Friday, December 09, 2011

VSA Headlines: November 2011

The death of 14-year-old Bethany Adcock this month reminds us once again that “volatile substance misuse remains an important problem in the UK, especially in terms of causing premature death amongst young people” (St George's, University of London: Trends in UK deaths associated with abuse of volatile substances, 1971-2008).


Solvent addict jailed for breaking can ban: A solvent addict has been jailed for possessing canisters of butane gas in a park just days after he was banned from having them in public.

Lethal ‘Laughing gas’ abuse in Sidmouth council car park: Thrill-seekers appear to be dicing with death in a council car park - by illegally inhaling gas for a giggle.

And finally, an interesting blog post from a retailer who "was surprised recently to discover that we were being targeted by a substance abuser." An area of legislation that does not get much publicity is solvent abuse.


Fifty-five persons die of drug overdose in Czech Republic in 2010
: Out of the 55 drug overdose cases resulting in deaths in 2010, 19 people used opiates, 18 used methamphetamine (pervitine), 16 used volatile substances and two Fentanyl, known as synthetic heroin.


Teen dies after huffing freon
(GA): A 13-year-old boy died in his neighbors yard. Police believe the victim had been huffing Freon from an air conditioning unit.

Midwest City dad hopes son's death serves as inhalant abuse warning
(OK): Raymond Randall King III, 13, was found dead Friday next to a home air conditioning unit in his Midwest City neighborhood.

Freon is a rapidly growing concern in the US and a host of other stories were carried by radio and television stations across the US this month, including WPRI, KSDK, KRMG, News on 6, Fox 19 and Fox 40.

Man dead after "huffing" propane vapors (MO): The Maries County Sheriff's Department said 41-year-old Keith A. Wood died Sunday after inhaling propane vapors.

Coroner rules Rosas’ death an ‘accident’ (TX): Rosas’ death was caused by “hyperthermia with significant contributing factor of inhalant abuse,” and that the “manner was an accident.”

Officials believe North Huntingdon victim inhaled chemical vapors (PA): A man found dead in a North Huntingdon creek on Wednesday had a history of arrests for inhaling chemical vapors, and "huffing" may have contributed to his death, police said.

Inhalant Abuse: The Fight Continues
: Burning Tree, a long term treatment center, announces that inhalant abuse is still on the rise and watching for warning signs of abuse will help prevent addiction.

Inhalant abuse on the rise in Humboldt County
: The Humboldt County Coroner's Office highlighted an increase in the use of nitrous oxide and other inhalants in a press conference Friday.

Gehring woman gets 1 year in jail for huffing
: A Gehring woman has been sentenced to one year in jail on charges she huffed inhalants to get high and helped children inhale propellants from spray cans while she supervised them during an after-school program.


Sniffing danger persists due to Yalata Opal delay
: A long-promised introduction of Opal fuel to the far west coast of South Australia is yet to happen.Welfare agency Uniting Care Wesley thinks the delay is endangering the health of the local community.

In search of a high, butane gas sniffer blows through the roof
(Wahroonga, NSW): A WOMAN addicted to sniffing butane gas blew her car to bits as she indulged her habit yesterday.


Coroner calls for warnings on 'huffing'
: The Otago Southland coroner has called on the Ministry of Health to increase publicity on the dangers of "huffing" after the death of a Wyndham teenager last year.


Murder suspect blames solvent use (Manila): Witnesses said Saltarin was under the influence of household solvents when he was trying to extort money from de Jesus who happened to be in the area.

CHILDREN can no longer buy volatile substances
like rugby and sealants from Mandaue City establishments. The Mandaue City Council passed on third and final reading an ordinance penalizing unauthorized distribution of these substances especially to minors.


Well-off children also becoming solvent addicts
(Kolkata): The menace of solvent addiction - which was once termed as the addiction of children living on platforms and pavements - is slowly creeping into the backyards of affluent families with their kids also becoming victims of the menace, an NGO said Monday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21st 2011

Sadly to report the death of 14-year-old Bethany Adcock from Sheffield after inhaling fumes from an aerosol can. Dr Richard Oliver, Sheffield GP and joint clinical director of NHS Sheffield, said: “Solvent abuse can cause as many deaths as ecstasy."

The Headteacher at Bethany's School has said: “The school has experienced the sudden death of Bethany Adcock. We are deeply saddened by her death, Bethany was a Year 10 student, popular and friendly. Her sudden death is a tragic accident but it will obviously have an impact on the whole school, in particular those who were her friends and knew her well." (Yorkshire Post)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

VSA Headlines: August - Sept 2011

We are grateful this month to Children and Young People Now, who featured the problem of VSA and how best to help those affected by it in their Skills for the Job section.

News headlines from the UK and around the world include:


Care Home kids in 'extreme danger': A Newtownards mother, whose 12 year old daughter was put into the care of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and housed in their William Street residence in the town, believes the behaviour she learned from older residents during her time there has put her in extreme danger from solvent abuse.

Boy, four, and girl, two, found wandering along dual carriageway: The boy and his sister had been staying at their grandmother’s flat on March 27 with their mum and dad. Police searched the property and found the parents asleep, surrounded by scores of empty aerosol cans used by the solvent-sniffing dad.

Bangor man died after inhaling lighter fluid in bed: James Campbell, 29, had been addicted to butane gas from the age of 14 - using up to eight containers a day, Belfast coroner Joanne Donelly heard.

Glue sniffing Ardoyne rioter exposed himself court is told
: An alleged rioter was seen on CCTV sniffing glue and throwing a petrol bomb at police, a court has heard.

Jail threat to Norwich man who inhales 16 cans of butane gas every day: The 31-year-old has a lengthy past of criminal offences around the city due to an addiction to sniffing butane gas, 
which he uses as an anti-depressant.

Ex-heroin addict was high on aerosol
: A former heroin addict got high on aerosol in front of children and their parents in broad daylight in a popular Worcester park.

Man breached Asbo when caught sniffing gas in park: A homeless man breached his antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) when he was caught sniffing gas in a park, a court heard.

Solvent abuser jailed after violating public toilets ban
: A solvent abuser has been jailed for violating an Asbo which banned her from every public toilet in East Lothian - just ten days after the order was issued.

Ross youngsters warned about solvent abuse dangers: Young people in Ross-shire are being warned about the dangers of solvent and aerosol abuse after a number of cases were reported to Northern Constabulary over the past few weeks. The police have also issued warnings to parents over solvent abuse.

Ilkley youngsters warned over inhaling laughing gas
: Young people are putting themselves at risk by inhaling laughing gas nitrous oxide in the latest “legal high” trend to hit the Ilkley area, police have warned.


Kohl calls on National Drug Control Office to combat spike in "huffing" deaths, accidents
: Senator Herb Kohl asked the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to combat“ huffing,” the deliberate inhaling of common household items, as part of the office’s comprehensive efforts to curb drug abuse and drugged driving.

Teens Using Freon to Get High: The latest statistics from the poison control centers report Freon huffing killed at least two teens in 2009 and sent more than 2,000 to the hospital. One of the many other stories on this subject focuses on Mona Casey: Mom who lost son to 'huffing' battles latest trend.

3 charged in Ardmore teen's death: The teens allegedly purchased a inhalant at a local grocery store. Ladd said the defendants encouraged Ozment, who was a minor, to abuse the intoxicating substance, which ultimately led to her death.

Dothan (AL) woman may have died from "huffing," police say: Dothan Police Department investigators say a woman found dead today may have died from an accidental overdose from "huffing."

Oak Hill police charge driver in fatal crash: Police say a Fayette County man was under the influence of inhalants when he crashed his vehicle, killing his passenger and injuring a pedestrian.

Charges in deadly nitrous oxide inhalation crash: Prosecutors say a Southern California driver was inhaling nitrous oxide gas to get high at the time of a fiery crash that killed a passenger and injured two others.

Father charged with huffing behind the wheel
: A young father is accused of putting his own bad habits before the safety of his two young daughters. Other stories concerning criminal activity associated with VSA included those from Wichita (KA), Gering (NE), Eau Claire County (WI), Apple Valley (MN), Cumberland County (PA), Bismarck (ND), Natrona County (WY), Naples (FL), Hamilton (NJ), and news that a city huffing ordinance is one step closer to reality following a unanimous vote by the Spencer City Council (IA).

Neighbor Says Brooklyn Concert Turns Into Nitrous Oxide Fest: A show last weekend ended with dozens of fans taking to the streets, to get high. And as CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reports, concerts may now be in jeopardy.


Suicides spur plea from First Nation's ex-chief: The coroner's report paints a devastating picture of residents struggling tenaciously against poverty and deprivation, fighting substance abuse, unemployment and domestic violence. More than a quarter of girls in Grades 3 and 4 said they tried sniffing gasoline, the report says.


Service demands rise
: The recent spate in suicides across the region has highlighted the importance of community institutions in providing a safe and trustworthy place for troubled teens to seek help. Volatile substance misuse (VSM) coordinator at YPA Liz Toeke said the YPA staff had continuously worked to build strong relationships with young people to provide a supportive base to cater for their needs. A separate article notes that four of the five youths who died had a history of solvent abuse and petrol sniffing and that the ongoing inquest has previously been told that there are no centres in WA which treat solvent abuse nor is there legislation which can force abusers to be committed for treatment. The West Australian government should introduce mandatory rehabilitation for solvent abusers in remote communities, the inquest has heard.

More remote communities act to curb petrol sniffing
: The Northern Territory Government says almost 75 percent of communities in east Arnhem Land are taking part in a program to curb substance abuse.


Teen raped, killed in QC
: Authorities suspect that young men who inhale solvents, commonly called “rugby boys”, were responsible for the crime.

Cops arrest 'rugby boys' in EDSA: A group of minors allegedly responsible for a series of robberies along EDSA was arrested by officials of the Quezon City Police District on Tuesday. These young people, also commonly called "rugby boys," are often seen under the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) in EDSA-Cubao inhaling solvents used as roof sealants.


Glue Sniffing Becoming Serious In Malaysia: Glue sniffing is becoming more serious in the country with those as young as 12 years-old found to be involved in the activity, said Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.


Lack of awareness encouraging substance abuse among children: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) under the Women and Child Development Ministry has emphasized the need to generate awareness among children on the harmful effects of inhalants.

Kids glued to solvents have NGOs worried: Brij is one of the many street children who live dangerously so that they can finance their craving for drugs. Volunteers claim that children as young as four are addicted to substances like cobbler's glue.

Whitener inhaling addiction on the rise among minors: Fourteen-year-old Manish (name changed) stabbed his father with a kitchen knife recently and was sent to juvenile custody. What makes this stray case of juvenile crime all the more complicated is that Manish is addicted to sniffing whitener, a cheaper and potentially dangerous way to get high.


A worrisome addiction trend: Many youths are gradually resorting to hitherto harmless substances in the wave of onslaught on the usage of the regular banned substances by the authorities.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

VSA Headlines: October 2011

Many apologies for the delay in updating the blog. It's been a busy few months working on some exciting project applications to better support both adults and young people in the UK whose lives are affected by volatile substance abuse. Thanks for bearing with us, and here are the latest VSA news headlines from around the world.


Mother raises concerns over death of son: A mother has raised concerns that a gas canister containing lighter fluid was found in her son's room at a Bristol psychiatric hospital after he died. "We feel he might have died through inhaling the lighter gas and this has been covered up," she said.

Inhaling gas killed alcoholic, 41
: An alcoholic who was too broke to buy drink died from sniffing a can of lighter fluid, an inquest has ruled.

Chilling insight into world of addiction: Paul fell into drugs aged nine. A friend suggested he started sniffing solvents and he decided to try it.

Off-licencee in court for selling gas to children: An off-licence in Hatch End has been forced pay nearly £1,000 after selling butane gas to children.


The Alliance for Consumer Education Names Senator Herb Kohl Honorary Chair: Senator Kohl is a strong advocate for ACE’s flagship program of inhalant abuse prevention. Through his involvement, ACE looks to further raise the profile of the program to help amplify its educational message to parents and communities across the country on the dangers of misusing household products.

An inhalant-steeped, incoherent and armed James Parker Coogler holed up in a Belgrade storage unit for more than six hours while officers tried to coax him out.

Man Huffing Fuel Hit, Killed By Train
(St Albans, WV): A Kanawha County man was killed when he was hit by a train in St. Albans over the weekend.

A host of vehicle accidents caused by VSA continue to be reported, including 'Huffing' causes Dracut teen to crash into 2 women (Lowell, MA) and the case of a woman charged with huffing from an aerosol can before she crashed her car and injured her 1-year-old son (Huntingdon, PA).


NAN calls for women's addiction treatment facility
. Deputy Grand Chief Mike Metatawabin of Nishnawbe Aski Nation said a women’s addiction treatment facility is badly needed. He made the comments during Ka-Na-Chi-Hih’s 11th annual SAAFE (solvent abuse awareness for everyone) walk.


Coroner hands down suicide inquest findings: Mr Hope has made five recommendations including that legislation be introduced to force solvent abusers into treatment which would bring WA laws into line with those in the Northern Territory. Petrol sniffing has been partly blamed for a small Aboriginal community in Western Australia's far north having a suicide rate 100 times greater than the general population. A coroner's verdict on a second incident that occured in Kilkenny in 2009 has led to calls that the State 'needs petrol sniffing laws', while Health Minister John Hill has confirmed that the South Australian Government will now urgently look at ways to counter petrol sniffing.

Sniffing a 'hidden habit' for city Aborigines: Warren Miller and Jimmy Perry spend most of the year travelling through South Australia with their swags trying to divert people in Aboriginal communities away from petrol sniffing. Aboriginal elder Major Sumner is doing similar work in Adelaide, and helped establish a mobile assistance patrol for Aboriginal addicts more than 20 years ago and regularly picks up those suffering alcohol, drugs and sniffing addictions.

Murri Court may help fight against crime in Mount Isa: “... police will continue to work closely with other government and non-government organisations in support of these programs, including a volatile substance misuse (VSM) taskforce with Young People Ahead and Youth Invest, in an attempt to reduce associated offences stemming from young people who are engaging in VSM.”

Child abuse allegations hit NT rehab clinic: Police investigating suspected child abuse have removed six children from a substance rehabilitation centre in Central Australia. The outstation, south of Alice Springs, is a treatment facility for volatile substance abusers.


Dangers of 'huffing' stressed
: The dangers of "huffing" have been highlighted at the inquest of a Southland man. Andrew John Taylor, 17, died on December 1 after inhaling butane.


Sniffers thrive on easy access to glue: Kids are sniffing glue because it is accessible and there are no laws prohibiting the sale of glue to children, according to Toorak Community Policing chairman Sudhir Patel. One suggestion from a Makoi advisory councillor is that parents must work with teachers; there is also felt to be an urgent need to carry out awareness programs on television and radio stations on the effects of glue sniffing.


Snuff out gluesniffing: It is “high” time the Government takes action against glue sniffing, says Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. Discussions are under way to formulate legislation to combat inhalant abuse, which includes glue sniffing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

VSA Headlines: June-July 2011

Re-Solv has been concerned to follow the inquest into the death of fifteen-year-old Darlene Bell.

"An inquest into the death of a 15-year-old girl who died after inhaling butane gas from an aerosol while in care has been adjourned due to a "lack of clarification" over an investigation carried out after her death." (See the Belfast Telegraph, BBC, and UTV reports.)

Re-Solv's concern is that, despite previous solvent abuse, Ms Bell was not deemed to be at specific risk. It is an established fact that volatile substances when inhaled have the direct capacity to suddenly and unpredictably kill. They can kill on the first experimentation, or at any time. So any young person known to experiment with VSA is necessarily at risk.

"Coroner Joanne Donnelly delayed delivering her findings until she clarifies whether Darlene's care was properly reviewed by officials. "It is not a summary of the care we need, it is an analysis and an assessment of the care to see whether there are any lessons that can be learned," she told the Belfast inquest." (Belfast Telegraph)

Northern Ireland has the highest per capita rate of VSA deaths in the UK. It is to be hoped that this analysis and assessment of Miss Bell's death will initiate proposals to urgently address the problem of VSA at a national level.

Other UK stories

Cambridge engineers investigate propellant-free aerosols: A novel concept based around the use of superhydrophobic materials could lead to the development of propellant-free impact aerosols.

Coma drug in nail varnish remover
: GBL, also widely used in paint stripper and rust remover, was freely available until it was classified as a dangerous drug. It was banned after Stephanie Balcarras, 22, and Hester Stewart, 21, were among those who died from taking it.

Marlborough teens in danger: Police are warning parents to be on the lookout for symptoms of a potentially deadly new craze among teenagers in Marlborough.

Addicts and solvent abusers take over children’s play area: Community leaders say Dee Park, off Bridge Street, Shotton, has been taken over by drinkers and drug users who leave smashed bottles, drugs paraphernalia and butane gas canisters, believed to have been used for solvent abuse, strewn across the field.

Off his internut
: Hacking charge geek high on lighter gas


Teen Dies after Huffing Dust Cleaner (Sachse, TX): Friends and family members gathered in Sachse Wednesday night to remember a 17-year-old who died from “huffing.”

3 charged in inhalant death of 15-year-old Ardmore girl (Ardmore, OK): The teens are accused of encouraging the victim to inhale dust cleaner.

Teen Most Likely Died from Ecstacy and Nitrous Oxide Combo (Phoenix, AZ): Police are investigating the death of a Phoenix teen at a downtown rave party.

Student's death ruled an accident
(Searcy, AR): The student unintentionally asphyxiated himself with a plastic trash bag. There were also at least two empty cans of aerosol duster, a computer cleaner, found in his room.

Mount Holly man gets 6 years in vehicular homicide (Mount Holly, PA): The night Jonathan Hinkson was killed by a driver high on marijuana and a huffing agent, his young daughter was waiting at home for him to tuck her into bed.

Law enforcement seeking huffing ordinance (Clay County, IA): "I can remember 20, maybe 25 years ago, when we saw some of this, but it seemed to go away. Now it seems to be back again".

Norwalk mother arrested for allegedly huffing in front of her kids at playground (Norwalk, OH): A trip to a Norwalk park ended with a mother in jail and her children taken away from her after police said the mom was huffing.

Huffing is keeping the EPD busy (Evansville, IN): It's not meth or marijuana that have Evansville Police busy these days, it's another drug that you buy right off store shelves.

Freon continues to be a problem for the US with stories this month from Fenton (MO) Thieves steal freon to get high, Swartz Creek (MI) Police: Suspect may be huffing coolant from A/C units, La Porte (IN) Man faces charges after huffing Freon, Salt Lake City (UT) ‘Freon huffing' on the rise, posing danger to teens, and Atlanta (GA) Poison Control Sees Surge In Freon Huffing.


Ontario coroner takes in-depth look at spate of First Nations youth suicides: The "most troubling" factor at play in Pikangikum is the solvent abuse problem, the coroner's report said. More than one-quarter of girls in Grades 3 and 4 have self-reported sniffing gasoline.

Mourning death of solvent abuser: The truth is deaths related to solvent abuse are mostly unreported, even though many solvent inhalers end up in an accident that takes their life.


Youth sniffed paint before suicide: The second day of the inquest into the suicides of a number of teenagers has heard one of the deceased youth was sniffing paint for several hours before his death.

Jail for glue sniffing arsonist (Lithgow, NSW): A glue sniffing addict who endangered a large number of lives when he lit a fire in a carriage on a Blue Mountains train has been sentenced to two years jail for arson.

Kids sniffing glue 'to curb hunger' (Bundaberg, QLD): Bundaberg children are continuing the deadly habit of glue sniffing because they are hungry, according to police.

Petrol sniffing 'outbreaks' hit Opal-free communities: Blair McFarland from the The Central Australian Youth Link Up Service says Opal fuel needs to be introduced into remote areas of the Northern Territory.

Skateboarders go bush on life skills mission: Dr Anna Flouris of the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service says it is part of a project designed to discourage children from taking up petrol sniffing.


Decline in glue cases: Police have noted a decline in the number of cases involving school students who inhale glue fumes but there has been an increase in the number of street kids inhaling glue.

Minister rings alarm bells: Students as young as 10 years old are sniffing glue with most cases being reported from primary schools in the Suva-Nausori district, says Education Minister Filipe Bole.


Drugs and the Valley (Kashmir): ”Out of the addiction cases that are reported at the hospital, school-going children comprise 15 to 20 per cent of that population; and 2 to 3 per cent are cases of solvent abuse.”

Kovai cops to crackdown on sale of whitener
(Coimbatore): Following the arrest of two retailers on Wednesday, the Coimbatore police have planned to enforce the prohibition on selling whiteners to those under the age of 18, strictly in the city.

City teens fall prey to solvent abuse
(Kolkata): If you think sniffing adhesive or ink whitener was the domain of the street urchins, you are thoroughly mistaken.


0.6 million Pakistanis joining drug club every year: Over 40,000 street children are involved in solvent substance abuse in four major cities of the country. An estimated 40% of Pakistan prison population uses drug.

Glue sniffing plagues Pakistan children
(Islamabad): Hamza, 12, a poor beggar, is often found in different posh sectors of Pakistan's capital city Islamabad. Whenever there is a chance, he will steal money to buy a special kind of sniffing glue, which he uses as a drug.


Youth charged with homicide for pushing friend off roof (Netanya): Some of the boys, including the defendant, began to inhale gas from the compressor of an air conditioning unit using a drinking straw and a plastic bottle.


UNICEF focuses on the rights of indigenous children: A number of studies by UNICEF demonstrate high rates of suicide, alcohol, substance and solvent abuse among indigenous children.

Monday, May 23, 2011

VSA Headlines: April-May 2011

The words of one mother, whose son died after becoming addicted to butane gas, are particularly resonant this month, following a number of deaths from VSA.

Quoted in the Derby Telegraph, Ms Evans called for the dangers of Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) – the deliberate inhalation of volatile substances such as lighter fuel, glue or aerosols – to be widely publicised. She said: "After my son's death, I began to research the subject and I was astonished by how universal it is. Communities are often unaware of the consequences of VSA. The community needs to be aware of the services available to address this problem. More funding is needed to encourage practitioners to write about the subject."

Re-Solv's Helpline number is 01785 810762.


Three people helped by teen who died after sniffing aerosol: A teenager whose Asperger's Syndrome led him to develop compulsive behaviour – including an obsession with smells – died after he sniffed an aerosol spray.

Misadventure verdict on chef: A chef who failed to turn up for work was found dead on his living room floor, clutching a butane gas canister, an inquest heard.

Family of Crewe teenager mark anniversary of his death by warning others of dangers of solvent abuse: Sports-mad teenager Robert Pownall was just 14 when he died after an experiment sniffing the fluid at his Crossway home one Saturday morning went wrong.

Paul Lupton was high on butane gas when he stalked his victim and attacked her: Neil Clark, Lupton’s barrister, said he was a butane gas addict who largely slept rough. He had scars from childhood beatings from his stepfather.

Gas-snorting heroin addict from Hatfield has ‘life’ sentence quashed: Heroin addict John Davidson Scott collected gas cylinders and kept them under his bed so he could get high from inhaling the fumes.

Arson accused 'sniffed' petrol
: An alleged arsonist arrested after a car was set alight claimed he was carrying two suspected bottles of petrol to sniff, the High Court has heard.


New national research by The Partnership at and MetLife Foundation published 6/4/11 indicates that teen drug and alcohol use is headed in the wrong direction. With specific regard to VSA, their finding show that: "Past-year teen inhalant abuse remains at 10 percent, yet only 60 percent of teens strongly agree that 'sniffing or huffing things to get high can kill you,' significantly less than the 70 percent of teens who said the same in 2008. Inhalant abuse merits careful monitoring – as teen attitudes towards inhalant abuse weaken, abuse is more likely to increase." More.

A brand new awareness-raising campaign, Strike Out Inhalant Abuse, has been launched in the state of Minnesota. The Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) has partnered with the Minnesota Twins and other community organizations, and local businesses have also joined the coalition to strengthen the impact of the campaign. Awareness and coalition-building efforts will continue throughout the year to help spread the message about the dangers of inhalant abuse and how to prevent it. Read more or watch a video clip.

Girl Who Died at Rave was Huffing Whip-Its: The 18 year old collapsed while attending a rave party at Madison Event Center in downtown Phoenix. Police say she had been inhaling nitrous oxide, and a toxicology test is pending to determine a cause of death.

Man Dies After Inhaling Refrigerant: A 25-year-old Ruston man has died after “huffing” freon, Lincoln Parish sheriff’s deputies said.

Judge orders mental evaluation: Weldon, 19, was charged with a number of offenses including the attempted murder of a Coffee County Sheriff’s Office deputy. During the hearing, Weldon’s parents testified their son is a former honor student who has developed an addiction to “huffing,” which is the cause of his changed behavior.

Reports concerning fatal crashes or critical injury caused by VSA were reported this month in Huntersville (NC), Mount Holly (NJ), Indiana (IN) and Rapid City (SD).

The story of repeat offender Kelly Gibson who is addicted to huffing made headlines in a number of UK papers as well as the US media. However, coverage was also given to his wife, Elizabeth, who spoke out tellingly on behalf of many who support someone addicted to VSA to say: “People need to understand that he is still a person. He is a person fighting with a very ugly addiction.”


Shamattawa helped by no-sniff gas: An odourless gasoline made halfway across the globe has proven an effective weapon in a battle against solvent abuse on a Manitoba First Nation community.


An interesting story ran this month that raised the issue of retailer responsibility and best practice. Youth workers in Central Australia had expressed concern that the supermarket giant Coles is inadvertently contributing to an inhalant abuse problem because of the in-store placement of misusable products. Coles has responded to say it is happy to move potential inhalants and is working proactively with Tangentyere Council to help reduce the inhalant flow into Alice Springs. An unrelated story but on the same topic from South Hedland makes the suggestion that displays could be "placed in areas where closer supervision can be made of the products themselves."

Youth workers warn of more petrol sniffing: Youth workers say the continuing availability of standard petrol in some areas of the Northern Territory is contributing to a sniffing outbreak at a Central Australian community.


Govt to use nataks to deter kids from using intoxicants: The government plans to teach children the ill-effects of using intoxicants through stories, songs, slogans and group discussions.

PIL for steps to check inhalant abuse among children: Government and schools should be directed to take steps to check inhalant abuse among students, including making children and their parents aware of its harmful affects and preventing easy access to intoxicants, according to a petition submitted to the Delhi High Court.

Eraser fluid addict minor boys arrested for murder
: Two minor boys have been arrested for planning and murdering another minor boy in Ghaziabad's Loni area. Police said both the accused are addicted to sniffing eraser fluid easily available in the market.

Monday, March 28, 2011

VSA Headlines: March 2011


The United States recognised National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week this month, an annual media-based, community-level program that takes place the third week in March. Organised by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC), the awareness week is designed to increase understanding about the use and risks of inhalant involvement (usually referred to in the UK as 'volatile substance abuse' or 'VSA') and garners widespread media attention.

This year, the week was also marked by the publication of a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with the NIPC. It reports that 54% of U.S. treatment admissions for inhalant abuse in 2008 were those age 18 or older, and that an estimated 1.1 million adults age 18 and older used inhalants in the past year. (By contrast, estimated adult past year use levels for the following other substances were lower: Crack - 988,000, LSD - 637,000, Heroin - 571,000 and PCP - 75,000.)

The NIPC, with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), held a press conference on March 17 to discuss the public health problem of inhalant abuse by adults now illuminated by this disturbing new government data.


So soon after VSA caused the death of a Belfast 12-year-old (reported in January), it's concerning to read The Belfast Telegraph again reporting that solvent abuse fear grows. Certainly, the annual UK report Trends in Death Associated with the Abuse of Volatile Substances, shows that Northern Ireland continues to have the highest VSA mortality rate in the UK.


Our glue-sniffing epidemic shame (Bundaberg): Glue-sniffing is reaching epidemic proportions with children as young as 10 being caught in the act around the Bundaberg CBD, police say.


Teen was sniffing glue when he fell: State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid found that there was no evidence to suggest foul play. He found that Shawn had drowned when he accidentally fell into the pond after ingesting toluene.


Following The Times of India story of a young medical student suspected to have died following excessive inhalation of whitener, The Hindustan Times covered a number of stories this month: City students sniff ink for a high (Mumbai), and a series of articles based in Delhi: Fleeting highs and lifelong health woes, Delhi kids on a dangerous high and Addiction not limited to homeless youth.


Teenager dies in 'huffing' incident (Johannesburg): The parents of a Sandton high school pupil who died after inhaling household aerosol to get high, are hoping that the news of his death will draw attention to the problem. Shannon Greenspans’ mother, Heidi, said since her son’s death on Saturday, she has realised how widespread "huffing" has become. “Many kids have come from many different schools to say Shannon has saved my life. It was almost like an epidemic,” she said. Read more.

Monday, February 28, 2011

VSA Headlines: February 2011

Here in the UK, Mid Devon youngsters are putting their lives at risk by sniffing butane gas, police warned this week. A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said: “This is a very serious issue. “Youngsters should realise just how dangerous this practice is. I would call on all young people to be sensible and not give in to peer pressure to sniff gas or any other drugs. I would also call on retailers to think about who they are selling butane gas to.” Full story.

A similar problem with solvent abuse and petrol has also been reported in East Malling, Kent, while the jailing of a teenager in Oxford also highlights the association between VSA (in this instance, petrol) and criminal behaviour.

Other headlines this month from around the world include:


"Poppers" may cause lasting vision loss
: Inhaling the vapors from "poppers" to get high even once can cause eye damage, but habitual huffing may lead to months-long vision loss, French doctors say.


Tulsa mother warns of huffing freon after teenage son dies
(Tulsa, OK): Despite her sadness, she feels it's important to warn parents how addictive and deadly a new high is that kids are chasing. Her son, Mario, died from huffing freon.

2010 brings coroner's first encounter with death by huffing
(Washington Township, PA): A 16-year-old boy involved in a vehicle crash Sept. 19, 2010, died of inhalant abuse.

'Dusting' cited in fatal Granite City crash
(IL): A Granite City man was under the influence of an inhaled gas when his car crashed into a building.

'Huffing' may be cause of death for Kimberly Andrews (Conway, AK): A 21 year old Conway woman was found dead in her home Sunday, and police believe her death may have been caused by "huffing."

A 53-year-old woman found dead along a road on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WY) died from heart troubles after inhaling fumes from an aerosol can, authorities say.

Woman failed to supervise paint-sniffing child
(Palm Harbor, FL): Palm Harbor neighbors called police on Sunday after they saw a 7-year-old child huffing paint.

Local officials try to stop teens from 'huffing' (Leesburg, GA): Hairspray, nail polish remover and cooking spray; they're all items that you could find your home or a grocery store. They're also all items on a new list of substances that are banned from inhaling.


Australia targets gasoline-sniffing (Canberra): Australia is fighting rampant gasoline-sniffing in the Outback by extending the availability of a less harmful fuel as part of a major campaign to improve Aborigines' health.

Youth warned of solvent abuse dangers
: Yesterday, the Opposition criticised the Western Australian Government for knocking back legislation that would restrict the sale of the solvent butane to minors.


Police in Fiji getting tough on glue sniffing: Police spokesman, Atunaisa Sokomuri, says the problem exists in urban areas and has been an on-going issue for sometime.


Youth sniff chemical glue like addicts
: Police of Quang Ngai Province and Da Nang city in central Vietnam have recently detected and apprehended some teens who sniff chemical glues as a drug.


A sniff that can ‘white out' the future
(Coimbatore): It's a case that has shocked people a 16-year-old boy was arrested on Saturday for brutally attacking his father with a stool, after inhaling rubber vulcanising solution. But this addiction is not a lone case.


Sindh Human Rights Minister Nadia Gabol calls for awareness against drug menace
: Over 40,000 street children are involved in solvent substance abuse in five major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Friday, January 28, 2011

VSA Headlines: January 2011

A new year, a new goal to continue the downward trend in the number of deaths caused in the UK from volatile substance abuse. However, the tragic death of 12-year-old Correy Wisdom who did not know the dangers involved in petrol-sniffing, highlights once again the importance of preventative education. Re-Solv continues to campaign for young people to be responsibly taught the facts about VSA so that they can make informed choices.


Petrol fumes killed west Belfast boy: A west Belfast schoolboy who collapsed and died in Falls Park last year had inhaled from a petrol can, an inquest into his death has heard.


Huffing has tragic consequences for area family (Reidland, KY): Over the weekend, 15-year-old Mallory Chapman of Reidland, Kentucky, died after inhaling chemicals from computer keyboard cleaner.

Local student accused of helping another student get high from huffing (Chippewa Falls, WI): Charges are filed against a Chippewa Falls high school student. He's accused of helping another student get high from huffing at the school.

Wytheville Delegate tackles "dusting" problem (Wytheville, VA): Anne B. Crockett-Stark has proposed a law that would mandate retailers lock up those cans of "dust off" in order to make it harder to steal.

Traffic accidents caused by inhalation included those in Canandaiguia, NY, Fargo, ND, and Kearney, NB.


Kids offered an alternative to drugs (Winnipeg): Skates or sniff? Chief Martin Owens was blunt Tuesday afternoon about some of the options youths in Little Grand Rapids might partake in.


Opal fuel killing off petrol sniffing (Gunbalanya, West Arnhem Shire, Northern Territory): THE controversial rollout of Opal fuel in a Top End community has so far killed off its chronic petrol-sniffing problems and left the local substance diversion officer with little to do.

Group wants glue-sniffing legislation: An Alice Springs youth help group is pushing for new legislation to discourage glue-sniffing.


Rehab centre curbs sniffing habit: Juveniles caught sniffing glue are rehabilitated by the Social Welfare Department in an effort to help control the habit.

'Trip into the day' (Suva): Glue sniffing is a scourge which some are encouraging by selling glue from their houses with prices doubling in the night.

Glue sniffers undergo counselling: Police have now taken to counselling more than 30 sex workers as glue sniffing is not a prescribed offence and the users can not be charged or brought before court.


Singapore Drug and Inhalant Abuse Situation 2010 Report: This new report, published 24/1/11, reported that the number of inhalant abusers arrested showed a decline last year, a trend noted since 2008. The total number of inhalant abusers arrested fell by 16 per cent, from 600 in 2009 to 504 last year. Arrests of new inhalant abusers also fell, by 14 per cent from 398 in 2009 to 343 last year.