Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VSA Headlines: August 2012

UK

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. 

USA

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. 

CANADA

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. 

AUSTRALIA

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. 

NEW ZEALAND

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. 

UAE

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.

PHILIPPINES

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. 

UGANDA

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.