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:


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."


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.


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. 


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. 


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.