Thursday, December 05, 2013

VSA Headlines - November & December 2013

UK

Death of Billingham teenager sparks aerosol warning: A schoolgirl died after sniffing solvents from a deodorant can, it has been revealed.

18 years for Derby predator who knocked out young boys with butane gas: A predator who knocked out young boys with butane gas before seriously sexually assaulting them has been jailed for 18 years.

Drugs and solvent abuse items discovered in Maghera: Police in Maghera are asking for community assistance after evidence of drug use, solvent abuse and outdoor drinking was discovered by neighbourhood officers.

Michelle Keegan pictured taking legal high nicknamed hippy crack in nightclub: Coronation Street beauty Michelle Keegan fills her lungs with laughing gas on a girls’ night out as if oblivious to its nickname hippy crack.

Legal Highs

Angelus Foundation Welcomes House of Lords Debate on 'Legal High' Headshops: Clause (56NA) in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Bill proposed by the Opposition would have the effect of targeting the sale of "synthetic, psychoactive and intoxicating substances" commonly known as legal highs. It expected the Government will oppose the proposed law.

Neil McKeganey: ‘Legal’ highs a low point: Our government response to novel psychoactive substances is out of touch and irresponsible, writes Professor Neil McKeganey.

Legal high 'epidemic' calls for an overhaul of legislation, parliamentary committee warns: Keith Vaz MP, chair of the home affairs committee, said there has been a 79% in psychoactive substance-related deaths

Drugs unlimited: how I created my very own legal high: The reason so many new drugs are appearing is because we keep banning them. It's time for a change of approach

NBOMe legal high may be banned: The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has recommended that compounds of the drug, seen as an alternative to the hallucinogen LSD, are controlled as class A substances - the most serious category with possession punishable by a jail term of up to seven years.

Seizures made by Exeter police during landmark legal high investigation: Exeter CID have secured a conviction against the owners of two legal high shops for selling illegal substances. It is the first time this has been done on a commercial scale.

Essex Police warn of dangers of 'legal high' after two people are taken ill: Police in Essex have issued a countywide alert warning people to be aware of the dangers of taking a so-called ‘legal high’ called Pandora’s Box.

'Benzo Fury' legal high killed graduate: Coroner warns that “even toxicologists are struggling to get to grips” with dangers of legal highs after psychology graduate died.

Death was caused by legal high, says coronor: A Coroner has concluded that Christopher Scott died as a direct result of taking the legal high Alpha-methyltriptamine.

Legal high reaction killed father-to-be days before the recreational drug was banned: An inquest heard he had already gone into cardiac arrest when he was admitted to hospital and his life support machine was switched off the following day

New report finds legal highs being sold in petrol stations and takeaways: A new report by the charity DrugScope has found that psychoactive substances have become available outside of traditional outlets such as headshops and websites.

Legal high message gathers momentum: Education is key in the battle against legal highs, a high-ranking Cumbria police officer has claimed.

ISLE OF MAN

Legal Highs

Misadventure verdict over legal high death: A verdict of misadventure has been recorded at the inquest of a Ballasalla man who died after taking a 'legal high' drug.

USA

'Huffing' likely contributed to teenager's death (IA) Autopsy results confirmed difluoroethane in the girl’s body. Canned air, commonly used to dust off sensitive equipment, such as computers, usually contains either that compound or tetrafluoroethane.

'She was on the right track to go somewhere and be somebody' (OR) Shayla Ream's family found her unconscious in her bedroom December 13. The family believes Shayla collapsed and vomited after inhaling compressed gas to get high. Doctors confirmed the suspicion.

Mother seeks answers to death of estranged daughter in Oak Ridge (TN):  She drowned after collapsing into the fountain from inhalant abuse according to a Regional Forensic Center report.

Army veteran dies after years of huffing (ID): Aaron Draper struggled after getting hooked on aerosols while he was still in the military

Two Dead, Two Injured in Morning Crash, Driver Allegedly Inhaling Duster (IN): Deputies say the crash is still under investigation, but the sheriff's officer says early indications point to the inhaling of duster (compressed air) as a contributing factor.

‘Huffing’ a concern among Alaska teens: The inhaling of toxic fumes to get high is known colloquially as huffing, and is reportedly practised by a wide swathe of teenagers and young adults, according to information released by the Alaska Department of Epidemiology on Nov. 15.

Bill that would make huffing while driving illegal makes way through New Jersey Senate: New Jersey state lawmakers are taking a zero-tolerance approach to driving while "huffing."

Man charged with DUII 'huffing' in crash (OR): A 19-year-old driver has been charged with DUII after he was reportedly "huffing" in connection with a crash that injured two 13-year-old girls in Wilsonville.

Man huffing propane ignites self, house: A man burned himself and his home Sunday night after he passed out from allegedly huffing propane.

Cedar City police concerned about huffing trend among teens (UT): Over the past month, Cedar City police have arrested six juveniles, all between the ages of 13 and 17, for investigation of huffing.

Florida mom accused of inhaling nitrous oxide from whipped cream can with 1-year-old son in car: A 29-year-old Bradenton woman has been charged with felony child neglect after witnesses told officers they saw her inhaling nitrous oxide

AUSTRALIA

Brain damage recovery hope for petrol sniffers: Research shows petrol sniffers can recover from brain damage, but the process takes a long time.

Statistics may mask solvent use problem (QLD): Presentations of young solvent abuse patients at Mount Isa Hospital's emergency department are down from last year, according to recent statistics, but a local youth organisation has said it's a case of higher use in fewer children. There is also a call for children's rehab centre in north Qld where figures from the Townsville Hospital show presentations for volatile substance abuse are 15 times higher than five years ago.

Jail for man who set sleeping cousin alight: A man who had been sniffing petrol poured fuel over his sleeping cousin’s bed, set it alight and fled.

NEW ZEALAND

A coroner says better transition is needed out of CYF care following the death of a teenage boy in Wellington: A coroner has urged the government to extend services for young people discharged from Child, Youth and Family services, following the butane huffing death of a teenage boy.

Legal Highs

Move to ban legal highs gathers pace: South Island councils are driving a campaign to ban the sale of psychoactive substances, furious that the Government has failed to do so.

Hotline will make it easier to close legal high outlets: Associate Health Minister Todd McClay has launched a toll-free hotline for the public to report concerns about psychoactive substances in their community.

INDIA

School kids getting high on whitener sniffing (Bangalore): Study conducted by a team of docs finds that it came second only to alcohol on the list of substance abuse among high school students.

Substance abuse - a way of life for these urchins at Raipur railway station: A relatively new trend in India, glue sniffing has become a way of life for the urchins at Raipur railway station.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

VSA Headlines - October 2013

Re-Solv is grateful to the British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association (BAMA) for highlighting in their 2012/13 Annual Report:

"It is disappointing that Government will not re-start funding data collection (stopped in 2009) until perhaps 2014 to allow previously observed trends to be tracked."

Re-Solv continues to campaign for annual mortality figures on VSA to be collated and published, and for annual prevalence figures for VSA to be recorded in the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Headlines from around the world this month include:

UK

Paramedic struck off: A paramedic with the Great Western Ambulance Service has been struck off for inhaling gas while on duty.

‘I’d been sniffing Evo-Stik from 6am on the day I killed Simon’ – Sunderland serial killer: Serial killer Steven Grieveson claimed to have been a glue-sniffer since the age of 11, jurors have heard.

Legal Highs

New laws on 'legal highs' introduced: New rules to tackle the rise in the use of so-called 'legal highs' have been announced by the European Commission. But the UK could be prepared to defy European Union attempts to govern laws on potentially deadly legal highs, a Home Office minister has said.

New ‘legal high’ legislation yet to reach North: The Department of Health has confirmed that a series of legal highs banned in England, Wales and Scotland in February this year remain legal in Northern Ireland.

Britain is legal high drug capital of Europe: Britain has become the global hub for websites selling legal highs, with one in 12 youngsters taking them.

Grieving mum hits out at legal highs shops after death of son: A grieving mother is calling for shops that sell legal highs to be banned after her son died in her arms.

Brownstock legal high death man 'a great guy': Friends and colleagues of a man who died after taking a legal party drug at the Brownstock Festival, in Stow Maries, near Chelmsford, have spoken of their shock at his death.

'Legal high' Blow was a factor in death of 59-year-old man: A middle-aged man was found dead in his Southampton flat after taking fatal amounts of a so-called “legal high” named Blow that aggravated his underlying heart condition.

'Legal high' death: Man dies after smoking Psyclone herbal incense at Bolton house.

Five legal high hospital admissions prompt GP warning: Five separate hospital admissions all linked to legal highs in Torbay have prompted health chiefs to write to GPs about their concerns.

Sudden deaths reveal lows behind illegal and legal highs: There have been a total of 12 recreational drug-related deaths reported across the North since the beginning of the year.

Brighton and Hove opens UK's first legal high drugs clinics: Health and social care charity CRI confirmed it had just opened two drop-in centres in St George’s Place, Brighton, and The Drive, Hove, to address the increased use of legal highs in the city.

IRELAND

Legal Highs

Eurostat finds Ireland's youth use 'legal highs' the most in EU: Figures published by the Eurostat this morning show 16% of young Irish people have tried drugs from head shops.

USA

Teen Dies From Inhaling Canned Air (IA): No one saw it coming - how a house hold product changed a family forever.

Western Alaska man dies after inhaling propane (AK): Alaska State Troopers say a 31-year-old man has died after apparently intentionally breathing propane to get high.

Huffing lands Eau Claire woman in prison (WI): An Eau Claire woman who received an eight-month jail term three years ago for huffing from an aerosol can before and after a traffic crash will spend two years in prison for continued huffing incidents.

CANADA

‘We want to die — nobody’s listening to us’ (NL): Natuashish’s ongoing gas-sniffing problem getting worse. Innu Leader Ties Churchill Hydropower Project Shutdown to Action on Youth Solvent Addiction.

Actor joins treatment centre’s walk (ON): The Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Specialized Solvent Treatment Abuse Centre hosted its annual walk Thursday to promote a community that is free of solvent abuse.

AUSTRALIA

Kids caught up as scourge of petrol sniffing returns (SA): Children as young as 10 have been involved in a petrol-sniffing ring in South Australia's remote Aboriginal lands, prompting calls for an urgent investigation.

Monday, September 30, 2013

VSA Headlines: September 2013

UK

Mum found dead in flat by her brother: The mother-of-one was discovered lying on her sofa, surrounded by gas canisters.

Barrow man, 28, found dead by friend, inquest hears: A man died after taking a dangerous cocktail of drugs, an inquest has ruled.

Solvent abuse on the rise in Inverness: Inverness shopkeepers are being warned to be on their guard about sales of lighter fuel after concerns about rising levels of solvent abuse.

Tottenham defender Walker apologises for 'legal high' scandal: The 23-year-old, who was pictured inhaling laughing gas at a nightclub in June, took to Twitter to say he regrets his actions and had been unaware of the potential dangers.

Shame of chemical sniffing Leeds General Infirmary doctor: A doctor who inhaled chemicals at a Leeds hospital and collapsed while on duty has been struck off.

Carlisle hospital worker inhaled laughing gas while patient on operating table: A hospital worker was seen “on his hands and knees” after inhaling laughing gas as a patient lay on the operating table.

Legal Highs

Legal high deaths increase sharply in a year: Fifty-two people died after taking drugs such as Spice and mephedrone last year in England and Wales, up from 29. Read the full report here.

Postmen are “unwitting drug mules” in deadly trade of ‘legal highs’: UK labelled addiction capital of Europe in new Centre for Social Justice report.

Warning as hospitals face spate of ‘legal high’ cases: A health warning has been issued after 10 people were hospitalised in a fortnight after using “legal highs".

Gravesend sex offender jailed over daytime assault 'while on legal high': A man who sexually assaulted a woman in broad daylight in Gravesend while claiming to be under the influence of a legal high, has been jailed for 18 months.

Parents' plea after 'legal high' leaves boy in hospital: The parents of a teenage boy who was left critically ill in hospital are warning other families about the 'legal high' drugs available over the counter on Torquay's high street. Police, health bosses and Torbay Council are about to launch a campaign in schools.

Prisoner at HMP Peterhead rushed to hospital after taking legal high drug: Legal highs have been confiscated from a convict for the first time in a Scottish prison.

EUROPE

EU moving against ‘legal’ highs: Brussels could pull newly discovered legal highs from the market immediately under new drug enforcement measures proposed this week by the European Commission. Read more here.

USA

A new paper, Treatment Modules and Therapeutic Approaches for Inhalant Abuse: A Case Report, has been published this month in the journal, Psychiatric Annals:

"The literature survey indicates that currently available treatment protocols are limited. A stronger knowledge base about inhalant-related symptoms is needed to better understand the clinical course of inhalant-use disorders, which will greatly help in developing evidence-based treatments and aiding treatment selections." 

Anatoliy Vasilov, MD; Bharat Nandu, MD; Jeffrey Berman, MD, FASAM;  Psychiatric Annals, September 2013 - Volume 43 · Issue 9: 419-423. Read the full paper here.

Cause of death released for woman found at Lakeport Commons (IA): An official at the Woodbury Medical Examiner's Office said it's believed [she] inhaled the toxic gas from aerosol cans.

HCC police find man dead near several spray paint can (TX): Initial information indicated the man appeared to be homeless and may have been inhaling paint fumes sometime before he was found dead,

Teen gets prison for DUI crash (CA): it was disclosed that [she] had lost consciousness while driving on Montgomery Street on Feb. 24 because she was huffing — attempting to get high by breathing the fumes from an air dusting spray.

Toulon man receives 12 years for ‘huffing’ before fatal crash (IL): A Toulon man was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison for “huffing” while driving in a high-speed crash that killed three Stark County teens nearly two years ago.

Fatal 'huffing' DUI charges to be dropped? (IL): A prosecuting attorney told HLN Wednesday that the fate of an Illinois teenager accused of running over and killing a 5-year-old girl may be in limbo after her attorneys questioned the constitutionality of the charges [and] filed a motion on September 18 requesting that the charges against her be dropped because the chemical she was allegedly huffing is not specified as an intoxicant under Illinois law.

'Huffer' battered grandma (DE): A New Castle man has been accused of — and pleaded guilty to — shoving his grandmother, “huffing” aerosol spray and fighting with police.

CANADA

Actor joins treatment centre’s walk: The Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Specialized Solvent Treatment Abuse Centre hosted its annual walk Thursday to promote a community that is free of solvent abuse.

AUSTRALIA

'Hippy crack' party drug warning amid fears Australians will follow UK spike in nitrous oxide use: Drug experts have warned of the risks associated with the laughing gas nitrous oxide, dubbed 'hippy crack', amid fears Australians will follow the British trend of using the legal inhalant as a common party drug.

NEW ZEALAND

Legal Highs

Legal high retailers shut down for flouting new rules: The Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority says it has suspended licences in Hawera and Dunedin after evidence the retailers were not complying with the Psychoactive Substances Act.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Cheap, easy, deadly: Butane new high for young addicts in UAE: Little is known about the extent of its use in the UAE and it is only when it comes to hospitalisation that the drug comes to the fore.

INDIA

Girl gang-raped by five 'minor' boys: An 11-year-old was allegedly gang-raped by five teenagers high on sniffing glue in Guwahati.

Friday, September 13, 2013

New service supports those addicted to gas, aerosol and solvent legal highs

Specialist agencies, Re-Solv and Solve It, have partnered to launch Community for Recovery (communityforrecovery.org), a national support service for those affected by volatile substance abuse (‘VSA’), the misuse of gases, aerosols and solvents.

It’s probably the most hidden form of drug abuse in the UK, but ‘volatile solvent abuse’ (‘VSA’ for short) is killing more people a year than any of the new psychoactive substances known as ‘legal highs’.

VSA is the inhalation of gases, aerosols and solvents – often from everyday products found in all our homes. Over 50,000 people in the UK misuse volatile substances but, until now, there has been little or no support available for them, or for their families. Often inhaling up to 10 or more gas cans a day, those chronically addicted need the same level of support that illicit drug-users receive – not least because VSA can kill instantly. On average, 54 people in the UK die each year from misusing butane gas or other volatile substances such as nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’).

Despite being the original ‘legal high’, VSA is rarely talked about. As a result, those affected by VSA often feel helpless and alone. Community for Recovery is about overcoming this isolation and providing professional and peer support into recovery.

Communityforrecovery.org is a web-hub that provides direct access to professional advice, online counselling and peer support, without stigma, for VS-users and their families and friends. Through web content, instant messaging, email and discussion forums, visitors can access information, support and referral into local treatment and recovery services.

In order to ensure that local substance misuse providers have the skills and confidence to support someone misusing volatile substances, Community for Recovery is also funded to deliver free professional VSA training to support and treatment services anywhere in England.

Community for Recovery is funded by a major grant from the Department of Health Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund and is a partnership project between Re-Solv and Solve It, two UK charities that work to prevent volatile substance abuse and support those whose lives are affected by it.

ENDS

For more information please contact Re-Solv’s Director, Stephen Ream, on 01785 817885 or visit www.communityforrecovery.org.

Notes to editors

Re-Solv (www.re-solv.org, @resolvUK) is the national agency working to prevent volatile substance abuse (‘VSA’) in the UK and Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on VSA.

Solve It (www.solveitonline.co.uk, @SolveItVSA) provides a unique holistic and specialist service tackling all issues in relation to VSA and is the only UK agency to provide VSA online counselling.

Volatile substance abuse (‘VSA’) is the misuse of consumer products found in all our homes and high streets. A range of chemicals are described as ‘volatile substances’ because they readily evaporate at room temperature, giving off a ‘sniffable’ vapour. Volatile substance abuse or ‘VSA’ is when these substances are deliberately inhaled through the mouth and/or nose to achieve a change in mental state or ‘high’. The most commonly misused products are butane gas from cigarette lighter refills, aerosols (such as deodorants and hair sprays), petrol and some glues. When inhaled deliberately, volatile substances can kill suddenly and unpredictably; there is no way to avoid this risk.

Nitrous oxide (‘hippy crack’ or ‘laughing gas’), another volatile substance, is now the second most popular drug among 16-24 year olds in England.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

VSA Headlines: August 2013

Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2012

This annual report, commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), has now been published with figures for 2012. They show that the prevalence of illegal drug use was at its lowest since 2001, although volatile substance abuse had increased slightly: 3.6% of 11-15 year-olds used volatile substances in 2012, up from 3.5% in 2011. (As a comparison, cannabis use in 2012 was 7.5%.)

Other key findings included:
  • Among the younger age group, twice as many 11-13 year-olds used volatile substances in the last year as used cannabis (3.3% to 1.7%).
  • 52% of 11 to 13-year-olds who took only 1 drug used volatile substances (cannabis 21%).
  • 9% of 11-15-year olds have ever been offered volatile substances, down from 10% in 2011 and a significant drop from 20% in 2001.
  • 0.8% of 11-15 year-olds had used poppers in the past year. 
  • Teachers (66%) are listed as the most helpful source of drug information. They are followed by parents (63%), TV (60%), and the internet (52%). 
Read the full report here.

Other VSA headlines from around the world include:

UK

'Legal' Lighter Fluid Highs Claim Lives: More Young Women Dying Of Inhalant Abuse In UK

Abuse of lighter fluid 'is killing record numbers': Mother of victim Candy-Marie Ward calls for action as report finds butane is now the most dangerous 'legal high'. See also ITV London report.

Laughing gas known as 'hippy crack' is second most popular legal high drug among young people. 1 in 16 16-24 year olds used nitrous oxide last year, Home Office says. Read the full report here.

Legal high, Liquid Gold, is being sold on Shell petrol station counter next to children's sweets: Poppers' found on sale at a Shell garage in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The hidden dangers of deodorant sprays: Headaches. Eczema. Asthma. Even fatal heart problems.

Will laughing gas be the next casualty in the government's war on legal highs? In the past few years, laughing gas has firmly found its place as a narcotic of the masses. 

Warning after empty laughing gas canisters found in Norwich: Half a dozen empty cartridges were discovered in the Prince of Wales Road area of Norwich on Sunday, which has prompted a warning from officials from Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards department and Norfolk Police.

Jasmin’s drug blast: Towie's Jasmin Walia has been slammed by anti-drugs experts after posing with a balloon filled with deadly “ hippy crack ”.

Suckerbabe: Fury at ex-Sugababe Mutya on hippy crack.

Legal Highs

Hundreds of new 'legal high' designer drugs flooding into Europe, warns report: More than 650 new designer drugs have flooded into Europe in the past decade, according a major project to monitor the emergence of new substances. Read the full report here.

Booklet for parents explains risks of 'legal highs': Maryon Stewart, founder of the non-profit Angelus, who lost her 21-year-old daughter, Hester, to GBL in 2009, said the booklet contains detailed information about new psychoactive substances and encourages parents to have conversations with their children about legal highs.

Teen dies after taking legal high: A teenage boy from Hampshire has lost his fight for life after taking a legal high.

The 'caring' star pupil killed by a party drug that was banned less than a month ago because of its side effects.

Crime chief's call for closure of 'legal high' shops after 15-year-old suffers a stroke: Now it has been revealed that a second young person in Torbay has been hospitalised within the last 48 hours, as well as two other people in Exeter, after taking so-called 'legal high' drugs.

Landmark conviction in Leeds ‘legal highs’ campaign: The proprietor of a Leeds market stall has been convicted over the sale of so-called ‘legal highs’ in the first case of its kind in the country.

Channel 4: Legally High: Dan Reed investigates 'legal highs'; new drugs created by underground chemists to get around government legislation.

Banned substance in 'legal high' bought in BBC investigation: A "legal high" purchased on the internet as part of a BBC investigation has been found to contain traces of the banned substance APB.

Legal high danger drugs being sold over the counter to children - Mirror special investigation reveals. The stores say they will not sell to under-age youngsters but the Mirror’s 17-year-old undercover buyer was only once refused.

Legal Highs: Ban At Reading Leeds Festival: The family of Christopher Scott, a father of four who died from a legal high, is pleased by the ban but says more must be done.

Arbroath legal high shop protest backed by Kirk: The Moderator of the Church of Scotland today pledged her backing to campaigners protesting against the opening of a shop selling legal highs only yards from an addiction support centre in the Angus town of Arbroath.

CANADA

Sinclair brain-damaged by years of solvent abuse: Years of solvent abuse didn't kill Brian Sinclair, but it led him to be in a hospital emergency waiting room for hours until he died, an inquest into his death heard Thursday.

Wait list for solvent abuse treatment centre doubles (ON): Clients are staying longer with the hope they won't relapse, but fewer people can get into the program as a result.

USA

Maryland woman dies from 'huffing' (MD): She was surrounded by cans of the compressed-gas electronics cleaner "Dust Off," which her family says she inhaled to get high.

Stoughton man's body found in East Wareham amid evidence of 'huffing' (MA): The body of a 22-year-old man was recovered, an apparent victim of “huffing.”

Inhalant abuse not as common as it used to be (OH): A 19-year-old is in jail awaiting trial for allegedly passing out behind the wheel of his car after huffing a cleaning solution then crashing into and killing an elderly couple in Middletown.

Woman huffed chemical with kids in the car, police say (PA): Allentown resident charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Keyboard cleaner stolen just before Saturday crash (MT): The teens involved in crashing a car into a building on Harrison Avenue and accused of “huffing” keyboard cleaner Saturday may have stolen the inhalants.

Huffing aerosol can caused crash (IN): Sheriff's investigators say not only was Camden armed with the makeshift drug and inhaling it as she drove, she also had a 2-year-old girl in her backseat.

"Huffing" bill would define inhalants as intoxicants (WI): Two bills are aimed at changing state laws about a dangerous substance.

COLOMBIA

'Starving, glue-sniffing' kids inspired Shakira towards charity: Shakira has said that seeing kids sniffing glue in her hometown inspired her to launch her Pies Descalzos Foundation, which has helped to build six schools in Colombia.

NEW ZEALAND

Huffing triggers rogue heartbeats: Three Christchurch youths who huffed butane died after it caused a ''rogue'' rhythm to their hearts.

Huffing killing more young Kiwis than alcohol or drugs: There are calls for a new approach to dealing with drugs as a report reveals the numbers of young people dying from substance abuse. Read the full report here.

Rangatahi huffing to early grave: Dr Nick Baker ... says young Māori are 10 times more likely than non-Māori to die of alcohol poisoning, and three and a half times more likely to die from huffing substances such as butane usually at their first attempt.

Legal Highs

World watches effects of legal-high law: Influential free-market magazine The Economist has hailed New Zealand's psychoactive substances bill as a victory for drug regulation over prohibition.

Legal high animal testing sparks protest: Tomorrow, animal lovers across New Zealand are expected to march in protest against the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

Two hundred legal high applications made: Under the Psychoactive Substances Act, only approved products can by sold and these can not be sold to anyone aged under 18.Some 202 stores around the country have applied for such licences since the legislation came into effect last month.

FIJI

Nationwide public consultation for draft volatile substance abuse decree: The National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) from this month will be conducting a nationwide Public Consultation on the Draft Volatile Substance Abuse Decree (DVSAD). The Draft Decree aims to control the sale and supply of volatile substances and the protection of children from any harm resulting from volatile substance abuse and related purposes.

The DVSAD was instigated as a result of the rapid increase in volatile substance abuse cases highlighted in the School Confidential Report, the Schools Information Management System (SIMS) and the Fiji Police Force Statistics.

Other headlines relating to this consultation include:


INDIA

Phenomenology of inhalant abuse among adolescent in urban India: a new paper published in the International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences.

Patna's kids: Sniffing out a solution to stress?: Saurabh Kumar, teaching at a lesser-known 'English-medium' private school in the city, noticed three students, aged about 14, were often bleary eyed and drowsy.

BURMA

Myanmar's Poor, Young Glue Sniffers: Inhalant abuse through the use of cheap glue is a worsening problem among poor children in Myanmar.



Thursday, July 04, 2013

VSA Headlines: June & July 2013

New research, published in Addiction, that examined drug use among street children in 22 countries, shows that inhalants are the predominant substances used, followed by tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.

"This review has identified key issues requiring urgent public health action. The widespread use of inhalants is particularly concerning due to legal availability and unrestricted sales to minors, as well as detrimental health effects, and should be a major concern for law and policymakers. It is likely that the use of inhalants could impact upon the ability of street children to be integrated into society and resume a normal life. While there is a need to investigate further the link between their substance use and health outcomes, we hypothesize that due to their drug use they are at higher risk of poor health outcomes, including HIV and mortality. Additional effort and collaboration between policymakers, communities and researchers is essential to understand and implement mechanisms to reduce the harms associated with using inhalants, while also preventing and stopping substance use among this vulnerable population."

Embleton, L., Mwangi, A., Vreeman, R., Ayuku, D. and Braitstein, P. (2013), The epidemiology of substance use among street children in resource-constrained settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.12252.

Other VSA headlines from around the world include:

UK

Talented teenage rugby player from East Lancashire died after sniffing aerosols: A talented teenage rugby player was found dead at his supported lodgings after sniffing aerosols, an inquest heard.

Cocktail of drugs was found in Barrow man's body: The inquest at Barrow Town Hall yesterday heard how he had a cocktail of drugs in his body, including alcohol, butane and other volatile substances.

Thug seen covered in blood after beating cat to death in car park: [The] butane gas addict launched the brutal assault on the cat at about 9am on Sunday.

Cambridge Technology shakes up aerosol market: The innovation provides a low-cost alternative to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – a contributing factor to ground-level ozone, which has been linked to respiratory problems. By eliminating flammable propellants such as VOCs, the technology is also set to transform supermarket shelves – replacing uniform rows of cylindrical aluminium aerosol cans with low-cost polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in a range of shapes and sizes.

Legal Highs

UK Ministers to Block Law against 'Headshops': Angelus respond: Government is acting, "deaf, dumb and blind" over threat from legal highs.

International action announced on ‘legal highs’: The Home Office has unveiled a UK-led international agreement to tackle the threat of new psychoactive substances.

Two new 'legal highs' to be banned for 12 months: Benzo Fury and NBOMe to be made illegal temporarily while they are assessed, Home Office ministers announce

UK legal high market is EU's largest, UN report says: The UK has the largest market for so-called "legal highs" in the European Union, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Man slashed his wrists at Bestival after taking a 'legal high': A man died at last year's Bestival after taking a 'legal high' which caused him to suffer a paranoid reaction and slash his wrists, a coroner has ruled.

Man dies after taking suspected legal high: A man has died after taking what is believed to be a "legal high", according to police.

Son stabbed his sleeping father in Knightswood: A man has admitted trying to murder his frail father after taking so-called legal highs.

Legal high warning after baby assault in Northumberland: A teenage boy believed to have smoked a legal high has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a baby.

Pupils fall ill after smoking legal high: Boy suffers seizure while three others are left vomiting on school playing fields.

Cumbria Trading Standards and Police join forces in legal high crack down: A TWO pronged attack was been launched against suppliers of legal highs yesterday.

USA

Teen pleads guilty to huffing while driving in fatal crash (Hyde Park, VT): The driver of that car reached a deal with the prosecution Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court in Hyde Park and admitted to driving while high on Dust-Off.

Preble County teen charged in deadly crash (Middletown, OH): A Preble County teenager is facing a felony charge after Middletown police say he caused two separate accidents that killed two people Friday.

20-year-old found guilty in fatal huffing (Cambridge, IL): A 20-year-old Henry County man faces up to 28 years in prison after authorities say he huffed chemicals before a high-speed rollover crash that killed three teenagers.

Civil suit settled in alleged Highland Park 'huffing' death; criminal trial postponed (Highland Park, IL): A civil suit filed against a Highland Park teen accused of “huffing” a cleaning product before striking a family with a car and killing a 5-year-old girl has been settled for an undisclosed amount, while the trial date in her criminal case has been pushed back for a second time.

Allen woman accused of huffing, causing wreck that killed Frisco mom, toddler (Allen, TX): A 21-year-old Allen woman is suspecting of huffing compressed air and blacking out while driving, causing a head-on collision in December that left a Frisco mother and her toddler dead.

Huffing led to hallucination, stabbing of man in homeless camp, Springfield police say (Springfield, MO): Police say a man stabbed another man living in a Springfield homeless camp because the attacker was hallucinating from purposefully inhaling gasoline fumes.

Police: 'Huffing' likely cause of fatal house fire (Bull Shoals, AR): A fire that killed an 18-year-old Bull Shoals man and destroyed his family’s home apparently was related to “huffing,” according to a report from the Bull Shoals Police Department released Friday.

Men huffed from aerosol can with two young children in car (Ocala, FL): Two men who police said were observed inhaling from an aerosol can — commonly called huffing — while two young children were inside the vehicle were arrested Thursday and charged with child neglect and inhalation of a harmful chemical substance.

CANADA

Solvent-abuse inspired Huff runs until Saturday (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan): The Toronto play Huff appears this week at SNTC. Sponsored locally by Tribe, A Centre for Evolving Aboriginal Media, Visual & Performing Arts, Huff is an acclaimed play dealing with solvent abuse.

AUSTRALIA

Inquest into death of teen after sniffing aerosol (Kununurra, WA): The Coroner's office is investigating the death of a 14-year-old Kununurra girl who died after sniffing the contents of a deodorant can.

Petrol sniffing CCTV reveals tragedy of Outback children: IT has just gone dark, on Monday, May 13. Three kids jump the fence into a mechanic’s workshop, on the main drag through Tennant Creek, on the Northern Territory’s main highway. As they walk across the yard, CCTV footage reveals they are girls. They are petrol sniffers, aged 13, looking for a hit that could leave them brain-damaged, wheelchair-bound, or dead.

Families to get help on solvent risk (Midland, WA): The Department for Child Protection says it will work with WA Police to target families where solvent sniffing may be an issue.

NEW ZEALAND

Retailers asked to be vigilant on solvent abuse (Upper Hutt, Wellington): Upper Hutt retailers are being encouraged to recognise the signs of potential solvent abuse in their younger customers.

Legal Highs

Some animal testing required as part of changes to legal high safety tests: SPCA head and staunch animal welfare advocate Bob Kerridge admits that some animal testing will be required as part of a new regime which is designed to prove the safety of party pills and synthetic cannabis.

FIJI

Nationwide public consultation for draft volatile substance abuse decree: The National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) from this month will be conducting a nationwide Public Consultation on the Draft Volatile Substance Abuse Decree (DVSAD). The Draft Decree aims to control the sale and supply of volatile substances and the protection of children from any harm resulting from volatile substance abuse and related purposes.

SINGAPORE

Promising young footballer lost to inhalant abuse: He was a loving son and promising young footballer, but Haiqal Hazroy did not live to realise his dream of managing a football team and buying his mother the things she could not afford as a single parent struggling to bring up four boys.

PHILIPPINES

Inhalant abuse rampant in Zamboanga City (Mindanao): Inhalant abuse continues unabated in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines where many street children are dangerously hooked or addicted to the illegal and toxic adhesive substance more popularly known as rugby.

INDIA

Substance abuse catching 'them' young (Lucknow, UP): Unable to cope with constantly fighting parents, a 15-year-old girl started sniffing whitener. To ease her sufferings, the drug became a tool to escape reality. Though it provided temporary comfort, she got addicted and started neglecting studies. After the school authorities suspended the girl because of her poor performance, her mother found nearly 500 empty bottles of whitener hidden in her room.

NEPAL

Glue sniffing street children add up to valley crimes (Kathmandu): Street children who sniff glue for avoiding hunger, sleep, and thirst are found to be involved in various bad activities, and crimes.

BURMA

Myanmar's Poor, Young Glue Sniffers: Inhalant abuse through the use of cheap glue is a worsening problem among poor children in Myanmar.

Friday, May 31, 2013

VSA Headlines: May 2013

New report on drug use in the Americas

The Organisation of American States (OAS) Secretary General presented the latest Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas. With regard to inhalant use:

"CICAD’s 2011 analysis of drug use indicates that inhalants are among the substances used among high school students in the hemisphere, behind alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and pharmaceuticals, and in more than one country, they are the top drug used. The 2011 study found that the highest prevalence of inhalant use was in Brazil (14.4 percent), followed by Jamaica (13.9 percent), Trinidad and Tobago (13.3 percent), and Guyana (10.4 percent), while the United States (6 percent) and Mexico (5 percent) both have significant prevalence although low."

Read the full report here.

Other VSA headlines from around the world include:

UK

Teenagers must learn from aerosol tragedy (NI): The reckless abuse of aerosols robbed the army of an eager new recruit, a tight knit group of pals of a trusted friend and a heartbroken mother of a loving son, an Inquest in Antrim heard last week.

Man found dead on bathroom floor after inhaling volatile substances: A man was found dead on his bathroom floor after inhaling volatile substances with a plastic bag over his head, an inquest heard. 

Public drug inhaling lands man in court: A drug user from Stranraer who was seen in public inhaling butane gas from an aerosol can he had hidden up his sleeve should be receiving help for his addiction, a sheriff said this week.

Legal Highs

Drugs adviser issues tough warning on 'legal highs': The Government’s senior drugs adviser has issued a stark warning about the dangers of “legal highs” and admitted there are now 200 potentially dangerous synthetic drugs which have yet to be banned.

Father’s appeal after death of Hampstead schoolboy from toxic cocktail mistaken for laughing gas: The father of a public schoolboy who died after inhaling a cocktail of toxic substances has issued a warning to other young men not to take unknown party drugs.

'Legal highs' can kill experts warn: Last month, three 15 year-olds from Blyth in Northumberland were taken to hospital, vomiting blood, after taking one of the latest so-called "legal high" drugs. Local experts have seen a surge in popularity of the substances in the last few weeks. But they are warning these drugs are dangerous, and can kill. Look North's Andrew Hartley has this special report.

Brighton mum's victory over Amazon legal high sale: Legal highs have been pulled from the shelves of an online retailer after a Brighton mother, who lost her daughter to the dangerous drugs, complained.

Nile Ranger pictured driving while appearing to inhale laughing gas: Stephen Ream, director of ­substance abuse charity Re-Solv, said: “It is extremely ­disappointing to see a footballer posting images such as this that young people might see and emulate."

USA

UNC student's death result of huffing (Chapel Hill, NC): An autopsy shows a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill student died earlier this year after inhaling computer cleaning spray.

Claremont McKenna College student dies after apparently inhaling nitrous oxide (Claremont, CA): A Claremont McKenna College student died after he had allegedly been inhaling nitrous oxide in his dorm room, police said Tuesday.

Huffing teen crashes car into Utah house (Riverton, UT): A 17-year-old driver and two passengers who allegedly were huffing an aerosol can crashed into a Riverton house Friday afternoon after the driver lost consciousness.

Irondale case sheds light on dangers of 'huffing' (Irondale, AL): An Irondale man faces two attempted murder charges after threatening a police officer and a fireman.

CANADA

Solvent sniffing a growing problem, Winnipeg officers say (Winnipeg, MB): Some Winnipeg police officers said they’re seeing more and more solvent abuse on city streets — and they want legislation to help stop it.

Nunavut town takes action against gas sniffing (Kugluktuk, NU): Volunteers and hamlet distribute locked storage boxes. 

NEW ZEALAND

Coroner calls for Government action on huffing: A Christchurch coroner investigating how a young huffing victim died has called on the Government to take action. 

Legal Highs

Legal high bill to be fast tracked: Politicians are set to fast track a legal high Bill following increased public concern about synthetic cannabis. 

FIJI

Laws target abuse: New volatile substances have been identified by the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council as major threats for children under the age of 18. And the high number of inhalant cases by young people and the accessibility of glue in the local market have prompted authorities to draft a Volatile Substance Abuse Decree.

Under the draft decree, a person who sells or supplies a volatile substance to a child in circumstances where it is reasonable to suspect that the child may inhale or use it to become intoxicated, commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $5000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

VSA Headlines: April 2013

UK

Bipolar 21-year-old died from drug combination: A post mortem examination found [the] 21-year-old, who suffered from bipolar disorder, had therapeutic traces of butane, morphine and diazepam in his blood.

Legal Highs

Two party-goers die after lethal cocktail of former legal high drug 'bubble' and drink during an 'all nighter' with friends (Greater Manchester).

'Legal high' leaves three teenagers in hospital (Northumberland): Three 15-year-olds have been taken to hospital after taking so-called "legal high" drugs and vomiting blood.

I tried to stop shop selling legal high to my 17-year-old girl... and cops cuffed ME (Aberdeen): A shocked dad was cuffed and huckled by cops after he confronted a shopkeeper who sold a mind-bending “legal high” to his autistic daughter. 

Leeds Kirkgate Market stall man sold ‘legal high’ to youth: Kujabi, 47, was prosecuted over the incident on January 12 this year in one of the first cases of its kind in the country. The substances have since been made illegal.

Two arrested in raid on legal high shop after man dies in fall (Plymouth): Police investigating the death of a man who fell from his high-rise flat have raided a city centre shop which sells so-called 'legal highs'.

Legal high Benzo Fury 'as dangerous as illegal drugs such as ecstasy', study claims: The researchers said the findings, due to be presented at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience today, should act as a warning to potential users.

Clubbers mix former legal high mephedrone with ecstasy, despite ban: Clubbers are regularly taking the former legal high mephedrone alongside ecstasy and cocaine, a trend that experts warn could have grave health implications.

Dangerous legal high Clockwork Orange found on sale across Wales: Calls to ban a so called "legal high" known as Clockwork Orange have been growing after three teenagers fell ill vomiting blood after smoking the substance, which has been on sale in Wales. A similar story ran about Clockwork Orange in the North East.

Minister to attend legal high event: Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham is due to join police, health workers and youth organisations at a special event to tackle the problem of legal highs in Scotland.

USA

Bill would make it illegal to drive after getting high on inhalants (Boston, MA): State Rep. Garrett Bradley, D-Hingham, is pushing a bill that would make it illegal for drivers to “huff” fumes from household chemicals before getting behind the wheel.

Man accused of huffing 'canned air' just before Casper crash that killed 2 pleads guilty (WY): A 20-year-old man accused of huffing "canned air" just before causing a crash in Casper that killed two of his passengers has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Police charge Okeechobee man with theft, ‘dusting' (FL): An Okeechobee man was arrested by police after he was allegedly seen stealing knives and ‘dusting’ while in the local Walmart store.

Inhalants becoming a rising concern among students (PA): While the top two drugs of choice for youth in Clearfield and Jefferson counties are alcohol and tobacco, inhalants are becoming a rising concern.

CANADA

Gas-sniffing taking its toll (Natuashish, NL.): A mental health clinical therapist in Natuashish says the problem of gas sniffing in the community is getting worse, and Child, Youth and Family Services isn’t delivering enough services to resolve the issue. A previous story focused on 'unsupervised kids found sniffing gas'. Read an interview with Natuashish Chief Simeon Tshakapesh.

ISRAEL

Israeli teen falls to his death from school roof: The news site Walla reported that police are looking into the possibility that the boy fell to his death after inhaling freon gas from an air conditioning unit on the school’s roof. Over the past decade, approximately 20 Israeli youths died from inhaling the toxic compound. Some of the youths were poisoned, while others died in accidents while trying to reach air conditioning units. The Israel Anti-Drug Authority estimates that 60,000 to 80,000 youths in Israel inhale freon every year.

INDIA

'Street Kids Take Up Substance Abuse to Drive Away Hunger': Nearly 42 per cent of street children who resorted to substance abuse feel inhaling fluids or adhesives gives them a sense of boldness while 35 per cent say it drives away hunger, according to a new study by AIIMS.

Substance abuse among children on a ‘high’ (Bangalore): Shankar, a rag picker, sifts through the garbage dumped on the street by Bangaloreans. Every time he bends to browse through the dirt, he holds a cloth against his mouth and takes a deep breath. It is the only way he can get on with his work. This might be a common scene in Bangalore, but a lot of people do not know that Shankar is most likely inhaling petrol, correction fluid, shoe polish or any other solvent.

AUSTRALIA

Fears deodorant sniffing levels critical: A central Australian youth worker says deodorant sniffing in Alice Springs has reached crisis level. Blair McFarland from the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service says in the past few weeks three youths were taken to hospital and 70 sniffing episodes were reported in a two-day period.

Sniffer video caused more harm than good, academic says: Narelle Pasco has spent 40 years trying to solve the issue of volatile substance misuse (VSM) but the community activist and academic freely admits there is no simple fix for this issue.

NEW ZEALAND

Legal Highs

Legal High Bill Receives Wide Support: The Psychoactive Substances Bill would make all psychoactive substances illegal unless those selling them could prove them to be only of low risk to the user. They would be required to undergo a similar process to medicines, which he said would be expensive and shut out "fly by night operators’’.

PHILIPPINES

Government urged by eco-group to push ban on selling rugby to children (Manila): In a vigorous campaign against inhalant abuse, the EcoWaste Coalition said that aromatic solvents like rugby contain health-damaging volatile organic compounds that are emitted as gases or vapors, which are not intended to be inhaled.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

VSA Headlines: March 2013

UK

Southfields mum calls for law change after daughter died inhaling butane gas:  Candy-Marie Ward was only 29 when she died of a cardiac arrest after sniffing the deadly gas on New Year's Eve. Her mother, Sharon Stevens, is calling for the law to be changed which allowed Miss Ward to stockpile it from nearby shops without anyone batting an eyelid.

Unilever shakes up the aerosol world: The new container is half the size of industry-standard 150-mL aerosol cans, thanks to new technology developed by Unilever that allows double the concentration of active formula to be dispensed with less propellant and at half the spray rate. See compressedeodorants.com.

Legal Highs

Northampton woman died after taking ‘legal high’ drugs: A 27-year-old woman from Northampton died ... after ingesting the chemical 6-APB, known as ‘Benzo fury’.

New drugs warning after school pupils smoked 'legal high: A substance which made ten children ill after they smoked it at a Notts school was a legal high, police have revealed.

UN raises alarm over booming trade in 'legal highs' - with UK at its centre: Britain is at the centre of a booming trade in “legal highs” – chemicals designed to replicate the effects of illegal substances – a United Nations drugs watchdog warned today (read the full INCB report).

Summit to tackle ‘legal high’ menace: Methods to tackle the growing menace of so-called legal highs will be discussed at crunch talks between [Scottish] government, health and police officials next month.

Mitch Winehouse Warns Parents Over Legal Highs: Amy Winehouse's father has issued a warning over legal highs, saying so many new drugs are available to children it is "no wonder parents are in the dark". Mitch Winehouse also said the under-funding of drug and alcohol education meant a generation of children were being put at risk.

USA

Girl, 12, Dies After Huffing Freon From A/C Unit (Victorville, CA): It’s called huffing or bagging — a trend among kids and teens looking for a quick high by inhaling a chemical called Freon.

LA girl, 14, dies after inhaling computer cleaner: A 14-year-old Los Angeles honors student has died after inhaling a computer keyboard dust cleaner, apparently to get high.

Inhalants awareness benefit to be held (Ranson, WV): ... the 19-year-old was in his bedroom the night of the Super Bowl inhaling air duster when he overdosed.

Teens accused of huffing Freon from AC unit (Dekalb, GA): Six DeKalb County teens are facing charges after a homeowner said he caught them vandalizing his air conditioning unit and huffing the coolant inside.

Police: kids caught huffing duster at East Tennessee school (Campbell County, TN): Police say five teens risked their lives for a quick high.

Inhalant drug addictions rise (Grand Junction, CO): Drug experts say 1 in 5 kids inhale some type of substance or chemical before they reached 8th grad.

Kit offered to help spot inhalant abuse: Inhalant abuse among North Dakota middle school students is 7.4 percent (the third most abused substance, next to alcohol and marijuana), and 11.6 percent among high school students (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2011). 

CANADA

Gas Sniffing Returns to Natuashish (Newfoundland and Labrador): The problem of gas sniffing is raising its ugly head once again in the Innu community of Natuashish. Band Council Chief Simeon Tshakapesh says he's noticed more and more young people sniffing gas now that the temperatures are warming and the days are getting longer.

AUSTRALIA

Police to meet Balgo elders over kids sniffing (Western Australia): Police are meeting elders in Balgo to discuss concerns that petrol sniffing has re-surfaced in the remote Kimberley community.

Child sniffing concerns health professionals: That’s according to the director of Mental Health and Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs for the North West Hospital Health Service, Sandra Kennedy. 

TURKEY

Suspect claims he got high sniffing glue: [He is] suspected of killing Staten Island mom Sarai Sierra who died from a fatal blow to the head in Istanbul in January. 

RUSSIA

The bears who like to get high (Kronotsky Nature Reserve): Russian animals are so addicted to aviation fuel they sniff it until they pass out.
 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

VSA Headlines: February 2013

UK

Sunderland teenager died after sniffing gas: A teenager's tragic death from inhaling butane gas has led to action against the Teesside shop which sold it to her.

USA

Body found in motel along with 52 empty aerosol cans (Osage Beach, MI): According to a news release, Police determined the deceased man and a woman bought the cans over a three day period from a nearby store.

Mom story: My daughter died from inhaling helium. Read how her family is trying to warn other parents and kids about the dangers of inhalants.

NEW ZEALAND

Legal high bill introduced: A bill restricting the sale of "legal highs" has been introduced to Parliament today. The Psychoactive Substances Bill puts the onus on producers of synthetic psychoactive substances to prove their products are safe before they can be sold, associate health minister Peter Dunne says in a media release.

Monday, February 04, 2013

VSA Headlines: January 2013

The recently published report, Trends in UK deaths associated with abuse of volatile substances 1971-2009, found other psychoactive substances to be present in 54% of deaths caused by VSA in 2009. In the light of the tragic death of a 16-year-old in Cornwall who was "turning a corner" in his fight against drug abuse, Re-Solv would once again urge substance misuse support and treatment services always to include VSA in their assessment procedures. 

Re-Solv delivers free VSA awareness and intervention training to substance misuse services in England under our Department of Health funded 'Community for Recovery' programme. Please contact us for details, or phone 01785 817885.

UK

Schoolboy died after inhaling lighter fuel: A teenager found collapsed in a college toilet died after inhaling cigarette lighter fuel, an inquest heard.

Norfolk coroner’s concern over widespread solvent abuse after ruling teenager’s death was accidental: Norfolk coroner William Armstrong has voiced his concerns about the widening problem of solvent abuse amongst teenagers - as he brought an inquest into a 15-year-old’s death to a close.

Legal highs

Inside out London: Mark Jordan investigates the surge in untested and sometimes deadly chemicals being sold legally on the streets of London and bought by teenagers to get high.

Legal high deaths 'tip of iceberg', says doctor: Deaths linked to legal highs may just be the first signs of the damage they do, according to a medical expert.

Make legal highs available for sale, government urged: The least harmful new "legal highs" should be made readily available for sale under strictly regulated conditions rather than being immediately banned as happens now, according to a cross-party group of peers.

Khat: a legal high, but should it be banned? Khat, a stimulant drug, is chewed by around 90,000 people in the east African and Yemeni communities in the UK. But now the Home Office is considering banning the substance. Jamal Osman finds out why. 

IRELAND

Legal highs

Ireland tops legal high user charts: Europol and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) published their findings in their first ever comprehensive overview of drug trafficking throughout the continent. 

USA

Police say “huffing” involved in quadruple Greene fatal (PA): State police say that three of four people killed in a three-vehicle crash in Washington Township, Greene County, in early October had been inhaling a can of compressed air cleaner just prior to the crash.

Man dies from huffing (KS): A man has died after huffing from several keyboard dusting cans, according to the Riley County Police Department.

Huffing Overdose Suspected In Death Of Sacramento Man Found In Parking Lot (CA): It’s usually a risky thrill for teens, but the deadly game of huffing has now claimed the life of a Sacramento man.

5 years in prison for Palatine huffing crash (IL): A Palatine woman who “huffed” fumes from a cleaning product while driving and seriously injured two people after she passed out and struck another car was sentenced to 5 years in prison this morning.

Driver inhaling gas arrested after chase in LA (CA): A spike strip was used to blow out the car's tires and it came to a stop but the driver remained inside. TV news reports showed him repeatedly filling colorful balloons from a tank of an unknown gas and inhaling from them.