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.

UK

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.

USA

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).

CANADA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

FIJI

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.

MALAYSIA

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.