Tuesday, December 04, 2012

VSA Headlines: November - December 2012

Deaths from solvent abuse rose to 46 in 2009 from 38 in 2008, according to a new report on the latest UK figures. Read the full report, Trends in UK deaths associated with abuse of volatile substances, 1971-2009, by the International Centre for Drug Policy (ICDP) here. 


Death of Hoddesdon teen highlights dangers of butane gas: The tragic death of a Hoddesdon teenager needs to serve as a warning to youngsters about the dangers of inhaling butane gas, his family has said.

Father tells how solvent abuse killed daughter (Sheffield): A teenager who died sniffing aerosol fumes was one of half a dozen young girls at her school experimenting with the deadly craze, an inquest heard.

Missing man 'probably died from solvent abuse': A man whose skeletal remains were discovered near a Beaconsfield petrol station almost seven months after disappearing from a care home probably died from sniffing petrol, an inquest heard.

Kids dicing with death: More young lives will be senselessly lost if urgent steps are not taken to halt the deadly solvent abuse craze that is sweeping Antrim, a school governor has claimed.

Man was sniffing gas (Paisley): He had pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner likely to case fear and alarm to others. 

Legal Highs

43 deaths linked to legal highs: More than 40 deaths were linked to a group of now-banned legal highs in 2010, eight times as many as the previous year, figures have shown. Read the full report, Drug-related deaths in the UK Annual Report 2011, by the International Centre for Drug Policy (ICDP) here.

Watford man died after "legal high" caused his lungs to bleed: A Watford man died after the "legal high" he had been smoking caused his lungs to bleed, starving his brain of oxygen.

Boy, 12, in hospital after taking ‘legal high’ drug: A Highland schoolboy had to be treated in hospital after taking a “legal high” drug.

Club drug users warned as new figures show more getting help: While overall drug use has declined in England, there has been an increase in those needing treatment for ‘club drugs’ such as ketamine and mephedrone in the last six years, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) revealed today.

More than one new legal high goes on sale every week, survey finds: EU report reveals 57 new psychoactive drugs have been detected so far this year. Almost one in 10 Britons aged between 15 and 24 have used a legal high, twice the European average of 5% and in Ireland the figure was 15%. Read the full European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) annual report here.

New film prize to curb use of 'club drugs': Campaigners launch film competition to raise awareness of dangers of legal highs – and suggest alternatives. For more details of this and the wider Why Not Find Out? campaign, visit the Angelus Foundation website or their new whynotfindout.org.

‘Legal High’ MDAI ban extended for a further 12 months (Isle of Man): The ban, which will see MDAI remain a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1976, will come into force on 1 January 2013, meaning that the ban will continue uninterrupted.

Explosion of legal-high deaths leads to ‘buyer beware’ alert: The dangers of so-called “legal highs”, which are sweeping Scotland, were stressed yesterday in a report showing an eightfold increase in UK deaths from the drugs.

Hospitalisations caused by legal highs were reported from Bradford (W Yorks) and Bridlington (E Yorks). 


Tackling the solvent abuse problem: The use of inhalants among young people in Malta was brought to tragic public attention recently following the death of a 14-year-old girl who, police believe, had been sniffing lighter fuel when she fainted and died of cardiac arrest soon after. She is the first person in Malta whose death was confirmed to have been caused by sniffing inhalants.


Delray man charged with 'huffing' found dead in Boynton Beach (FL): The 29-year-old had spent the last 18 months in and out of recovery programs in Pennsylvania, then Washington D.C., fighting a brutal addiction to inhalants that had put his life on hold.

Man who died from burn injuries may have been huffing gas (AL): Investigators believe that a Tuscaloosa County man may have been huffing gasoline before accidentally starting a fire that burned most of his body.

Six year prison sentence in alleged huffing crash (OH): A Middle Point woman whose alleged huffing caused a fatal traffic crash was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.

‘Dusting’ High A Deadly Fad For Young People (IL) It’s difficult to detect, easy to find, and can kill you the first time you try it. What’s worse, the  biggest abusers are 8th-graders.

Granny Huffing Paint In Front Of Toddler Grandson Arrested (OK): An Oklahoma City woman is facing charges of child endangerment and public drunkenness after she was arrested for allegedly huffing spray paint outside of a convenience store with her grandson present.

Lakeside considering huffing ordinance (IA): ... In Storm Lake, huffing, possession or purchase of substances for huffing or aiding others involved in huffing is prohibited, per an ordinance adopted earlier this summer ...  The Storm Lake ordinance calls for juveniles to receive substance abuse assistance. "We are much more interested in referring them to counseling programs," Prosser said.


Government backs Greens to tackle petrol sniffing: The Federal Government will get the power to force petrol stations to sell non-sniffable Opal fuel after Labor announced it would support a Greens bill aimed at tackling the scourge of petrol sniffing.

Petrol sniffing outbreak hits Tennant Creek: The Central Australian Youth Link Up Service says there has been an outbreak of petrol sniffing in Tennant Creek. 

Shell to help combat petrol sniffing: Shell will join the fight against petrol sniffing in remote Aboriginal communities after agreeing to sell non-sniffable Opal fuel for the first time.

Boy, 11, faces drug and alcohol issues (Southern Queensland): The lad had gone missing from his family home last week, spending days with mates sniffing glue.

Legal Highs

Naked and psychotic: legal cocaine substitute offers a deadly high: Mr Punch's death was the first bath salts fatality in Australia. 


Huffing addict's grieving parents recall 10-year ordeal: The grieving parents of Josh Tunnicliffe battled for a decade to halt their son's huffing addiction. The body of the 27-year-old was found near a park bench in the Dunedin Botanic Garden on Sunday, November 4.

Coroner urges education on huffing: A coroner is calling for a carefully co-ordinated approach to help prevent huffing deaths after a 16-year-old died in Rotorua.


Serial offender jailed again for inhaling glue (Fujairah): A 21-year-old Arab man’s one-year jail term for abusing an addictive substance was upheld by the Fujairah Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Press Release: 20/11/12

Deaths from Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) in the UK in 2009 rose to 46 from 38 in 2008.

Stephen Ream, Director of Re-Solv, welcomed the publication of the annual report Trends in UK Deaths Associated with Abuse of Volatile Substances 1971-2009 by the International Centre for Drug Policy (ICDP) at St George’s, University of London. 

Key points from the report:
  • Deaths of young people aged 15-19 rose to 13 (from 8 in 2008).
  • Inhalation of Nitrous Oxide was associated with 5 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the UK associated with Nitrous Oxide since 1971 to 52. 
  • There were 17 deaths in Scotland associated with Volatile Substance Abuse, up from 4 in 2008. This is the highest number of VSA deaths in Scotland since 1991.
Stephen Ream said: “This increase in deaths is very worrying. At a time when the number of deaths from other forms of substance misuse are dropping in the UK, deaths from Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) are increasing. VSA involves the misuse of everyday household consumer products such as lighter refills, aerosols and solvents.

"VSA is too often a hidden problem: rarely given media coverage, often unrecognised by support services that focus on illicit drugs, and a cause of stigma and isolation for users. We talk to people who misuse 20-30 cans of butane cigarette lighter refills a day. This is a very real, very significant problem – and it will continue to kill people in the UK, young and old alike, until real action is taken to confront the issue.

"Re-Solv is working to increase routes into help, support and recovery for all those whose lives are affected by VSA, and to increase prevention efforts so that young people, and those who care for them, are aware of the potentially fatal risk of misusing these products.”


Anyone seeking advice can call Re-Solv on 01785 817885 or visit www.re-solv.org.


VSA Headlines: October 2012


A north London teenager died after inhaling an unknown gas from a canister he thought contained laughing gas, it has emerged. The 17-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest after inhaling the gas with his friends on 31 August. An inquest later revealed that the aerosol instead contained a mixture of dangerous gases including butane, which is used as lighter fuel, and pentane, which is used to make polystyrene.

Mother overcame heroin addiction only to become hooked on up to 15 butane gas canisters a day: A post-mortem examination revealed the mother had a cocktail of drugs in her body, including butane and benzodiazepines, at the time of her death.

Hereford teenager 'critical' after inhaling butane gas: A teenage boy from Hereford is in a critical condition in hospital after inhaling butane gas, police have said.

'Lucky' butane gas sniffers in blast drama (St Austell, Cornwall): An explosion at a guest house has hospitalised two residents who were thought to be sniffing butane gas while smoking.

Royal Bolton Hospital study links use of "poppers" with eyesight damage: The Royal Bolton Hospital is warning that sniffing "poppers" can cause lasting damage to the eyes, following the first study of its kind in the UK.
A post-mortem examination revealed the mother had a cocktail of drugs in her body, including butane and benzodiazepines, at the time of her death.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159707/Knife-wielding-mother-high-15-canisters-butane-gas-threatened-cut-daughter-14--like-fish.html#ixzz2ClKStPLi
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Legal Highs

Boy, 16, dies after police warning on 'legal high' drugs: Six teenagers were rushed to hospital yesterday – and one of them died – shortly after a drugs warning about legal highs was issued by police.

Annihilation legal high leaves nine in hospital (Glasgow): Police have warned about the use of a "legal high" substance that has left nine people in hospital in the past three months. A leading drug misuse expert has called for tough new measures to target those involved in the supply of 'legal high' drugs.

Legal high linked to death in Jersey joins the banned list: A 19-year-old died earlier this year shortly after taking the stimulant-style drug Benzofuran, also known as Benzo Fury.

Amy Winehouse's Dad Launches Legal High Awareness Campaign: Amy Winehouse's father is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of legal mind-altering substances which have flooded the U.K. club scene. Details on the full campaign via the Angelus Foundation website.

Two arrests over Belfast 'legal highs': Police investigating the sale and supply of so-called legal highs arrested two men in Belfast on Wednesday afternoon.

Dad who ran 'legal high' drugs website from Burslem base sent to jail: A FATHER-OF-TWO has been jailed for selling thousands of pounds worth of 'legal high' drugs, which then became illegal. 


Huffing blamed for three Vermont deaths this year: Before the huffing of aerosols was being blamed for causing the crash that killed 17-year-old Carly Ferro last week, the practice of inhaling household chemicals had been deemed major factors in two other fatal crashes in the state this year — including one in Rutland.

Middle Point woman pleads in alleged huffing crash (OH): A Middle Point woman accused of huffing from a can of compressed air before causing a traffic crash that killed a 90-year-old woman pleaded no contest at a Monday court hearing.

Mom warns of dangers of inhaling helium: "There are few comprehensive statistics on deaths from helium huffing, since the federal government does not collect them and few states do," according to the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC). However, Florida is one of those states and according to data collected there, in 2010, approximately 20 percent of the state's 38 inhalant deaths involved helium. 


Substance abuse is 'problem No. 1' in aboriginal North: Dr. Stanley Vollant's 'Innu path' is both a personal 4,000-km trek and a mentoring process for troubled youth. 


Oxiteno develops nail polish solvent to replace toluene: Brazilian chemicals company Oxiteno has developed a new solvent for nail polish applications that substitutes toluene.  


Petrol sniffing blamed for mall fire: A 29-year-old man was sniffing petrol in the roof cavity of a Darwin shopping centre shortly before a fire ignited, a court has heard.  


Legal Highs

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne today announced details of a new regulatory regime for ''legal high'' manufacturers: Under the new regime, manufacturers would have to pay fees and testing costs to have the substance passed as safe for sale by a regulatory watchdog.

Users of synthetic cannabis are putting a strain on the health system in Otago, prompting police to ask retailers not to sell the legal high. 


Nairobi glue pusher preys on addicted kids to help her own: For kids in Kenya looking to get a cheap high, glue is the way to go. The dealers aren't necessarily drug kingpins. More often than not, they're mothers, selling glue as a means to put food on the table for and clothes on the back of their own children.

VSA Headlines: September 2012


Solvent abuse duo caused guest house explosion (Edinburgh): The pair had been inhaling from butane aerosol cans for hours before lighting up cigarettes and causing the blast. 

Legal Highs

86% of parents unaware of legal highs: A survey of over 1,000 parents with children aged between 13 and 18 years of age has today revealed the lack of awareness parents have around the latest headline hitting concern that is legal highs.

Mum of three girls dies after taking legal high drug at house party: The mother of a seven-week-old girl has died after a suspected overdose of a so-called legal high. Drugs expert calls for legal highs ban.

Hospitalisations caused by legal highs were reported from Darwen (Lancs),  Killmarnock (Ayrshire) and Whitley Bay (N Tyneside). 


Girl dies ‘after sniffing lighter fuel’: Police believe that a 14-year-old girl who fainted and died of cardiac arrest on Friday was sniffing lighter fuel with a friend on the roof of the Qawra department where she lived shortly before her death.

‘Youngsters don’t realise inhalants are dangerous’: There is a worrying and growing trend among young people who use inhalants, such as lighter fuel, to escape personal problems, according to George Grech, who heads the Government’s rehabilitation agency Sedqa.  


On the shelf at home, a means to get a high: According to the Inhalant Abuse Prevention Program, about 2.6 million children ages 12 to 17 use an inhalant each year to get high. One in four students has abused a common household product by the time they reach the eighth grade.

Wal-Mart, manufacturer sued over huffing death of Syracuse man (NY): James W. Monticelli bought 16 cans of aerosol dust remover from the Wal-Mart store in Camillus in the three days before his death two years ago. [His] father is suing Wal-Mart Stores and IQ Products Co. for $15 million, claiming they were negligent in allowing his son to feed his huffing habit with so many purchases.

In wake of teen's death, 'Kimmie's Law' preaches zero tolerance for inhalant use (NJ): Kimmie’s Law, sponsored by state Sen. Steven Oroho, (R-Sussex), and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), was introduced in June. The "zero tolerance" bill prohibits people from driving with any chemicals in their bloodstream resulting from inhalant use — meaning there is no acceptable level of those substances.

17-year-old dies a week after huffing canned air (Elko, NV): An Elko High School senior died Saturday, more than a week after huffing canned air and passing out, according to hospital and police reports.

Possible huffing death reported in Menomonie (WI): A 30-year-old Menomonie man died Saturday from an apparent accidental huffing overdose.

Man gets jail for deadly crash after inhaling laughing gas (CA): A Santa Ana man sat somberly in a wheelchair Monday as he was sentenced to a year in jail for killing one friend and injuring two others in a fiery car crash while he was under the influence of laughing gas.

Woman who was huffing before deadly wreck sentenced (Marietta, SC): A 46-year-old Marietta woman pleaded guilty Thursday in a DUI crash that killed a social worker and a 10-year-old girl in 2011.

A loss in Rutland: A 17-year-old girl has been killed by a speeding car, whose driver “was huffing (Dust-Off) prior to the crash, and may have blacked out and accelerated to a high rate of speed,” 

A dangerous chemical high — and not just for the user (Highland Park, IL): Teen charged with driving under the influence of 'intoxicating compound' after deadly crash. 


Treatment centre wants more help for gas sniffing youth (Thunder Bay): Solvent abuse treatment saves lives, care-givers say.

RCMP warn of violence, injury as gas-sniffing escalates in Natuashish (Newfoundland and Labrador): Almost 10 years after the Innu people of Davis Inlet were moved to Natuashish following a gas-sniffing crisis, police say a spike in solvent abuse involves kids as young as seven. "A pediatrician who cared for dozens of Innu children who were sniffing gas a decade ago says this time, Innu children abusing solvents should be treated at home in Natuashish instead of being sent away." Additional coverage on CBC News and in the Toronto Star.


States and Territories need to be on board for Opal fuel laws to work, says Senate committee: A GREENS-sponsored bill to force retailers to stop selling regular unleaded fuel near petrol-sniffing communities should be scrapped for a state and territory-based approach, a Senate committee recommends.


Inquest held into huffing-related death (Rotorua): The 16-year-old boy died last year.  The inhalation of butane found in his lungs triggered a fatal cardiac arrest. But his father said his son had shown no signs of using the chemical - and agreed with police comments that there needed to be more awareness for young people about huffing. "They just don't realise you die from that."

'Huffing' killing some of our kids: This week the death of a 17-year-old girl at a park in Christchurch was reported. Police said she might have been "huffing" butane as part of a group.

Restrictions a breath of fresh air: News this week that some of the country's prominent retail chains are voluntarily restricting the sale of butane-based products to minors is welcome.

Butane abuse: plea to families: Educating parents on the signs of butane abuse could be the key to addressing the concerning rate of death it causes among New Zealand teens, a toxicologist from the National Poisons Centre says.


Glue sniffing prevalent amongst Duvula youths: Residents of Duvula Street, Nadera claim youths in the area as young as 10 are openly indulging in glue sniffing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VSA Headlines: August 2012


Legal Highs

Glasgow health board reports 358% rise in legal high hospital cases: Scotland's largest health board has reported a 358% rise in the number of young people needing emergency treatment after taking legal highs. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde there were 43 admissions in 2011/2012 compared to 12 the previous year. In many cases, patients only survived after "urgent specialist treatment".

Recreational drugs known as “legal highs” are being widely used in Shetland and are anything but safe, the Shetland Alcohol and Drug Partnership warned this week.

Teenager dices with death after taking “legal high” (Kilmarnock): A 16-year-old was left “out of it” after taking drugs in a park with his pals. Police were forced to arrest the schoolboy who became uncontrollable upon taking 2CB, believed to be a legal high.

Wickerman revellers reminded of “legal high” dangers: Festival goers are being urged to be careful at this weekend’s Wickerman festival.

Jailed for importing 'legal highs': A man who imported thousands of pounds in illegal drugs from China believing they were so-called legal highs was jailed for three years yesterday.

Drugs and dotcoms: How the legal highs industry exploded online.

Coroner’s warning over legal highs after inquest hears King’s Lynn man died after smoking incense.

Parents warned of 'legal highs' danger: Worcestershire's Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) wants to highlight the fact that just because a substance is legal does not mean it is safe. 


The Childhood Drug Abuse Epidemic No One is Talking About: ... What makes solvent abuse a global childhood drug epidemic is that it disproportionately affects adolescents, especially males, in depressed regions of the world.

Solvent Exposure At Work Increases Risk Of Birth Defects In Offspring: Children born to mothers who were exposed to organic solvents at their workplace during pregnancy are more likely to have a heart defect at birth, say researchers. (See paper.)

Wisconsin appeals court says huffing chemical not intoxicant: A state appeals court has thrown out an intoxicated driving charge, ruling the specific chemical the woman "huffed" is not an intoxicant.  Contrastingly, in Washington State, New DUI laws that take effect Aug. 1... also add additional chemicals and "huffing" inhalants to the list of intoxicating substances subject to penalties.

Vt. driver pleads not guilty in fatal car crash (Hyde Park, VT): Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Miller is accused of huffing dust cleaner moments before the crash on June 30 in Johnson.

Drugs led to fatal crash (Effingham, IL): Freon huffing was a contributing factor in the traffic death of a Flora teen earlier this summer, Effingham County Coroner Leigh Hammer said.

Man commits arson while huffing paint (Midland, TX): A Midland man remained in custody Wednesday after being arrested for allegedly committing arson while intoxicated on inhalants.

Man burned after huffing, arrested on similar charge (Rexburg, ID): A Madison County man hospitalized back in July for third-degree burns after a huffing-related flash fire in his car is being investigated for a similar huffing incident this week, according to court records. 


Man, teen arrested in Natuashish with firearms (Labrador): A man and two male youths were observed sniffing gas and in possession of several firearms in Natuashish Sunday when RCMP officers responded a complaint around 3 p.m. 


Unfair and unbalanced: misreporting the petrol sniffing ‘scourge’: ... In 2005 and again in 2008, Gillian Shaw and I were engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to assess the prevalence of petrol sniffing in Indigenous communities prior to and following the introduction of Opal fuel. In our initial study we gathered data from 74 communities; the 2008 study examined trends in 20 of these communities located in NT, WA, SA and Queensland. In 17 of the 20 we found a decline in petrol sniffing, attributable at least in part to the introduction of Low Aromatic Fuel.

Petrol sniffing: stepping softly is no solution: Margaret and David Hewitt have spent nearly 50 years traversing much of the continent, trying to help Aboriginal communities beat the daily scourge of alcohol abuse, violence and petrol sniffing.

States urged to follow Northern Territory laws aimed at curbing petrol sniffing: Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon is urging the states to tackle petrol sniffing by matching Northern Territory legislation that relies on community involvement and tougher police powers to tackle volatile substance abuse. Mr Snowdon has written in recent days to health ministers in Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the NT urging a harmonised approach to dealing with the problem.

Glue sniffing incidents rise (SQ): A Toowoomba solicitor has expressed concern on the apparent rise in glue sniffing among young offenders appearing before the city's court.

No new funding for petrol sniffing program (Indulkana, SA): The Federal Government will not renew funding to a pilot program aimed at reducing petrol sniffing on remote Aboriginal lands in South Australia's outback. 


Huffing teen dies in Christchurch: Police are investigating the sale of butane gas to young people in Christchurch after the death of a teenage girl.

Shops urged to help cut huffing risk: The deadly risks of young people huffing butane will be featured in two hard-hitting reports expected to be released this month.Those reports from the child and youth mortality review committee and Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean are expected to deal with the risk associated with inhaling butane, also known as "huffing". Coroners dealt with 28 butane-related deaths from 2007-11.

Huff, Puff and Blow...: The New Zealand based MildGreen Initiative, a drug policy think tank (est 1998) reiterates yet again that "These tragedies surrounding inhalants and 'anything they can get there hands on' are a product of poor drug policy." 

Legal Highs

'Revolutionary' legal high law means state regulated drug market: Experts say the law will create one of the world's first open and regulated recreational drug markets with synthetic cannabis making a return. 


Call to ban selling gas to children to curb solvent abuse: Dubai police began investigating butane abuse in 2010. Since then they have dealt with at least seven cases of fires caused by butane gas bottles involving more than a dozen teenagers, including several girls. 

Teenagers inhaled solvent (Dubai): Two teenage boys have been placed under legal observation for three months after police caught them sniffing the solvent toluene in a shopping centre.


Resolution restricting selling of solvent to minors filed (General Trias, Cavite): A member of the Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council) has filed a resolution restricting hardware stores and other establishments in the municipality of selling solvents like rugby, and other products with similar components to minors. 


Kitintale’s gulf where the youth sniff petrol to calm their nerves. In Gulf, fuel is sipped from the vehicles using thet mouth. The boys place a tube into the car fuel tank to pull out the fuel into a jerrycan. At first, one gets intoxicated because of the fumes one inhales, but after a while, like a smoker, they get used to the smell. Not long after, they get addicted to sniffing it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

VSA Headlines: June - July 2012


Addict had been sniffing butane before his death: A heroin addict who had been using butane gas as a cheap alternative high was found dead in his bed by his partner.

Be aware of solvent abuse: An awareness drive has been launched about the dangers of solvent abuse. Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Service is running the campaign for retailers, teachers and parents, and officers are stressing the importance of knowing the warning signs that young people may be experimenting with substances.

St Helens stores snared in butane gas sting: Two retailers sold butane gas lighter refills to a 15-year-old girl in a sting carried out by St Helens Trading Standards. 

Police warning to gas abusers: In the run-up to the summer festival season, Newquay police are warning people of the dangers of inhaling nitrous oxide.

Gas find shock in Marlborough: Students from exclusive Marlborough College have been found sniffing dangerous nitrous oxide gas in the town. 

The deadly rise of 'hippy crack': For celebrities, it's the party drug du jour. Now inhaling laughing gas - is spreading to middle-class living rooms.

Solvents: Babies risk heart defects: Babies born to mothers who are exposed to organic solvents at work have a slightly higher risk of having a heart defect at birth, research has suggested. 

Legal Highs

Young mother dies after taking GBL while mourning death of mechanic friend killed by same party drug.

Legal highs wrecked our lives: Victims reveal the human cost of ‘High Street drugs’

The drugs lord who's strictly legal: He is credited with inventing legal highs. So why is the man who made a fortune evading the law now calling for the authorities to step in?


Legal Highs

British family remanded for legal high production: A family of three were remanded in custody for seven days yesterday by Famagusta district court in connection with the alleged production of synthetic ‘herbal highs’.


In the shadow of Euro 2012, Ukraine's street children struggle to stay alive: Ukraine's leaders are keen to highlight the sport taking place in their cities, but for 160,000 homeless children, football is the last thing on their minds.


Man found in field likely died of paint huffing overdose (Richland, WA): Jeffrey W. Roy, 48, was found on Monday in the field between Walmart and the apartment complex where he lived on Lowe Circle, dead of what appears to be paint huffing.

Man accused of sniffing aerosol can before fatal collision (Fairfax County, VA): Trial begins in death of 8-year-old pedestrian.

Woman found guilty of 'huffing' in car wreck that injured 13-month-old son (PA): A Huntingdon County woman “huffed” aerosol in her car with her infant son in the back seat before crashing and badly injuring the child, a judge ruled Thursday.

Mass. woman pleads guilty in "huffing" crash: A Dracut woman police said was deliberately inhaling compressed air while driving has pleaded guilty in a car crash that seriously injured three pedestrians.

E. Idaho man likely 'huffing' before blast (Rexburg, ID): Police believe an eastern Idaho man was "huffing" vapors from compressed-air cans inside his car when the inhalant vapors exploded and he was severely burned.

C.O. danger: Huffing air conditioning coolant (Bend, OR): It's a growing trend across the U.S.: teens huffing freon to get high. It's now being seen on the High Desert, and has local officials asking you to talk with your kids.

Huffing incident spurs call for more prevention efforts (Portsmouth, NH): Following an incident in which three Portsmouth High School students were taken to the hospital after allegedly "huffing" vapors to get high, the director of Project Safety said more must be done to educate youths and their parents about the dangers of drug abuse.


Yabu Band puts spotlight on substance abuse: An Indigenous band from Western Australia is keeping the issue in the spotlight, with a confronting song called Petrol, Paint and Glue.

Dangerous habit makes resurgence (Toowoomba, QLD): Few sights are more disturbing than a wild-eyed youth gasping away his wits and future over a bag of noxious fumes.

Fighting chroming epidemic (QLD): One Mount Isa youth service has refuted claims that not enough is being done to address the issue of Volatile Substance Misuse (VSM) in the community, following recent media coverage of chroming in the city. 

Deodorant sniffing outbreak 'incredibly serious' (Alice Springs, NT): Australia's peak drugs body says it is concerned by reports young Aboriginal people in central Australia are stealing deodorant from supermarkets to get high.


Urgent review into huffing deaths (Dunedin, Otago): The Mosgiel explosion that badly injured two teenagers "huffing" from an LPG bottle has sparked an urgent chief coroner's inquiry into the wider issue of solvent sniffing. 

Legal Highs

New 'hoops' for party pills welcomed: The Drug Foundation is welcoming a law change requiring legal high manufacturers to prove their products are safe before they can be sold. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced on Monday that the government will introduce new legislation reversing the onus of proof on party pills and synthetic cannabis products. The law will require their producers and distributors to provide toxicology data and results of human clinical trials to a regulatory body, which will declare whether they are safe before they can be sold.


Man charged with solvent abuse: A 19-year-old man was sued for possessing Toluene, a water-insoluble liquid with the odor of paint thinner, sniffed just like other solvent by those seeking some high.

2 hardware stores closed for ‘rugby’ sale: In a bid to solve the increasing number of “rugby boys” in his city, Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday ordered the closure of two hardware stores selling aromatic contact cement and solvents to minors.


Teenaged addict dies in Dubai inhaling lighter gas: Dubai police report cases of addiction to lighter gas and synthetic cannabis called 'Spice'.

Lighter gas inhalation causes death, injuries (Dubai): The Forensic Evidence Department of Dubai Police is conducting a study to determine the reason behind a number of cases involving inhalation of butane lighter gas, which resulted in one death and three injuries in the first six months of this year.

Two youths invite teenage friend to ‘fake party’ to rape her (Dubai):  FSR, 21, and MNN, 18, have also been accused of consuming alcohol and sniffing glue.


Legal Highs

The Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Amendment of First and Third Schedules) Order 2012 (the Amendment Order) will come into effect tomorrow (July 14) (Hong Kong). A spokesperson for the Security Bureau said today (July 13) that the Amendment Order would subject "gamma-butyrolactone" (GBL), "Salvia divinorum" and its active ingredient, "salvinorin-A", to the same strict control as other dangerous drugs on their trafficking, manufacture, possession, supply, import and export.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

VSA Headlines: May 2012 


Legal highs being used by children in Bexley: Canisters containing nitrous oxide, which are designed for making whipped cream, are reportedly being inhaled by kids as young as 11 to starve their brains of oxygen for "a buzz".

Warning over 'legal highs' (Somerset): The warnings come following the recent discovery of around 30 empty nitrous oxide canisters near the shelter at Collett Park in Shepton by Quadron Services Ltd's park staff.


Marcel Theroux: life with Ukraine's street children: The dirt floor underfoot is scattered with empty yellow tubes. They're from a brand of Ukrainian glue that's used for resoling shoes, but when inhaled from a plastic bag, the fumes suppress feelings of cold and hunger and produce auditory and visual hallucinations. They also cause brain damage.


Education May Protect Brain From Exposure to Solvents: People with less than a high school education who work with solvents may have problems with their thinking skills later in life, according to a [Harvard University] study of people in France.

Medford man indicted in death of 14-year-old girl who inhaled helium at teen party (Medford, OR): A 32-year-old Medford man has been indicted on a negligent homicide charge in the death of a 14-year-old Eagle Point girl who died after inhaling helium at party.

18-year-old charged with arson (Las Cruces, NM): Investigators said Galvan and two other teenagers were in the backyard of the abandoned home, and were huffing lighter fluid in an attempt to achieve a chemical high. Another arrest for arson was made in Douglas County, GA, where Men huffing burned historic mill.

Inhalant blamed in crash injuring school worker (Livingston County, MI): The sheriff's department is seeking charges against a 16-year-old Michigan high school student who struck a security officer with a vehicle in a school parking lot.

Probation set for woman who huffed aerosol in front of child (New Auburn, WI): A rural New Auburn woman will spend two years on probation for huffing from an aerosol can in the presence of her young son in the bathroom of an Eau Claire store.

Lund pleads guilty to DUI causing injury, aggravated assault (Laramie, WY): Police found two 3.5 ounce compressor air canisters of Maxell Blast Away Multi-Purpose Canned Air in Lund’s vehicle. When asked about the canisters, Lund admitted to inhaling the cleaner prior to the accident.

Northwest Arkansas Police See Increase in Huffing Cases: Fayetteville police said there is cause for concern about a recent trend. They said they are seeing more and more cases of people inhaling chemicals to get high.

“Huffing” arrests spark changes in HVAC equipment: In an effort to thwart attempts to inhale Freon from HVAC units, Advent Air Conditioning recently announced that it will now include locking refrigerant caps on all new construction and replacement HVAC work, effective immediately.  The locking caps had been offered as optional equipment since 2011.

FDA warns breathable caffeine maker over label: U.S. regulators warned the maker of inhalable caffeine product AeroShot Pure Energy over false or misleading labeling, and for contradictory statements about using the product with alcohol.

Council Approves Stricter Drug Rules (Twin Falls, ID): The Twin Falls City Council unanimously approved an ordinance change Tuesday that tightens the city’s ability to crack down on synthetic marijuana and other inhalants.


Huffing thought cause of explosion (Kamsack, SK): An explosion inside a vehicle sent three youths to hospital Monday night. RCMP believe the explosion was caused by the three youths - two 13-year old girls and one 12-year-old girl - who were huffing propane in the car.


Sniffers hit pits in rush on spray deodorants (Alice Springs, NT): The Central Australian Youth Link Up Service says, over the past fortnight, it has found more than 100 deodorant cans that have been used for sniffing.

City's chrome stats still way too high: Monash has been replaced as the chroming capital of Victoria ... the new problem centre, the City of Melbourne, had a rise of about 5per cent. (In Maribyrnong "inhalant incidents [requiring an ambulance call out] doubled to 14 - second only to the City of Melbourne")

Youth 'chroming' on the rise in Mount Isa: The department's Sandra Kennedy says a federally-funded program is in place in the city aimed at reducing the incidence of 'chroming'. "We see children as young as six years old affected by chroming."

Pressure grows to force Opal fuel sales in bush: The Northern Territory Government has backed a call for petrol stations to be forced to sell the non-aromatic Opal Fuel in areas where petrol sniffing is a problem. However, Katherine mayor questions calls for Opal roll-out and Forced sales of Opal fuel a 'legal minefield' says the Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon.


Huffing death a wake-up to young friends: Friends of a 12-year-old boy who died while "huffing" butane say his death has made them realise how dangerous sniffing the gas is.  The death has led to growing calls for retailers to take more responsibility over the sale of solvents to young people and for butane sales to be regulated. However, Prime Minister John Key says Darius' death is tragic, but he's not convinced new legislation would make a difference. A drug counsellor has described the issue of youth abusing solvents as being on the "same spectrum" as alcohol abuse and coroners have raised the issue that despite "dealing with 28 butane deaths from 2007 to 2011, resulting in numerous recommendations" little action has been taken because their recommendations are not mandatory.

Huffing victim's mum calls for action: The mother of a Christchurch boy who died after huffing has called for action before more young people die. 

Invalid man's attacker jailed (Palmerston North): A solvent-sniffing homeless man who assaulted a man in a wheelchair and scuffled with firefighters has been sent to jail.


'High' herbs cause surge in hospitalizations: The number of people hospitalized after inhaling or consuming certain types of herbs for their stimulatory or hallucinatory effects has sharply risen in Tokyo this year, leading police to step up their inspections of shops selling these substances.


Stationer held for selling whitener to minors (Hyderabad): A stationery store owner was taken into custody for selling whitener to minors who are getting addicted to inhaling the whitener for a ‘kick.'

Friday, May 11, 2012

VSA Headlines: April 2012


South Norwood mum died after inhaling lighter fluid, inquest hears: The body of a young mother who died after inhaling lighter fluid was discovered almost 16 days after her death. 

Hampton teen died after inhaling deodorant, inquest hears: A 19-year-old woman collapsed and died after sniffing deodorant to get high, an inquest has heard.

Man taken to hospital after ‘inhaling gas’: An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: “A man who we believe to be in his 90s was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital for further assessments after inhaling gas.”

Paramedic struck off for sniffing gas on duty: An ambulanceman who repeatedly sniffed pain-relieving gas while on duty, leaving a trail of empty cylinders behind him, has been struck off by the Health Professions Council. 

Old Trafford woman handed criminal asbo. An Old Trafford woman has been handed a criminal asbo after she stole tins of gas from shops in Altrincham and inhaled them.


Casper woman sentenced in fatal huffing crash (Casper, WY): A Casper woman who inhaled dust cleaner before a fatal car wreck will spend at least eight years in prison. Judge Catherine Wilking noted that Casper has seen a number of serious crashes involving dust cleaner. A warning about huffing and driving was also released in Evanston, WY.

Resurgence of thefts could result in deaths: Thieves are stealing Freon to get high. Police say they are pouring the chemical from people's air conditioning units and inhaling it. Oklahoma Poison Control say there have been seven deaths in a two-year period.

Orem City urges parents to talk to kids about huffing (Orem, UT): In a tweet sent out last night to the community, the Department of Public Safety urged parents to ‘talk to their kids about the dangers of huffing.

Teens getting high on Whip-Its (Louisiana): It gives them a legal and easily purchased high, but it could also take their life.

US teens 'getting drunk on hand sanitiser': An increasing number of US teenagers are drinking hand sanitiser and mouthwash because it contains alcohol, police in Albuquerque say.


Opal fuel needed to stop petrol sniffers (Katherine, NT): Children as young as six years of age have been seen sniffing petrol in the Katherine region. To intervene in the trend a group of more than 60 stakeholders, service providers, government, health and youth group representatives gathered in Katherine last week to discuss a push for the roll-out of Opal fuel in the region before the next wet season.

Petrol sniffing remains despite Opal roll-out: Central Australian Youth Link Up Service says some fuel retailers in central Australia are still refusing to stop sales of unleaded.

Seawind inquest finding (Bellambi, NSW): Deputy State Coroner Ian Guy found that 25 year-old Michael Parsons died from a heart arrhythmia caused by acute exposure to industrial solvent. Delivering his findings, Mr Guy said Seawind Catamarans’ management had failed to implement strategies to control the staff’s exposure to solvents and glues in ‘‘any meaningful way’’.


Observation home offers little help to juveniles (Hyderabad): He is not even 12 years old but had been committing one crime after another for a ‘gang leader’ who kept him intoxicated. He was forcibly inebriated - not by alcohol or drugs - but by sniffing whitener, which left him oblivious even to hunger.


Drug-addicted society: Over 50,000 street children are involved in solvent substance abuse in four major cities of the country.


Unsupervised UAE teen parties wild binge events: From inhaling butane gas to sniffing glue, to burning insects and inhaling the fumes, the ways are cheap, novel and, sometimes even, lethal. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

VSA Headlines: March 2012


Darleane Bell: coroner calls for care centre review: It follows the death of 15-year-old Darleane Bell who left Ashgrove Care Centre in Newtownards after midnight in June 2010. She sniffed gas from a tin of deodorant at nearby Glenford Park and later died.

Athletics meeting in memory of Cumbrian teenager: A talented young sportsman who died after inhaling petrol fumes while camping with friends, will be remembered at an athletics meeting this weekend. Petrol taken along to help light a fire had leaked inside the tent overnight.

It’s no laughing matter: Young people in Bristol are using nitrous oxide to get high: More and more young people are using nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, to get high.


Man died after taking 'poppers': Darach Culhane-Nolan (33) was found dead at his home on Burrow Road, Sutton, Dublin, on March 16th last year, having inhaled amyl nitrite – more commonly known as poppers – the night before. 


“Inhaling Helium Seems Like Fun Until Someone Dies” is the Message from the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition Press Conference, Supported by EIC. The Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) participated in a press conference with the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) and the parents of 14-year-old Ashley Long, who died last month after huffing helium. Media from the greater DC area attended [and] also at the press conference was Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The NIPC has also called for new restrictions on the sale of the gas - as well as a more serious approach in the media to coverage of its misuse.

Dead body found on high school soccer field (Albuquerque, NM): The victim's name hasn't been released yet. But police say he appeared to have been sniffing or "huffing" the commercial substance used to dust computers.

Man in crash died from inhaling computer cleaner (Burlington, NC): The cause of death of a man who died in early January after he drove his car into the front of a house on Blanche Drive in Burlington was toxicity from a compound found in computer spray cleaner.

Stark County student faces DUI charges in fatal car crash (Stark County, OH): The intoxicating substance allegedly involved was not alcohol ... but rather a chemical "huffed" or inhaled from an aerosol dust-cleaning product commonly used on electronic products.

Dangerous Teen Craze Whip-Its Making a Comeback?: There is growing concern among health professionals that Whip-Its -- small canisters filled with nitrous oxide that can be used as a recreational drug and were reportedly used by actress Demi Moore shortly before she was rushed to the hospital in January -- are making a comeback among teenagers and young adults across the country.


Two Free Press journalists nominated for outstanding investigative journalism: Reporter Mary Agnes Welch was nominated in the print category for Sniff: Life at Rock Bottom, a chronicle of the epidemic of solvent abuse among addicts in Winnipeg’s downtown core (see earlier blog).

Canada, home to the suicide capital of the world: In Pikangikum, gas sniffing is rampant and young people are taking their own lives at a shocking rate. 


Aboriginal alliance backs petrol sniffing controls: An alliance of Aboriginal medical organisations has thrown its support behind proposed legislation to ban sniffable fuel in parts of the Northern Territory.

Communities fear resurgence of petrol sniffing: An Indigenous community group says a petrol sniffing epidemic in the Northern Territory town of Katherine is getting worse.

More resources urged to combat Meekatharra solvent abuse: The Western Australian Drug and Alcohol office says strategies are in place to stamp out solvent abuse by young people in Meekatharra.


Christchurch man died after inhaling LPG: A Christchurch man, who suffered from mental health disorders and was under stress from the earthquakes and the loss of family to Australia, died accidentally after inhaling LPG gas, a coroner has found.

Too many solvent deaths: coroner: A Wellington coroner is urging the government to look at ways of limiting young people's access to solvents such as butane, following the death of a Wainuiomata teenager.


Rampant drug addiction: Whitener sniffers not easily detected (Bhopal): Street children in the state capital are getting addicted to whitener sniffing. Some have even lost their lives due to this addiction. These are some observations made by NGOs while demanding immediate attention of the state govt towards the issue.

VSA Headlines: Feb 2012


Mother's warning as son found dead: A grieving mother is warning of the dangers of inhaling gas lighter fuel after hearing how fumes were suspected of causing her only child’s death.

Under-age sting targets traders: Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards team have been working with Cumbria police to increase vigilance and stamp out underage sales across the county. A test purchasing operation was carried out across Cumbria last week focusing on alcohol, tobacco, knives and butane gas. Some retailers did sell to the young volunteers, resulting in five sales of alcohol, one sale of tobacco and one sale of butane gas (the latter in Carlisle).


Authorities say teen overdosed on 'date rape' drug (Santa Rosa, CA): Authorities say a 14-year-old Northern California girl who died during a sleepover last summer ...died from drinking a fatal dose of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric or GHB. GHB is found in some industrial cleaning solvents.

Medford teen died from inhaling helium at party (Medford, OR): The autopsy on a 14-year-old Medford girl who died Saturday after inhaling helium at a party shows she died of an air embolism. Her parents hope to save others from same fate.

Soldiers Went on Binge Before Fatal Crash (Columbus, GA): Two Fort Benning soldiers charged in a fatal five-car crash Saturday spent the hours before the wreck on a drinking and huffing binge, taking shots of Jack Daniel's whiskey and inhaling nitrous oxide from balloons, investigators said Tuesday.

Driving While Huffing: Not Currently a DUI in Washington, But Could Be Soon: The state House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved four bills that would overhaul Washington's laws on driving under the influence earlier this week ... Also included in one piece of legislation is a provision that could permit prosecutors to slap people who sniff chemicals with a DUI.

Residents' sudden deaths linked to abuse of 'air duster' products, officials say: A recent trend of sudden deaths after people intentionally inhaled "air duster" electronics-cleaning products to get high has prompted county scientists to write an academic paper drawing attention to the apparent drug abuse in San Diego County.

FDA to probe caffeine sold as an inhalant: Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and if its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement.


Calls for tighter petrol sniffing laws in WA: A substance abuse agency has put its case for tighter petrol sniffing laws to the Mental Health Minister, describing Western Australia's inhalant problem as a "can of worms". 

Greens call for federal laws to target petrol sniffing: Petrol sniffing is back on the agenda in remote Australian outposts and in Canberra, with the Greens calling for a ban on regular fuel. 


Two run over by train: Two youngsters were run over by a train at Safilguda in Secunderabad while they were sitting on the railway track and reportedly sniffing whitener to get a high, the police said on Monday.


Government should step in to stamp out substance abuse: Sherub Dorji, 19, from Paro confessed in court to have inhaled dendrite, an industrial adhesive, bought from across the border in India and stealing a neighbours laptop to purchase more inhalants, court officials said.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

VSA Headlines: Dec 2011 - Jan 2012

The media furore this month surrounding reports of Demi Moore's collapse after allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide or 'laughing gas' has highlighted the risks involved with this form of 'legal high'.

Harvey Weiss, Director of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition in the US, commented: "Media reports noted that the intentional use or misuse of nitrous oxide by an adult is an unusual occurrence, but is it? According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Health and Drug Abuse, the number one inhalant used during an adult’s lifetime is nitrous oxide."

Here in the UK, the International Centre for Drug Policy charts annual deaths from volatile substance misuse, including nitrous oxide. Their most recent report, published in 2010, notes that "in 2008 there were two deaths (three in 2007) associated with the inhalation of nitrous oxide, which had been obtained for non-medical purposes" (see vsareport.org).

Also in December and January:


Coroner warns against sniffing lighter fluid after Kinver chef's death
: Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Gittins said Mr Down had apparently been seeking a “high” by inhaling the butane but appeared to have had an intolerance to alcohol and the gas.

Paramedic suspended for abusing laughing gas: An East Midlands paramedic has been suspended after he was found inhaling laughing gas and driving an emergency ambulance.


With teen son in coma, Gunter father warns of dangers of 'huffing'
(Gunter, TX): A Texoma father has a warning for teens who engage in "huffing" after a tragic accident last week left his son fighting for his life.

Third plea entered in teen death (Ardmore, OK): A 20-year-old woman, accused with two codefendants in the New Year’s Day “huffing” death of a 15-year-old Ardmore girl, has pleaded no contest to first-degree manslaughter.

Hit and run suspect pleads guilty; admits to 'huffing' (Clay, NY): A man admitted Monday morning that he was the driver of a car in a deadly hit and run.

Details Emerge from DUI Wreck (Folsom, CA): Michael Sharp admitted to inhaling nitrous oxide while driving. Sharp’s vehicle crossed the center divide, jumped a curve, and hit a car head on, killing brothers Todd Ohlander and Chris Martell.

Driver high before crash that killed St. Louis mother: Police say the driver who plowed through a filling station in September 2010, killing a mother of two who had stopped for gas, had huffed freon before getting behind the wheel and was also high on a mix of oxycodone and marijuana.

Grand jury indicts driver in fatal crash
(Morganton, TX): Among other indictments, Lee, 16, is charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, eight counts of serious injury by vehicle, and driving under the influence of an inhalant.

Casper officials say more people getting high through huffing
(Casper, WY): Sitting in a treatment specialist’s dimly lit office one day last week, a dark-haired woman explained how one can costs roughly $5. She went through 15 or 20 a day. Each one lasted about 45 minutes. Each hit brought a short-lived but powerful high. A separate story focused on city council concerns that inhalant abuse in Casper is on the rise.

Idaho Army vet: Huffing is ‘a cheap thrill’ that wrecks lives: Aaron D. Draper wishes he never tried huffing compressed air in 2005 while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Now he is in jail and waiting for a chance to get back into substance abuse treatment.


The Winnipeg Free Press has been running a series of stories to illustrate the complex issue of solvent abuse, including the following:

Long Road to Recovery: Ex-solvent addict, Marvin Sumner tells his story.

Life at rock bottom: Solvent sniffers live in a mental, medical hell of their own: Some treatment centres won't take solvent addicts because of the incredible bundle of problems they have - everything from severe mental illness to the effects of years of traumatic abuse to problems with basic life skills. In a way, sniffing to escape those problems is a logical choice.

Dangerous solvent sales...: It takes about five minutes on Main Street to spot a solvent dealer.

Rehab not geared to sniffers: Treatment experts say most residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs aren't long enough and aren't equipped to deal with the damage solvents do to the body, everything from brain damage to kidney failure. But there is no solvent-specific treatment program for adults in Winnipeg, or anywhere in Canada, for that matter.

Other related stories include:

Poet, father lost inside a sniff rag
What ever became of baby Sniffy?


Law change could save lives of petrol sniffers: Post by Blair McFarland, the co-ordinator of Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service in Alice Springs, written "in an effort to galvanise the WA Parliament into introducing volatile substance abuse prevention (VSAP) legislation."

Compulsory treatment push for Aboriginal petrol sniffers
: The scourge of petrol sniffing in remote Aboriginal communities is leading Western Australia's mental health minister to push for new laws that would force sniffers into treatment programs.

Action over deodorant 'sniffers'
: Coles South Hedland has employed a security guard to watch the supermarket's deodorant aisle after a spate of solvent abuse incidents.

New Zealand

Dunedin teen dies after 'huffing' butane: The death of a young Dunedin man from inhaling butane gas should serve as a warning that anyone who plays the odds can lose at any time, no matter who they are, his family says.

Huffing fly spray led to death: Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar recommended in his findings into the death of Mamahere Francis Taana, 21, at her Calton Hill, Dunedin, home on February 17, ''that further publicity be given to the dangers of inhalant abuse".


Creative ways to help reform teen offenders: The 10 boys and girls, guided by two art therapists, are trying to find their way out of inhalant abuse.


Inhalant drug abuse on the rise among adults: According to a study published in the East Asian Psychiatry Archives in its December issue, between January 2008 and December 2009, 36 patients reported with similar addictions at RML’s de-addiction centre. Eight-six per cent of these were adolescents, and the mean age of initiation of the abuse was only 13.7 years. “This is a fairly neglected area of psychiatric research. Due to its seemingly low prevalence in comparison to problems like alcoholism, many experts neglect it,” said Dr Rohit Verma of RML, lead author of the study. He said the figures were taken from only one hospital and only present the tip of the iceberg. Most people, he said, never seek medical help due to ignorance.

Children of a lesser god... on Kolkata's streets: More and more children prone to solvent addiction are being afflicted with sexually transmitted diseases in Kolkata.

For homeless Delhi kids, winter means more sedatives: About 80 percent of the capital's 50,000 homeless children use diluter fluid, boot polish, 'beedis', rubber tubes and even cough syrups to fight the cold, say activists.


Glue sniffing in Karachi: Glue-sniffing is considered the most popular form of addiction after tobacco and alcohol.

South Africa

Glue-sniffer’ gang terrorising shoppers: A gang of glue-sniffing vagrants operating in central Durban are terrorising shoppers and are to blame for a string of crimes, businessmen claim.