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.