Monday, December 04, 2006

"Huffing" caused gaurdsman's death

A Pennsylvania National Guard soldier who died in Iraq this spring accidentally killed himself while inhaling from a container of pressurized air to get high, an Army investigation concluded.
Frederick Carlson IV, 25, of Bethlehem, was found unconscious in his room at the base in Taqqadum shortly before 6 p.m. on March 26, according to an Army report obtained by The Morning Call of Allentown through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Carlson went to sleep after returning from a mission at 6 a.m. and woke up around 4:30 p.m., investigators said. He was found unconscious a little more than an hour later and could not be revived.
Inhaling the chemicals given off by glue, aerosols and other substances — something called “huffing” — replaces oxygen in a person’s lungs. It causes excitation, drowsiness and lightheadedness, but it can be fatal when too much oxygen is replaced.
Investigators found a can of compressed air near Carlson’s bunk and a colleague said he remembered him “huffing” at least once before.
Carlson served as a cook with the 228th Forward Support Battalion, but guard officials said he volunteered for duty on the rapid-response force, providing security for military convoys. “He could have stayed on base, yet he volunteered for dangerous missions outside the wire,” said Capt. Cory Angell, a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesman. “It’s tragic that he got caught up in using inhalants.”
taken from The Standard Journal

Monday, November 20, 2006

US man dies huffing at natural gas well

Man dies 'huffing' at gas well
A 21-year-old Wise County man died after he reportedly inhaled natural gas at a well site to get high, authorities reported Friday.
It is the first such "huffing" incident known to officials.
Ezekiel B. Thomas was found unconscious late Thursday near a Devon Energy gas well in the 200 block of Private Road 4435, according to Sgt. Debbie Denney, a Wise County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman.
Thomas' stepfather told investigators that Thomas and several friends trespassed onto the fenced gas-well site near Thomas' home east of Decatur, Denney said.
At least two other people were reported to have been huffing with Thomas, Denney said. The friends left, returned and found Thomas unresponsive.
Investigators think they got access to the gas through an unlocked hatch cover.
An ambulance took Thomas to Wise Regional Hospital in Decatur, where he was pronounced dead. The Dallas County medical examiner will determine the cause of death, Denney said.
Natural gas typically has no odor and can cause asphyxiation after prolonged exposure, said Dr. Elvin Adams, medical director for the Tarrant County Public Health Department.
"These types of gases displace oxygen, and you don't know it because it doesn't smell any different than the rest of the air," he said. "You can pass out within 15 seconds. If you do not remove yourself from the source, you will never wake up again."
Fences are not required around outdoor natural-gas wells because they are usually on private property, said Ramona Nye, a spokeswoman for the Texas Railroad Commission.
The Devon well had a locked fence around it, Denney said, but it did not have a lock on the hatch cover.
A Devon spokesman referred all questions to the Wise County Sheriff's Department.
Law enforcement officials in Parker and Tarrant counties said they have not heard reports of similar incidents at gas wells.
"That's something I hope will not become a problem," said Terry Grisham, spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department. "I hope people know that it is very dangerous."
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said, "We've had problems with people stealing things from the sites, such as copper wiring. But I don't think they are young people or teenagers just hanging around."
Harvey Weiss, executive director of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition in Chattanooga, Tenn., said huffing from a natural-gas well is a new form of inhalant abuse.
"I've not heard about that at all," Weiss said.
Therefore, he said, he could not estimate how much a huffer could inhale before dying. In a phenomenon called sudden sniffing death, a huffer's heartbeat becomes irregular, Weiss said. A rush of adrenaline could stop the heart, he said.
Taken from the Central Pennsylvania Star-Telegram

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Solvent Abuse on the Rise Among Britain's Teenagers

Nov 09, 2006

Solvent abuse among teenagers has risen sharply, compared to only minor changes in the level of cannabis use.
Children are now seven times more likely to abuse solvents than ten years ago, according to new research.
The research, by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), shows how solvent abuse in young teenagers has risen from 28,000 to 168,000 last year, in comparison to only minor increases in cannabis use.
Glue-sniffing, also known as volatile substance abuse (VSA) is often associated with crime.
"Although the deaths have decreased, crime surrounding VSA has increased," said Warren Hawksley, director of charity Re-Solv.
"As the chemicals used are so cheap, there isn't usually the problem of theft associated with other drug abuse. However, murder and arson related to solvent abuse has increased."
The IPPR report, Freedom's Orphans: Raising Youth in a Changing World, claims that the development of social skills and strong adult role models are crucial in keeping kids off drugs, drink and cigarettes.
Olive Forsyth of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) agrees that the issue can be dealt with through paying attention to the child but added that this was to an extent problematic.
"It is difficult for teachers because so much of the activity happens outside school hours," she said.
"Schools are not isolated from society in what happens on the street and can try to encourage the child to say no and not be hit by peer pressure."
The IPPR report notes the role of peer pressure and draws upon evidence from American high schools which have different hierarchies of cliques: of athletes, druggies, "eggheads"and so on.
Where the "eggheads" secure a place high up the hierarchy, it was found that children do better academically. Where "druggies" reach the top they do less well, indicating the role of peer effects in setting norms of behaviour.
This was repeated in research done with 300 children in the Netherlands which is quoted in FirstNews, a weekly paper for school-aged children.
The charity Solve It was founded by Barbara Skinner MBE in 1989 a year after her son died from solvent abuse. She claims that there are around 50 products around the home that can be abused.
She considered herself a responsible parent and, as a qualified nurse, was able to tell her children about the dangers of smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs: "However, my knowledge of VSA was non existent, this type of substance abuse was not discussed," she said.
"It's forgotten about in the complexities of illegal drugs."
The effects of VSA are similar to being drunk but wears off after about half an hour. It is also less chemically addictive than alcohol but, as with all drugs, users can become psychologically dependent.
The reports shows that the numbers of teenagers drinking has shown little change since the late 1980s but that for those who do drink, consumption levels are steadily increasing and children are starting to drink earlier, particularly at younger ages.
Mr Hawksley, Mrs Skinner and Julia Margo, one of the authors of the report, all state that education is the key to diminishing this rising tragedy and that government action has a large part to play.

Article by Damian Rice
Epoch Times London

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Computer dusting product changed to curb inhalant abuse

An unpalatable additive is being added to computer dusting products in an attempt to discourage aerosol inhalant abuse, a consumer electronics company announced Thursday.
Falcon Safety Products, which manufactures Dust Off, said the change was made to curb inhalant abuse. The practice is known as "dusting," "huffing," or "bagging," and involves the inhalation of compressed air from products intended to be used to clean electronics equipment.
To discourage this abuse of its products, Falcon announced it has come up with a new formula for its products that includes an additive that makes them taste very bad.
"Developing the new aerosol took more than two years of R&D work and substantial financial investment and bringing it to market has been no minor endeavour," said Phil Lapin, president and CEO of Falcon Safety Products, in a release.
"However, if our efforts help make a difference in the fight against inhalant abuse and save even one life, it will have been all worthwhile," he said.
The cans of compressed gas are commonly perceived as harmless cans of air and give users feelings of euphoria, light-headedness and exhilaration. However, the products contain chemicals that can lead to permanent brain damage, asphyxiation and even death.
Last June, school officials and RCMP officials issued a warning to parents about the growing trend after four teenagers in Surrey, B.C., were found inhaling the contents of a computer duster in a school washroom.
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five children said they had abused a product as an inhalant by the time they reached Grade 8.
Other common household products abused include correction fluid, rubber cement, gasoline, propane, glue, marking pens, hair spray and air fresheners.

from CBC News

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Anguish as boy dies sniffing gas

A MOTHER has warned of the devastating consequences of sniffing aerosols following the death of her 17-year-old son.
Dean Simpson was found dead, clutching a can of lighter fuel, by his 14-year-old brother Jamie.
Mother-of-nine Julie Simpson said that, in the past, her son had used hairspray and fly spray to feed his habit.
She has urged parents to educate themselves about the dangers facing their children."I think I was in denial about what Dean was doing – I was ignorant of everything," she said."I didn't have a clue – I didn't know what I was looking for and I knew too little too late."
We did try and discuss it with him and he would say he had stopped. "He had a way of convincing you that he was telling the truth and I used to believe him, but I think I was a bit ignorant of the dangers because I've never experienced it before."
Dean, a former Castleford High pupil, was found dead last Thursday afternoon in a bedroom at home in Milnes Grove, Airedale, Castleford. His mother says he had been "vulnerable and easily led" and was very sensitive and loving. She added: "Me and his dad split up a lot of years ago and he has been in foster care since he was about seven. He only came back home to me last November. "His ultimate goal in life was to be at home with his mum and he got what he wanted. "
He had a troubled childhood and had a lot of issues and I think that's what contributed to him using aerosols."
Dean's foster parents tried to get him to stop abusing aerosols – a habit he had for around two years – but to no avail.
Lesley and Steven Cole, of Glasshoughton, had fostered Dean for around nine years.Mrs Cole, 56, said: "If only he would have just listened. He said he would try and stop because all he wanted was to go home. "When I realised what was happening I stopped buying furniture polish, air sprays and fresheners. But he could get his hands on it if he wanted."
His funeral will be held at 11am on Monday at Whitwood Cemetery chapel and he will be buried in a signed Leeds United shirt.
An inquest will be held into his death once inquiries are complete. The number of deaths in Yorkshire from inhaling volatile substances has risen in recent years, according to a charity set up in memory of Bradford schoolgirl Chantelle Bleau, who died aged 16 in 1997 after sniffing lighter fuel. Her mother Pat believes the key to saving lives is education and she has been campaigning to raise awareness in schools and among parents and professionals.
In recent years deaths from solvent abuse, which kill at least one young person a week, have been rising faster in Yorkshire than anywhere else in the country. Mrs Bleau was instrumental in getting the age limit raised for teenagers buying butane gas from 16 to 18. She said recently: "What kids need to know is that it's like Russian Roulette – most of them won't die, but one of them will. That is the risk you take every time you do it."
Taken from the Yorkshire Post
18 October 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bahrain sniffing craze

Sniffing craze sparks alert


BAHRAIN's youngsters are putting their health at risk by getting high on a car engine treatment chemical sold openly at petrol stations, garages and maintenance stores, it has been revealed.
It is part of a worrying trend of solvent abuse that doctors say could cause severe long-term damage to children's brain, liver and kidneys.
Several children a month are admitted to hospital for the affects of solvent abuse, according to one doctor.
A leading Bahraini drug specialist is now calling for tougher controls on the sale of volatile substances to minors, describing them as a stepping stone to harder drugs.
"It is known that these are sold to virtually anyone, including kids," said consultant psychiatrist Dr Abdulnabi Derbas.
"The latest revelation is these schoolchildren getting hooked on car engine treatment fluids, easily available at any petrol station or car repair shop."
Dr Derbas was responding to a GDN question about Premium Concentrated Stop, which a group of teenagers was seen passing round and inhaling in Khamis.
It is apparently sold for just BD1 as a treatment for car engines.
Stop is produced by Pennsylvania Petroleum International, whose website warns that it may cause irritation to the gastrointestinal system, irritation to the respiratory system if inhaled, irritation to the skin upon exposure and if it touches the eye could cause redness, tearing or blurred vision.
The company recommends that people use safety glasses and gloves when handling it.
"The problem is that we never get to know how widespread it is, although we know it is a menace," said Dr Derbas, who is head of the Almoayyed Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre at the Psychiatric Hospital.
Dr Derbas said there was virtually no control on youngsters inhaling glue, petrol or substances such as Stop.
The GDN visited several garages in Khamis to ask if they sold cans of Stop to children and was told they sold the product to "whoever asks for it".
Youngsters who are caught sniffing such substances are referred to the Psychiatric Hospital, but Dr Derbas said there were no accurate figures to show how widespread the problem was.
Other substances known to be used by children to get high include paint thinners/removers, dry-cleaning fluid, correction fluid and marker pen fluid.
A toxicologist at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) said that although substances differed in makeup, nearly all abused inhalants produce short-term effects similar to an anaesthetic - slowing down the body's functions.
"When inhaled in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxication usually lasting only a few minutes," said the toxicologist, who asked to remain anonymous.
"However, sometimes users extend this effect for several hours by breathing in inhalants repeatedly."
He said users initially feel slightly stimulated, but repeated inhalations make them feel less inhibited and less in control.
"If use continues, users can lose consciousness," he said.
"Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death within minutes of a session of repeated inhalations."
He said chronic abuse of solvents could cause severe, long-term damage to the brain, the liver and the kidneys.
"Harmful, irreversible effects that may be caused by abuse of specific solvents include hearing loss, damage to the nervous system, limb spasms, brain damage and even bone marrow damage."

from the Gulf Daily News

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

BBC Article on VSA

Solvent abuse problem 'forgotten'

Abuse of gas lighter fuel is now more common than glue-sniffingGlue-sniffing and other forms of solvent abuse are being overlooked in the fight against drugs, according to a new report.

The authors said the problem, which was discussed at length in the 1970s and 1980s, was now poorly understood among professionals and the public.

They claimed more consultative work with former solvent abusers was needed.
The Scottish Executive, which commissioned the report, said it was committed to tackling the problem.

In the 10 years to 2004, there were 78 deaths linked to volatile substance abuse in Scotland (VSA).

David Shewan, from Glasgow Caledonian University, and Kate Skellington Orr, of MVA Ltd, who undertook the study, said little research had been carried out into the problem in Scotland and "very little" since 2000.

They warned that professionals may not be getting enough training to tackle the problem and that care services may be inadequate.

All schools in Scotland provide drug education, including information on solvents
Scottish Executive spokeswoman "While the practice of glue-sniffing has declined, there is evidence to suggest that this has been replaced by abuse of an array of alternative products, including aerosols and other household products, and in particular gas lighter refills," said the report.

"The evidence suggests that the range of products that can be used, the availability of products, the low cost and ease of hiding productions and the short-term visible effects of use, make VSA easy to engage in and easy to hide."

An executive spokeswoman said there was one death from volatile substance abuse in 2004, compared to six the previous year.

"But one death is one too many. We can not be complacent," she said.

"The Scottish Executive is committed to ensuring that young people, parents and retailers are aware of the dangers of abusing products such as cigarette lighter refills, aerosol sprays and glue.

"All schools in Scotland provide drug education, including information on solvents.

"What's more the Know the Score website provides links to clear facts and we have produced a booklet on VSA, which is targeted at professionals and parents."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Young People Now article on VSA

Substance misuse: The forgotten killer 16/08/06
Volatile substance abuse no longer has a high profile, but it was still responsible for 13 deaths among young people last year. Ellie Munro finds out how to spot the warning signs.

Young people are attracted to solvents at a much younger age than controlled substances, but there is no stereotypical "sniffer", according to substance abuse prevention charity Re-Solv. Sometimes they start misusing because they want to experiment or are just bored. For other young people, it can be a way to cope with problems at school, or with family or friends.
It is an easy and accessible way to shock or impress. Effects include intoxication - where the young person may look drunk - dizziness, hallucinations, euphoria and a loss of inhibitions, as well as headaches afterwards.

The products available
There are hundreds of household products on the market that can be used. The most popular ones include butane gas, correction fluids, deodorant aerosols, paints, paint thinners, petrol and air fresheners. New forms of misuse include "dusting", which involves inhaling compressed air from sprays used for cleaning computer keyboards. All the products tend be readily available, cheap and usually legal to buy.

The warning signs
The high caused by sniffing is short, so it is often hard to tell if someone is abusing. Look out for unusual moodiness, violent mood swings, secretiveness and attitude problems. Re-Solv also suggests looking out for concealed household products and empty aerosol containers. There might also be signs of perioral eczema, or glue-sniffer's rash, which causes red spots around the nose and mouth, but this symptom will only occur with certain substances.

The effects
Solvents can make a user drowsy, confused, aggressive and willing to take more risks. They are not physically addictive but they can encourage dependency. Damage can occur to the brain, lungs and kidneys. Solvents can trigger a fatal heart attack. Some products can also burn the skin and cause severe breathing difficulties.

Number of deaths
In 2004, 13 under-18s died from volatile substance abuse in the UK, according to St George's, University of London. This was an increase of four deaths from the previous year. Inhalation of gas fuels is the biggest killer, causing eight of the 13 deaths. Volatile substances cause more deaths among 10- to 15-year-olds than all other illegal drugs put together.

Why is it important to tackle the problem early?
According to Re-Solv, teenagers who abuse substances are more likely to try harder drugs as they get older. Therefore, by spotting the signs of misuse early and putting the young person in contact with a support agency as soon as possible, professionals may be preventing young people from developing a serious addiction in later life.

The 4 October 2005 started just like any other day for mum Nicollete Nicolle. She had been looking after her children and was waiting for eldest son Steven Blacker to return from a friend's house in Somercotes, Derbyshire.
But instead of the 14-year-old bounding through the door as usual, she received a call from the police. "They told me Steven had suffered a heart attack while on his motorbike and died," she recalls.
"I couldn't believe it."
Nicollete spent the next month tracking her son's last movements and established that the day before the accident he had been sniffing petrol.
"It was the latest craze," she says. "Loads of young people were doing it locally. I'm convinced the sniffing petrol led to the heart attack."
Since Steven's death, Nicollete has been campaigning for better awareness of solvent abuse. "It's a largely forgotten issue, yet it continues to kill lots of young people," she says. "I'd hate for any family to have to go through what we've experienced. Steven's death has hit the family hard."

The best initial point of contact is the local drug action team. It will have details of relevant centres in your area. The following web sites also provide substance misuse advice:

- A charity dedicated to preventing volatile substance abuse
- Supplies free and confidential advice and support on volatile substance abuse
- Provides information and support on the subject of drug abuse and addiction
- Provides advice and guidance to young people about a range of drug issues.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mothball sniffing warning issued

Doctors have warned teenagers about the dangers of sniffing mothballs after two teenagers fell ill through the habit.
An 18-year-old French girl had to be hospitalised when she developed scaly skin on her legs and hands, unsteadiness and mental sluggishness.
Medics were initially puzzled, especially as her twin sister displayed similar, but milder, symptoms.
But the New England Journal of Medicine reports that days later, it was found the mothballs were to blame.
It was discovered that the girls had been using the mothballs as a recreational drug when doctors found a bag of mothballs stashed in her room while she was being treated at the Hospital of Timone in Marseille.
Both girls had been "bagging" - inhaling mothball fumes - after encouragement from classmates.
The twin who was sickest had also been chewing half a mothball a day for two months.
She continued her habit in hospital because she did not think her symptoms were linked to the mothballs.
The balls, used to prevent moths getting into clothes, contain paradichlorobenzene (PDB), a substance also found in air fresheners and insect repellents but which can cause liver and kidney failure, and severe anaemia.
The doctors who treated the girls said the habit was "dangerous" and most likely under-reported in medical literature.
The sickest teenager took six months to recover fully.
Her twin, who had only been "bagging" for a few weeks, recovered after three months.
Writing in the journal, Dr Lionel Feuillet said: "Substance abuse by youths is a major public health concern.
"PDB is derived from aromatic hydrocarbons, which form one of the families of volatile substances that are commonly abused."
He said only three cases have been reported of getting high using mothballs.
But he added: "Since young people usually deny practicing self-intoxication, the incidence of this type of recreational activity is probably underestimated."
He said clinicians should be aware of the symptoms.
A spokesman for the UK organisation Drugscope said: "We are not aware that sniffing or eating mothballs is an issue in the UK.
"However, any form of volatile substance abuse (VSA) is incredibly dangerous.
"About a third of the young people who die from VSA die the first time they try it."

Reported by

Monday, July 10, 2006

New kids craze that could kill

By Joe Oliver
09 July 2006
It's known as the craze that kills and it could be heading for Ulster after leaving a trail of death across America and central Europe.
More than 150 kids have died from 'dusting', which involves inhaling compressed air from sprays used for cleaning computer keyboards.
Just one hit can be fatal because youngsters believe there is no volatile substance involved in what they're using.
But dust-off products contain a dangerous ingredient called fluorinated hydrocarbon that can paralyse the body as well as giving users a buzz.
Damage can occur to the brain, lungs, kidneys? and it can trigger a fatal heart attack.
And despite the fact that the compressed air containers are legal to buy, no anti-drugs or solvent abuse agency in Northern Ireland is tracking or collecting information on dusting.
Indeed, the Department of Health said it had "never heard of it" and drugs tsar Rob Phipps was "not available" to discuss the legal killer.
The dusting craze was seen as such a threat to middle-class kids in Canada that in one state the RCMP openly warned parents, despite concerns that publicising the practice might encourage others to try it.
Barbara Skinner, chief executive of the London-based Solve It charity is well aware of the dangers of dust-off products.
"They do not carry any warning in the UK despite containing compressed gas fuelled by butane," she said.
"We believe labelling must be made obligatory, because you are talking about a very volatile substance."
In the film Thirteen, two teen characters are seen sitting on a bed dusting and then slapping each other to bring themselves down from their high.
It's estimated that one in five young people aged between 11-16 in Northern Ireland have used solvents.
And 10 times more suffer a serious reaction as a result of inhaling vapours than from Ecstasy tablets.
Researcher Colleen Dell, of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse in Ottawa, said: "The understanding among kids is that there is no gas involved in computer duster products.
"They believe that they are intaking air - and that is completely false and highly dangerous."
Art Brandon, of the Chicago Alcohol and Substance Abuse centre, told Sunday Life: "Dusting is a massive problem in America and it's spreading worldwide.
"The best thing to do is get the proper information out there now, so that people know exactly what they're dealing with."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

North East England

Re-Solv are very pleased to announce that we have secured significant funding for a 3 year project. The Northern Rock Foundation has awarded the money for the North East of England which has one of the UK's highest desities of volatile substance abuse (VSA). Our work will be to set up of an office along with personnel dedicated to working with vulnerable young people and children in the area advising on the dangers of VSA.

Hope for Australian petrol sniffing problem

Petrol sniffing inquiry offers hope
The Federal Opposition says a political consensus on dealing with petrol sniffing will give Australia its best chance in decades of combating the problem in remote Indigenous communities.
A Senate inquiry into petrol sniffing handed down its recommendations yesterday, stressing the need to hasten the roll-out and production of non-sniffable Opal fuel.
The inquiry also recommended secure long-term funding models for youth and mental health programs, as well as a police presence in all Indigenous communities.
The Labor Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, says she is optimistic.
"There's been over 20 years of reports into the petrol sniffing crisis in this country and this time Government members, along with the Democrats and the Greens and the Labor Party, have unanimously urged all governments to actually get together to start addressing this," she said.
"We would hope this would be the last report."
Health, community groups
Aboriginal health and community groups have also welcomed the report.
The chairman of the South Australian Aboriginal Health Council, John Singer, says it is the 13th such report and action is overdue.
"I think now it's time to start putting those dollars into programs and start to actually deliver some of these services," he said.
Mr Singer says communities have been disappointed by brief knee-jerk reactions from governments in the past and are hoping for a sustained, coordinated approach this time.
The Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS) says it is also heartened by the report's recommendations.
CAYLUS spokesman Tristan Ray says the roll-out of Opal fuel is particularly important.
"The Government have got some wickets on the board in terms of Opal," he said.
"Opal fuel has worked really well in a number of communities and is a powerful tool to stop sniffing, particularly if it's accompanied by basic youth programs which are what we don't have in many communities at the moment."
Practical solutions
Western Australia Indigenous Affairs Minister Sheila McHale says an arrangement with South Australia and the Northern Territory has helped target petrol traffickers.
The deal has also helped tackle the mental health impact of sniffing.
Ms McHale says more practical solutions should be discussed at next week's federal summit on abuse in Indigenous communities.
"We need practical support - we don't need another talkfest," she said.
"We have the summit on Monday and I hope that [Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister] Mal Brough will able to come to that summit with some practical support for states and territories - we can't go it alone."
Ms McHale says the Government is about to sign a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth, which includes a commitment to increase the roll-out of Opal fuels.
She says the WA Government is also working on other initiatives."Western Australia will continue to focus on the traffickers of petrol and the mental health devastation that can be caused by young kids sniffing petrol and having brain injury," she said.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Australian solvent abuse gang

Esperance police in south-east Western Australia are concerned about a gang of Aboriginal youths who have been seen around the CBD under the influence of inhalants.
Police say they have discovered the group behaving aggressively and irrationally after sniffing paint.
Crime prevention officer Murray Pownall says investigations revealed that many of the group have come from Kalgoorlie.
Senior Constable Pownall says local businesses must be vigilant and refuse the sale of solvents to suspicious buyers.
He also asks for members of the community to report people they think have been sniffing paint who may look drunk and have paint around their mouths.
"Yes, they're only youngsters, around about 13, 14 and 15 years, males and females and, yes, it does cause concern," he said.
The Esperance Aboriginal Health Service says the substance abuse must be wiped out in the town as soon as possible.
Executive officer Lyn Kersley says sniffing solvents can have a devastating effect on communities as users become mentally unstable.

Monday, January 30, 2006

National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week 19th-25th March 2006


The USA will host their 14th Annual National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week this March. Over 2,000 organisations participate in the event, including state agencies, police departments, health educators, retailers, hospitals, faith organisations and individual school campuses. Each organisation receives a comprehensive Coordinators Kit. For more information visit