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.