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.