Tuesday, November 20, 2012

VSA Headlines: September 2012

UK

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). 

MALTA

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.  

USA

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. 

CANADA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

FIJI

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.