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:


'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.


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.


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.


'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.


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.


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:


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.


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