revellers at Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival: [He] had battled with solvent and alcohol abuse following the breakdown of his marriage and this led to his offending.

USA

14 Year old teen dies in Aleknagik, huffing suspected: A 14-year-old teen was found dead in a boat in the community of Aleknagik during the early morning hours on Saturday.

Union Grove High School mourns 15-year old boy: Several aerosol spray cans were reportedly found near his body, and one was found in his hand. [His mother] allegedly has problems with alcohol and inhaling from aerosol cans — also known as “huffing”.

Walmart death victim had cardiac arrest after inhaling aerosol (OK): The medical examiner says a woman found dead in a Walmart restroom died of a cardiac arrhythmia due to Difluoroethane toxicity.

Man involved in fatal crash was huffing air duster (AR): Arkansas State Police say a man involved in a head-on collision last month that claimed the life of a Greene County minister was huffing air duster at the time of the crash.

Driver was huffing gas before deadly Fairview collision (ID): A Meridian woman accused of causing a chain-reaction wreck that killed another driver had inhaled compressed gas before the crash, prosecutors say.

Huffing may have caused death in north Greeley car explosion, police say (CO): A woman is dead and a man was taken to the hospital early Monday morning after a car explosion that may have been caused by the two people inhaling the vapors from canisters of compressed air.

Man convicted in fatal crash while high on computer cleaner (NJ): A man accused of being high on cleaning chemicals from an aerosol can when he crashed his pickup truck into a New Jersey farmers market, killing a woman, has been convicted of criminal charges.

Aaron Carter's family and friends fear star on verge of relapse: In 2001 he was admitted to rehab for an addiction to inhaling aerosol spray from cans that are used to clean keyboards.

Valley father angry with smoke shop that sold "whippets" to his son (AZ): A Valley father is outraged after his son landed in the emergency room, after using inhalants known as "whippets" he bought from a Surprise smoke shop.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in AR, MN, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, IAMAMI, SC and TN,

AUSTRALIA

NT failed boy who said he sniffed inhalants to stop hunger, royal commission told: Child welfare authorities reportedly told rehabilitation camp that was caring for boy to ‘stop calling’.

Courthouse cleanup starts as authorities target inhalant abuse: An alarming rise in youths abusing inhalants like deodorant in areas of the Cairns CBD like the vacant Courthouse Hotel comes as no shock to the volunteers at Street Level Youth Care.

Desperate youths sniffing ‘unsniffable’ Opal fuel: A small number of desperate young petrol sniffers in Arnhem Land are resorting to sniffing stolen Opal fuel – once described as “unsniffable” – despite a government efforts to curtail volatile substance abuse in the region.

Wagga's historic rail gatehouse trashed. Huffing kids blamed: Wagga’s historic rail gatehouse is slowly being destroyed by a relentless group of children who are using the premises to get high.

Meet the People Doing Far More NOS Than You: Three NOS addicts tell us about their cooked brains and failing memories.

NEW ZEALAND

Huffing linked to death of 20-year-old Rotorua man: [He]  was found unconscious laying next to two aerosol cans of deodorant, the remnants of his huffing addiction.

INDIA

Delhi boy killed over whitener for inhalation as mother watched on: A juvenile slashed a 16-year-old's neck with a broken glass bottle after a scuffle over a whitener.

SOMALIA

Homeless children sniff glue to take 'away the pain' of surviving Somalia's streets: Hargeisa. Plastic bottles litter the ground as children emerge from an abandoned mud-brick building in this hot, dusty East African city.