Wednesday, December 31, 2014

VSA Headlines - December 2014

It's New Year's Eve so just to say HAPPY NEW YEAR from all of us here at Re-Solv.

Thanks to the tireless professionals who work in the substance misuse field, to the teachers, social workers, youth workers, police and the many, many others who have made a difference this past year.

Thanks to the manufacturers, retailers, and other business organisations who support and involve themselves in the work that we do.

And thank you too to the families and VS-users who, by sharing your experiences, help others to overcome VSA.

With every best wish for 2015,

Steve, Lisa, Marina, Nicola and Vic

*     *     *     *

UK Headlines

Drug laws around the world - does anyone get it right? As a split emerges in the Government over Britain's future drug policy we look at the different approaches to drug control taken around the world.

Gibb Street Warehouse wins bid to reopen despite stabbing and discovery of gun and legal highs: A Birmingham club where a man was stabbed twice will not be shut down despite cops finding a loaded gun and 615 canisters of ‘legal high’ laughing gas on the premises.

Nurse sacked from Nuneaton hospital after inhaling laughing gas: An 'under pressure' George Eliot Hospital nurse was sacked for inhaling laughing gas at work.

University bar found selling laughing gas for £2 each: The controversial legal high nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, was found being sold in a bar run by the Aston University Student Union.

Legal highs

B. Traits: Will someone die at my gig?: In a new BBC Three documentary - How Safe Are My Drugs? - she speaks to people taking so-called legal highs, which she says is "scary and concerning".

Legal high deaths have increased eight-fold in three years: Revealed by think-tank Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), the figures show that there were 97 deaths in 2012, compared to 12 in 2009, while it's believed the use of legal highs by young people in the UK is the highest in Europe.

Why the problem of legal highs won’t go away: Legal drugs at a New Year’s Eve party doesn't guarantee safety – and the problem will continue in 2015.

Massive increase in ‘legal high’ incidents in parts of Yorkshire: The number of police incidents involving ‘legal highs’ at two Yorkshire forces has increased 25-fold in just two years, according to new figures.

Stories concerned with legal high shops around the UK included those in Belfast, BradfordDoncaster, North Devon, Taunton and Tayside.


Troopers suspect propane huffing in death of Alakanuk teen (AK): A teenager found dead in a shipping container Friday night in the Western Alaska village of Alakanuk is believed to have died as a result of huffing propane gas to get high.

Laughing gas studied as depression treatment: Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has shown early promise as a potential treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don't respond to standard therapies.

Man 'huffed' aerosol cleaner before being found dead in Macatawa River (MI): The autopsy, conducted by Holland Hospital, determined the cause of Soto’s death was drowning, but the inhalants likely led to the death.

Wisconsin court rules man properly committed for huffing gas (WI): A Marathon County judge properly forced a man into treatment for huffing gasoline, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday, rejecting his argument that gasoline doesn't qualify as a drug.

Farmington woman with suspended license was huffing nitrous oxide prior to crash (MI): The 36-year-old had "32 nitrous oxide propellant cartridges on the floor board of the vehicle."


Woman Died After Huffing Compressed Gas From 'Dusters' (BC): Police in Abbotsford, B.C., say a 36-year-old woman who was found dead earlier this year fatally overdosed on compressed gas from cans of computer cleaner.


Childhood brain tumours linked to parental solvent use: Children born to parents who work with paints, glues and other industrial solvents are more likely to develop brain tumours, WA researchers have found.

Northern Territory rollout of non-sniffable fuel passes milestone with launch of Darwin storage tank: For the first time, the NT has its own supply of the fuel, which is a central part of a national strategy to combat petrol sniffing.


The glue-sniffing street kids of Somaliland: Mohamed poses for the camera while Ibrahim takes a hit from a glue bottle behind him.

Friday, November 28, 2014

VSA Headlines - November 2014


Grantham-born teenager died in tent after sniffing aerosol: A Grantham-born teenager died a “sad and untimely” death from sniffing aerosols inside a tent in Old Goole, Hull Coroners’ Court was told.

The UK government's new Guidance on restricting the supply of nitrous oxide for recreational use has now been published.

Nitrous oxide no laughing matter for Shoreditch police: Police are cracking down on “laughing gas” vendors in Shoreditch, after an anti-social behaviour act gave officers new powers.

Volunteers sought for local trust: The Lee O’Brien Solvent Trust (LOST) has made an appeal for more volunteers ahead of its AGM on November 6.

Legal highs

Also from the UK government this month:
Police issue warning over legal high injecting: Police and health officials have issued a warning over the dangers of injecting so-called legal highs after a spate of incidents involving “aggressive and chaotic behaviour”.

Inquest hears how lethal combination of AMT and Ecstasy caused death of medical student: A MEDICAL student died after taking a legal high that lethally combined with the banned drug Ecstasy, an inquest heard.

Coroner warns of dangers of ‘legal high’ drug: A ‘HAPPY’ man accidentally killed himself by taking an overdose of a legal drug he bought over the internet, an inquest has heard.

Cookstown man’s death linked to ‘lethal’ legal high overdose: The death of a Cookstown man has been linked to an overdose of what has been described as a ‘lethal’ legal high.

Legal highs linked to death of man at Devon bus station: LEGAL high paraphernalia was found in toilets at a Devon bus station where a man was found dead, it has been revealed.

Ban for 'legal high' Stimulant Serotoni linked to 20 deaths: A lethal 'legal high' that has killed 20 people in Northern Ireland and was compared to a serial killer on the loose by a coroner has finally been banned.

Small Towns Crap Drugs: Away from the UK’s cities, legal highs are becoming the scourge of small-town Britain. A Mixmag special report on how crap drugs are taking over

Attitude to ‘legal highs’ revealed: Almost 700 people took part in an anonymous survey to provide NHS Tayside with its most comprehensive information on the use of so-called legal highs.

Legal high sales 'may already be against law': Selling so-called legal highs could already be unlawful under existing legislation, a court has been told.

Lincoln legal high ban could be first in the country: New proposals banning people from taking legal highs in Lincoln city centre could be the first of its kind in the country.

Legal high crackdown day: Taunton police are to lead a day of community action to clean areas of the town blighted by abusers of so-called "legal high" psychoactive substances.


21-year-old dies from inhaling air duster can (MO): One Mid-Missouri woman says her 21-year-old son is dead after inhaling a compressed air duster can.

'Huffing' canned air caused Goshen woman's death, police say (IN): A 34-year-old Goshen woman died at IU Health Goshen Saturday after police reportedly found her inhaling canned air products in the parking lot of Wal-Mart.

Man was ‘huffing’ prior to fatal crash (OR): Police said a man who was killed during a crash in Southeast Portland Wednesday morning was “huffing” inhalants prior to the crash.

Murder trial will include disputed blood test (VT): Prosecutors and police said Spanos was huffing aerosol to get high and had passed out behind the wheel when he crashed into a row of cars.

Friend's Inhalant Death Led to Man's Arrest (FL): A 43-year-old Sarasota man faces criminal charges following the death of one of his friends.

Woman Found Guilty of Third Degree Murder after Huffing While Driving (PA): A Centre County woman has been found guilty of third degree murder after huffing a can of air duster.


Ghosts in the machine: Justice system unable to see, let alone deal with, chronic solvent abusers

Canadian youth pushed to despair in poverty-stricken indigenous community: “In Pikangikum, young girls (8-10) self-reported that as many as 27 per cent had tried sniffing gasoline. Exact numbers are unknown, and it is estimated that there are as many as 300 solvent-abusers in the community,” the study found.


Inhaling gas from helium balloons no laughing matter, it can kill: The gas industry is sending a stern warning against the fad after it was promoted by high profile celebrities like Morgan Freeman and the television show Talkin’ Bout Your Generation.


Legal highs

Meth use on rise after legal high ban: Former methamphetamine addicts in Palmerston North have gone back to using the drug since synthetic highs were made illegal, a Manawatu addiction service says.


A not-so-happy Children’s Day for them (Uttar Pradesh): As the nation celebrates Children's Day, rag pickers as young as 12 are addicted to solvents used as thinner for varnish and paints

Monday, October 27, 2014

VSA Headlines - October 2014


Murder inquiry teenager's death caused by gas inhalation: A teenager, whose death sparked a murder inquiry, suffered a heart attack after inhaling butane and propane gas, an inquest heard.

Director crashed Range Rover in Birmingham after sniffing legal high 'poppers': Kidderminster man admitted driving while unfit through drugs and possession of mephedrone.

Other legal highs

Legal highs warning after man found dead: A new warning has been issued on the dangers of so-called legal highs after a man was found dead at a Devon bus station.

Maryon Stewart Pleads with PM to Release Legal Highs Report: The founder of the Angelus Foundation, has called on the Prime Minister to release its report on ways of reducing the harm from legal highs.

‘Legal highs destroying young people’: Launch of the 'We Don't Take Drugs. . . Drugs Take Us!'  initiative, led by Divert Project, Dove House in partnership with Legal High Awareness.

Legal high party drugs are leading to increase in sexually transmitted diseases, warn experts: National Assembly committee told ahead of inquiry that Welsh councils should be given power to close down outlets that sell 'new psychoactive substances'.

One in Five Student Freshers Have Taken a Legal High Says Angelus Foundation Survey: The only British charity dedicated to raising awareness of legal highs, the Angelus Foundation, has carried out a snapshot survey of fresher students, which found 19% admitted to taking a legal high.

Legal highs need regulation, not an outright ban: Like many countries, the UK is currently working out how to deal with legal highs, or, to use the proper nomenclature, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

Larne charity launches petition seeking ban on legal highs: Preventing Addiction Larne (PAL) launched the petition on October 15, and within 24 hours had attracted 500 signatures.


The National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC) who support those whose lives are affected by VSA are this month asking people to "step up and help the NIPC maintain and continue its mission of saving lives and helping people make appropriate health choices". Donations can be made online at the NIPC homepage.

13-year-old dies from "huffing" (AL): [She] died last week after being found in the bathtub of her mother's home in Alabama.

Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak's autopsy shows accidental overdose, possibly huffing: The Texas medical examiner said the child star of 'The Patriot' and 'The Cider House Rules' died July 19 from a toxic cocktail that included a pain killer, muscle relaxer and difluoroethane, a refrigerant.

Inhalants Are Terrible, Please Stop Using Them: Huffing is awful. You know it, I know it, and it's probably fair to assume that Bartusiak probably knew it too.

Huffing tragedy noticed in D.C.: A recent newspaper article about a tragic death in Pauls Valley and criminal charges from a dangerous inhalant triggered an online alert in our nation’s capital [and the launch of]

Huffing-while-driving ban inspired by death of N.J. teen passes Senate committee: A bill that would outlaw driving under the influence of inhalants was passed unanimously by a state Senate committee this morning.


Three suffer burns in gas huffing explosion: There's been an explosion in South Auckland in what police are describing as a serious huffing incident.

Minister of Health to address youth huffing issues: The Minister of Health is to take advice on what steps might be needed to stop young people huffing, or inhaling gases and aerosols, amongst youth.


Man 'Sets Fire to House After Sniffing Glue': A 34-year-old man is believed to have accidentally set fire to his grandmother's house in Nong Hoi while inebriated after sniffing glue on Saturday morning.


Butane kills another teen: Hail city has registered a third death from butane gas.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

VSA Headlines - September 2014


Laughing gas alert as revellers taken to hospital after bad reaction to 'legal high': Police say anyone who may have inhaled nitrous oxide should get medical advice.

Dagenham mum died after inhaling aerosol gas, inquest hears: A “bubbly” young mother died seconds after inhaling aerosol gas at her home in Dagenham, an inquest heard.

Mum who set fire to home as her two young sons slept avoids jail: A mother who set fire to her home while high on drink and solvents as her two sons slept upstairs has been spared prison and released on probation.

Teenagers taken to hospital after inhaling legal high 'weed killer' in city centre: Police were called when the pair, a girl aged 16 and boy aged 17, were seen being ‘violently ill’ on Market Street in Manchester city centre.

My Teenage Kick Was Huffing Butane Gas: Squeezed between my 15th and 16th birthdays, my relationship with this inhalant, like the high itself, was brief but intense—and ended suddenly.

Widespread coverage of nitrous oxide use, including a lengthy piece in the Huffington Post, two BBC stories (Council response and festival use), a Channel 4 feature about London's Brick Lane, in-depth Guardian analysis, and an extensive piece in the South China Morning Post including an interview with "the world's biggest producer of nitrous oxide cream chargers" in Taiwan.

'Hippie crack' inspires new Gilbert and George exhibition: Gilbert and George have turned to a funny source of inspiration for their latest exhibition: nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.

Legal highs

One new drug a week puts health services under increasing pressure: Health services need more support to deal with growing club drug and Novel Psychoactive Substance use, warn leading psychiatrists.

Town hall chiefs call for ban on sale of legal highs: Council leaders have called for the sale of legal highs to be made illegal on the high street, after figures showed related deaths more than doubled in the past four years. Call to follow Irish legal high law.

Dawn raids on legal high shops: More than 350 officers were involved in the nationwide raids, which also targeted shops in Ayr, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Newsagent to stand trial over legal highs accusation: A Bradford city centre newsagent is set to stand trial next year on charges of supplying so-called legal highs.

Police plea after legal highs death: A warning has been issued to members of the public reminding them of the dangers of so-called legal highs, which will often contain hazardous substances.

2014 Online Legal High Survey: The ‘Legal High’ National Online Survey (LHNOS) launched in March, 2014 to learn more about individuals’ views and experiences of ‘legal highs’ in the UK.

A POA official estimates that "between 30 and 40% of the drug seizures in prisons are the many varieties of legal highs."


Legal highs

Irish youths' legal-high use treble EU rate: The use of designer drugs among Ireland's teenagers and young adults is approaching three times the EU rate.


Mother charged with neglect after huffing incident (IN): A Steuben County woman is charged with neglect of a dependent after police said she put her daughter in serious danger over the summer.

Pregnant Woman Arrested For Endangering Unborn Child By Huffing (IN): A northwest Indiana woman with an admitted addiction to huffing has been arrested for felony neglect of a dependent — her unborn son.

Are your kids huffing? (NJ): Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini sponsors a bill to make it tougher for minors to get their hands on the product.

Stories on traffic accidents connected with VSA include those from SC, SDTN and UT.


Solvent abuse not exclusive to remote communities: A 12-bed facility that specializes in youth solvent abuse, intake manager Jessica Wilhelm said the capacity is part of a national problem. Many people think that solvent abuse issues only exist in remote communities, but it's everywhere.


IDF prohibits khat chewing, Freon huffing: Army increases restrictions on substance abuse for soldiers on duty; troops who violate rules could face prosecution.


Drugs scam: Solvent sold as GHB by nightclub dealers.


Huffing teen treated for burns: The three teens injured when the aerosol can they were huffing exploded yesterday remain in hospital a stable condition.

Legal highs

'Battle for the legal high industry': An Auckland businessman who made millions of dollars selling pills which mimicked Ecstasy - which he claimed to be legal - has been convicted of drug crimes in a case described by one judge as the "battle for the legal high industry".


Mission to help boys’ addiction to solvents: A former [Sussex] police sergeant who travelled to the Philippines and set up a charity to help young boys addicted to solvents has written a book to help raise awareness of their plight.

Monday, August 11, 2014

VSA Headlines - August 2014

The new Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England report has been published, showing once again that volatile substance abuse ('VSA') is the most common form of substance misuse among young people aged 11-13 years old. 

When the study is extended to include 14 and 15 year-olds, VSA is second only to cannabis: 

Key findings overall included:
  • Among 11 to 15 year olds: “[After cannabis (7%)] volatile substances, such as glues, gases, aerosols and solvents, were the next most commonly used, with 3.6% of pupils having inhaled them in the last year.”
  • “Where pupils had only taken one type of drug in the last year, younger pupils were more likely than older pupils to report that their only drug use was inhaling volatile substances (59% of 11 to 13 year olds who had taken drugs in the last year, compared with 9% of 15 year olds).”
  • “In line with previous years, in 2013, pupils were most likely to have been offered cannabis (18%) or glue, gas, aerosols or solvents (10%).”

Other headlines from around the world include:


Man 'on solvent high' attacked teen: A man who attacked a teenager in Belfast city centre while high on solvents has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Teenager addicted to sniffing aerosols is jailed: Defending, Neil O'Driscoll explained, "... He wants to get help to try to overcome his addiction."

Warning over dangers of laughing gas misuse: Councils say risky recreational use of nitrous oxide has become widespread, with councils seizing canisters in large numbers.

Laughing Gas Crackdown Amid 'Disturbing' Craze: A council seizes 1,200 nitrous oxide canisters in a single night, as officials warn the craze is being fuelled by online videos.

Hippy Crack is the lethal legal high sweeping the nation: The dangerous legal high nitrous oxide, which is sucked through balloons, starves the body of oxygen and makes punters light-headed, weak-legged and dizzy.

Growing numbers of young people in Bristol are inhaling nitrous oxide for a so-called 'legal high': Thousands of the two-and-a-half-inch metal canisters can be found discarded on pavements, and parks and play areas all over the city.

Laughing gas found behind church: Sgt Andy Miller of Wilmslow NPU said "We have received numerous reports recently from local residents who have been finding these canisters discarded in parks, playgrounds, behind shops and after youths parties."

Childhood brain tumours: associations with parental occupational exposure to solvents: "Parental occupational exposures have been associated with childhood brain tumours (CBT), but results are inconsistent. Few studies have studied CBT risk and parental solvent exposure, suggesting a possible association. We examined the association between CBT and parental occupational exposure to solvents in a case–control study." British Journal of Cancer 111, 998-1003 (26 August 2014) | doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.358.

Other legal highs

Young mum died after taking legal high days before it was made illegal: Southampton mum had been experimenting with drugs for months an inquest heard.

'Highly intelligent' student died after taking legal high, inquest hears: His death came two months after that of fellow University of Surrey student.

New [Scottish] figures reveal legal high drug deaths more than doubled in last year: Last year there were 113 deaths where New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) were present, compared with 47 in 2012.

Charity backs calls for tougher rules on 'legal highs': The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) think-tank this week recommended laws making it easier for so-called ‘head shops’ to be closed down and owners banned from opening certain types of businesses. Full report here.

Group calls for legal high law: A west Belfast drugs action group is calling for new laws to prevent legal highs becoming available and is aiming to educate young people about the potentially deadly consequences of taking the substances through a new DVD.

Police withdraw legal highs advice an hour later (Edinburgh): Drugs advice on legal highs was withdrawn within an hour of being released because it didn’t conform with a new hard-line stance from Police Scotland, insiders claim.

Legal high sales set for crackdown in NW Leicestershire: Leicestershire Police has now launched Operation Nitrox to help in the fight against the sale of substances.

University of Lincoln team's legal high research to feature on Embarrassing Bodies: See episode information here.

Boycott stops legal high sales at newsagent: A newsagent [in Musselburgh] has withdrawn sales of a legal high blamed for at least one death following a boycott by angry residents.

Dundee legal high retailers: ‘Don’t blame shops’: Retailers selling so-called legal highs in Dundee have said don’t blame us if people abuse them.


Test results awaited in death of Bloomsbury man after 'huffing' (NJ): The man died about 14 hours after he was found in the back seat of a taxi cab where he had passed out.

Marshfield man, 34, found dead; huffing suspected (WI): A 34-year-old Marshfield man was found dead in his home and police found evidence of huffing inhalants, Lt. Darren Larson said Monday.

Sharpsburg man admits to huffing paint thinner after assaulting 7-year-old neighbor (PA): Police said they received a call Friday for a 57-year-old man in an “altered mental status” who was assaulting a boy in the 1900 block of Middle Street.


Dads' exposure to solvents linked to childhood brain tumours: Brain tumours in children could have as much to do with the father's occupational exposure to solvents as they have to do with the mother's, a new Australian study has found.


Man died rapidly after 'huffing' butane gas: The case is the latest so-called "huffing" death to be scrutinised by the coroner's court, which has repeatedly highlighted the dangers of substance inhalation.


High number of capital’s children high on glue: With roughly cropped hair and dressed in a dirty torn cloths, a teenager boy of about 15 years is found busy in sniffing glue along a roadside traffic signal of 6th Road, Rawalpindi without any fear of the authorities.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

VSA Headlines - July 2014


Tributes to Brixton man who drowned at festival in the south of France: Tributes were today paid to a 25-year-old who drowned at a festival in France after allegedly inhaling laughing gas.

More evidence 'poppers' may damage eyesight: A club drug and aphrodisiac since the 1970s, inhaled “poppers” are increasingly linked to eye damage - possibly due to a new formulation - according to a short report from the UK.

Man who went from sniffing petrol to shoplifting for heroin will take part in Recovery Festival: A man who went from sniffing petrol fumes aged 13 in Wiltshire to shoplifting in Plymouth to fund a heroin addiction is taking part in the South West's only recovery festival after living clean for three years.

Prolific offender stole nearly £200 of aerosol cans from Ilfracombe Co-op to feed addiction: A prolific offender with a solvent addiction stole almost £200 worth of aerosol cans to feed his habit.

Solicitor says Asbos 'are almost used as a way of tidying up the streets' after woman was remanded in custody for possessing aerosol cans: She was treated by paramedics for the effects of inhaling the hair spray aerosol cans.

Laughing gas vendors - having a laugh at the law's expense? For a fee, they'll get you high - and they'll do it right under the noses of the police who can't touch them. But is the party coming to an end for those making a fortune selling laughing gas?

TOWIE star Arg sparks controversy being pictured with deadly legal high Hippy Crack: James Argent has sparked controversy after posing with a balloon, believed to be a legal high dubbed Hippy Crack, in a nightclub.

Lethal laughing gas op targets illegal Shoreditch street sellers: Potentially lethal “laughing gas” with a street value of about £6,500 was seized in just one night by police outside the pubs and clubs of Shoreditch.

Rise in use of laughing gas in Carshalton and Coulsdon prompts police warning: Officers have warned children and their parents against sniffing any small metal cannisters they find in public spaces as these are likely to have been left over by people using laughing gas in the area. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are also engaged in an awareness-raising programme.

Other legal highs

We can 'only educate' people on dangers of legal highs: Legal highs are so popular the only option is to "educate people who are using them" about how they can make safer choices about the drugs they take, an addiction specialist told Good Morning Britain.

Man dies after smoking legal high: A man has died after smoking herbal incense, police said.

Torfaen AM welcomes legal high inquiry: Torfaen AM, Lynne Neagle, has successfully persuaded the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee to undertake a full inquiry into legal highs.

Northern Ireland in grip of legal high 'Magic Dragon' epidemic: Ulster risks a lost generation unless government bans the sale of so-called ‘legal highs.

'Legal high' man set fire to flats after 'hearing voices in head': A man who endangered residents by torching a block of flats claimed he did it after hearing voices in his head as a result of taking a so-called legal high.

Legal highs stories this month also included bans on legal highs at festivals, including T in the Park and Brownstock and raids made on a number of legal highs shops including those in Perth, Angus and Kent. Police warnings were also issued in ScotlandCumbria (also covered in an ITV story) and Cheshire.


Mineral turpentine, heavy fuels raise risk of Alzheimer's disease: A new study suggests that exposure to certain petroleum based solvents and fuels can drastically boost the risk of Alzheimer's disease - a disease that affects an estimated 5 million Americans. 

Huffing driver can't be charged with DUI (NE): Two months after being hit by a huffing driver Lindsey Anderson says Nebraska D-U-I laws need better balance.Lindsey says, " Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of huffing should all be the same."

Twin Falls Man Runs Into Sign after Inhaling Canned Air (ID): A three car pileup Monday morning, has led to the arrest of one of the drivers.

Driver inhaled nitrous oxide just before crash on Rt. 22, say police (NJ):  Investigation of a one-car crash led to the arrest of two Summit residents on charges related to inhaling nitrous oxide.

Newport man hospitalized after inhaling whippets (OH): A Newport man is in a critical condition Friday after his wife says he inhaled a gas commonly found in aerosol cans.

Recent huffing cases in Warren, Hunterdon counties raise concerns among experts (NJ): Huffing, the practice of inhaling common household items for a brief blast of euphoria, has for decades been a problem. And those who track it say there's at least circumstantial evidence that it's become an even greater problem recently in certain pockets of the country. A similar story ran in Marathon County, WI


Legal highs

Far North queries 'legal high' ban: Far North District Council says it's impossible to ban all "legal highs" and instead wants local government control over where they can be sold.


Law without enforcement will not curb glue-sniffing among teenagers: Drafting a new or amending an existing law will not be able to help curb glue-sniffing activity, especially among teenagers in this country, according to crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim.


Enforce ‘rugby boys’ ordinance (Bacolod): There is a steadily increasing and rampant use of rugby and other volatile substances by minors, in spite of the passage of City Ordinance 328, the resolution said.


Eight children inhaling adhesives land in de-addiction centre in Amritsar (Punjab): These boys, who work as rag-pickers, were spotted by the Amritsar police at different locations in the city, including the railway station, on Monday.

Most correction fluid addicts are students, finds PGI study: Correction fluid (inhalant addicts) addicts are mostly students belonging to middle socio-economic class families. A recent study conducted by the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has found.

Monday, June 30, 2014

VSA Headlines - June 2014

We're delighted to announce that Re-Solv Scotland has received 3 years' funding from the Section 16B grant scheme. This will allow us to run an annual VSA awareness campaign and work with St Andrews' First Aiders to respond in an emergency.


Eleven-year-old girl died after sniffing aerosol gas, inquest rules: A mother found her 11-year-old daughter unconscious on her bed after she had been sniffing an aerosol can, an inquest heard.

Young chef died after inhaling laughing gas: A young chef who died after inhaling laughing gas discovered the high while on holiday seven months previously, an inquest heard.

Woman on gas and alcohol threatened to kill terrified pub worker with meat fork: A woman high on alcohol and butane gas launched a series of attacks on terrified members of staff at a pub, threatening to kill one of them with a meat fork.

Exposure to solvents prior to first childbirth 'linked to breast cancer risk': In a study published in Cancer Research, women with a family history of breast cancer who worked with organic solvents prior to having their first child had an increased risk for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Legal highs

Winchester University student killed by effects of 'legal high': A student at a Hampshire university was killed by the toxic effects of a legal high substance, a coroner has ruled.

Woman died after taking legal high at wake mourning friend killed by the same drug: A Birmingham inquest heard the friends were part of a group of “ravers" who used recreational drugs including horse tranquilizer Ketamine and Mephedrone, widely known as M-CAT, at weekends.

Deaths linked to legal highs: Two deaths in Shetland are being linked to so-called legal highs prompting a warning from police chief Eddie Graham.

Deadly "legal highs" which mimic Class A drugs to be banned: A lethal psychedelic drug should be controlled as a Class A substance, according to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

‘Legal high’ danger warning from Hatfield university team: Experts at Hatfield’s University of Hertfordshire warned of the dangers of the latest ‘legal high’ drugs at an international conference.

Legal Highs survey is launched by the NHS: Legal highs are being put under the spotlight with the launch of a new survey across Angus.

Experts to tackle legal high dangers: An expert group is to be set up by the Scottish Government to look at ways of tackling the sale and supply of so-called "legal highs".

Deadly ‘legal high’ is banned: The Isle of Man Tynwald last week voted to ban a drug implicated in the death of a man from Ballasalla last year.

Illegal drugs hidden inside nearly half of ‘legal highs: A top medic says Class B and prescription-only drugs like Viagra are regularly added to the potentially toxic substances.


Time may not reduce brain effects of solvent exposure: Workers exposed to solvents on the job may experience memory and thinking problems decades later, according to a new study.

Man arrested on glue charges after 50 mph wreck in parking lot (TN): Witnesses saw him going about 50 mph and driving through trees and bushes in the parking lot, according to an arrest report.

Gunter man warns of dangers of "huffing" (TX):  A Gunter man is warning of the dangers of "huffing" after he was critically injured in an accident nearly three years ago while high on fumes.

Police allege huffing was a factor in car's crash into house (AZ): An 18-year-old woman who crashed a car into a Whipple Street house on May 31 had been "huffing" just prior to the crash, a Prescott Police spokesman said.

Man to be arraigned on charges stemming from fatal car crash (WI): A Cornell man accused of huffing from an aerosol can and using marijuana before a car crash that killed his passenger in Eau Claire in August will have an arraignment hearing July 21.

Spread of 'huffing' feared (NY): The near-death of a Greenwich man and complaints from parents have prompted police and a substance abuse expert to warn about an apparent increase in young people “huffing” aerosol products to get high.

Huffing becoming a serious addiction in Utah County: Within the past two months, the Orem Department of Public Safety has responded to multiple calls of individuals huffing canned air in their vehicles or at a business.


Youths in Cairns injured after explosion while chroming: A group of youths in Cairns were injured in a small explosion that occurred while they were ‘chroming’.


Legal high manufacturers' testing regimes inadequate: Political considerations appear to have driven Government decisions on law changes around legal highs.

Legal highs sell out fast after returning to shelves: Legal highs have resurfaced after last month's ban in a new form described as "non-psychoactive", and they're flying off shelves.


Stuck on glue: Young Fijians who sniff glue to intoxicate themselves also chew it as gum and even use it on top of buttered bread for their meals.


Possible ‘legal’ route to curb glue-sniffing in Sarawak: States concerned with the glue-sniffing scourge may be able to curb it by tweaking the terms and conditions stipulated in trade and business licences.

Malacca finds way to control sticky situation: With glue sniffing becoming a problem among youngsters, the state assembly has approved a motion to draft an enactment controlling the sale of adhesives.


Inhalant abuse on the rise (Tamil Nadu): The Coimbatore government hospital sees at least five to 10 new cases of inhalant addiction every month.

Solvent abuse among Kashmiri teenagers on rise: Kashmir-based Psychiatrists Thursday raised a serious concern over the increase in solvent abuse among teenagers, which according to them can cause sudden death.

Whitener addiction on the rise among teens (Kerala): According to a recent report submitted before the court by the police department, whitener-inhalation addiction is the first step to drug addiction or alcoholism.

Monday, May 19, 2014

VSA Headlines - May 2014

Community for Recovery

Community for Recovery provides the first national support network for anyone in England whose life is affected by VSA. Funded by the Department of Health, the service celebrates its second anniversary this month.

Since its launch, Community for Recovery has offered information and support to over 3,800 people and has provided professional VSA training to over 100 substance misuse agencies across England.

Happy 2nd birthday Community for Recovery!


Wollaston woman accidentally set herself on fire, inquest heard: A WOLLASTON woman accidentally set herself alight when she was sniffing hairspray while smoking a cigarette, an inquest heard.

Unilever's compressed aerosols cut carbon footprint by 25% per can: The company achieved this by compressing the cans for a range of female deodorants, using 50% less propellant gas.

Police say worrying trend is no laughing matter: Wilmslow Neighbourhood Policing Team have been receiving an increase in the number of reports whereby small colourful canisters have been found in locations where youths like to gather and socialise.

Legal Highs

Minister 'open-minded' on legal high solutions: Crime prevention minister Norman Baker has said "all options" are still being considered on the growing problem of legal highs, although the Home Office ruled out the licensing of shops.

UK MP asks festivals to adopt 'no legal high' policy: The UK's Minister for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker, has sent a letter to various festival organisers asking for a crackdown on legal highs. Writing the letter amid growing concerns about the amount of psychoactive substances appearing at festivals, Mr. Baker has asked organisers to consider a "no legal high" policy.

More than 20 UK music festivals ban legal highs: A group of more than 20 UK music festivals including T in the Park and Bestival have banned the sale of legal highs by traders at their events.The Association of Independent Festivals said its members would also take part in a "digital blackout" on Monday to highlight the drugs' dangers.

Legal high customers given warning letters by police: Customers of a website selling legal highs were tracked by Sussex Police and hand-delivered letters telling them they were “playing Russian Roulette with their lives”. Similar action has been taken by police in Staffordshire and Dorset, and there is more information on the Police Chief's Blog (17/1/14).

MSP accuses Holyrood of dodging questions on dropped prosecution against legal high shop: North-east Scotland MSP Alex Johnstone has labelled their response to questions into the dropped prosecution against High Life in Montrose for selling drug-taking equipment as “disgraceful”.

No jail for teen after stabbing on legal high: A teenager who stabbed a terrified woman he had never met during what he claimed was a legal high-induced “blackout” has escaped a prison sentence.

Legal high growth 'unprecedented': Nearly 350 so-called legal highs have been identified in more than 90 countries, although this number could be significantly higher, United Nations drug experts have warned.


Driver in Deadly DUI Crash was Allegedly Huffing (CA): The 37-year-old woman charged with second-degree murder and vehicle manslaughter ... was allegedly high on nitrous oxide.

Driver in near-fatal Belfast crash charged with abuse of inhalants (ME): The teenage driver pulled from her vehicle by good Samaritans following an April 23 crash has been charged by Belfast Police following her recovery.

Teen Driver Huffed from Aerosol Can Before Car Crash (NE): Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler confirms a Bennington teen driver was huffing before a car wreck Sunday afternoon.

‘Huffing’ leads to wreck as driver passes out at the wheel (KS): An 18-year-old Hays man is facing multiple charges after passing out at the wheel of a car while engaging in “huffing.”

Suspect continued huffing aerosol as man lay trapped beneath SUV (TX): [He] was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

Dangers of Huffing: A two-part report from NC1 available to view on YouTube. View Part 1 and Part 2


Survey: Easy Access To Drugs Damaging Students' Health: In a recent National Secondary School Survey of 3,365 students across 38 schools from 11 parishes, it was revealed that alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and solvents/inhalants continue to be the substances most commonly abused by students in Jamaica, which could lead to serious health issues down the road.


Alice Springs retailers agree to keep deodorant off shelves after sniffing complaints (NT): Major supermarkets chose to remove the product for two weeks after more than 500 reports that children were using it as a drug.


Solvent abuse on the rise in Auckland: Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson has said her staff have reported a rise in clients showing symptoms of solvent abuse. However, it was too early to indicate it is linked to withdrawal from synthetic highs, as many of her clients have stockpiled the drugs, she said.

Legal Highs

New Zealand legal high manufacturer explains regulation: Matt Bowden manufacturers legal highs in New Zealand, where the industry is regulated and the drugs go through similar trials to new medicines.

Legal high makers turned '1000% profit': The legal-high industry made massive multimillion-dollar profits during the Government's brief fling with regulation.

Underground legal high market feared: Nelson legal high retailers have cleared their shelves of the now-banned products this morning, but one says it will create an underground market.

One in four calls to helpline come from under-18s: A quarter of poison-centre helpline calls about legal high side effects have come from those under 18.


Thailand, Singapore ban on glue sniffing might suit us, says Wan Junaidi – Bernama: The government is studying Thailand and Singapore's laws banning the act of glue sniffing and other solvent abuse which could endanger health, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Abdul Rahman.


Saudi teen dies after inhaling ‘laughing gas’: A 15-year-old Saudi boy died after inhaling butane, also known ‘laughing gas’, which is used in refilling gas lighters, a newspaper reported on Sunday. 
(Note the headline is misleading - 'laughing gas' is nitrous oxide, whereas it appears the young man died from the effects of inhaling butane.)


Now, Schoolkids Get a Kick by Sniffing Toluene: Schoolchildren sniffing whitener ink to get inebriated is passe. The kids of today now sniff Toluene, the chemical involved in a popular adhesive brand, to get a kick. What’s more, their number is increasing by the day! According to reports, school students between 13-18 are addicted to this menace.


Boy killed on train tracks had been sniffing glue, say police: A 17-year-old boy who was killed by a train after falling asleep on railway tracks at Pyay on May 7 had been sniffing glue, a Railway Police officer said.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

VSA Headlines - March/April 2014


PM's health advisor boosts Echo campaign with call for legal high lessons in primaries: Children as young as ten should be taught about the dangers of legal highs.

Pot Noodles put criminal in prison: The court heard how he had struggled with a reliance on butane, and although he had made inroads into conquering his addition, had relapsed following the accident at the start of the year – and had turned to the deadly substance to cope.

West Brom reprimand Saido Berahino over nitrous oxide video: West Brom have taken action against Saido Berahino after the striker was videoed inhaling nitrous oxide in his car after Albion's 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United last month.

Legal Highs

Stories about ‘legal high’ deaths are bound up in media hysteria: A letter [David Nutt has] published with Dr Leslie King in the Lancet shows that less than a sixth of the claimed “legal highs” deaths were actually from legal drugs, and most were associated with drugs that have been illegal for more than ten years. Additional coverage on ITV.

The Low-Down on Legal Highs: Britain has among the harshest drug laws in Europe, and among the worst drug problems. A new survey sheds light on why.

DUP calls for emergency legislation on 'legal high' drugs: In February, Belfast City Council was granted permission by a court to destroy seized substances that it believed were "legal highs" which had been been seized from a shop in the city centre.

Buckinghamshire County Council is at the forefront of the UK's first national survey on the controversial 'legal high' substances. Teaming up with the Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow, the survey was launched this month to take a look at attitudes tows substances that mimic, for instance, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy or LSD. Find the survey at

Justice secretary uses summit to warn of danger of legal highs: Kenny MacAskill joined representatives from Police Scotland, Trading Standards and the Home Office for discussions on how to deal with the increasing problems posed by new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Answers demanded over collapse of Angus legal high case: The Scottish justice secretary faces a grilling after the Crown Office dropped a potentially landmark Angus prosecution against legal highs shop owners.

Gangsters secretly making deadly 'legal high' drugs: Scottish crime groups have started manufacturing the drugs once labelled "legal highs" as they seek to compete with importers.

Legal high teen faces jail for ‘blackout’ stabbing: A teenager faces jail after stabbing a terrified woman during a legal high induced “blackout”.

Goodbye to legal highs in Montrose and Angus? The last two legal high shops in the county of Angus will shut their doors for the final time next month thanks to two Facebook groups.


National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW) 2014 took place from March 16-22 2014. An extension of National Poison Prevention Week, this is an annual, community level program that takes place to highlight understanding and education around inhalant abuse prevention.

New report highlights recent declines in adolescent inhalant use: The numbers of adolescents aged 12 to 17 using inhalants decreased from 820,000 in 2011 to about 650,000 in 2012, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Mom hopes daughter's death from huffing inspires change (PA): The 2002 Conrad Weiser High School graduate had been huffing, or breathing fumes to get high, from cans of spray cleaner.

Selma police are now calling the recent death of an 11-year-old child, suspicious (CA). The boy was taken off life support on Tuesday. At this point police are not revealing what led to his death but they believe that the gas, butane may have played a role.

Huffing trend among teens spurs bill to place age limit on keyboard duster sales (OK): The measure would put an age limit on the sale of keyboard duster, which, inhaled, can give a high.

Link gets prison in "huffing" crash case (MI): Link was arrested and charged on Sept. 27 when her three children were injured when she crashed her car.

'Huffing' suspected as 600+ whipped-topping cans found along parkway (VA): Judging by the number of empty canisters found, people are huffing in vehicles, then tossing the canisters out the window, prevention specialists say.

Gas sniffing eyed in connection with cause of March 29 apartment fire in Chattanooga (TN): A Chattanooga woman was arrested Wednesday in connection with the March 29 fire at Mountain Brook Apartments.


Winnipeg solvent users release CD on road to recovery: A group of people dealing with drug abuse has been rehearsing music twice a week at Sunshine House, and they are releasing a CD at an event at Crossways in Common today.

Seeking ways to address solvent abuse in Winnipeg: The issue is a problem social agencies, police, and even users themselves, are all trying to address.

Dark, violent and hopeful, huff takes on the pain: Aboriginal actor, writer and musician Cliff Cardinal brings the grim story of huffing along with the power of First Nations mythic storytelling, dark humour and the search for love to the NAC stage in his solo show huff starting April 29.


Sniffing and homelessness top concerns for Mount Isa Youth (QLD): Many people in Mount Isa think Youth Crime is a big issue locally.

Opal fuel dramatically reduces gas-sniffing and suicides in Australia: In the communities such as Papunya, that are also served by the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service, gas-sniffing had dropped by 94% as of 2011.

Palm Island to get non-sniffable Opal fuel: The Mayor of Palm Island, in north Queensland, says a rollout of non-sniffable petrol on the island will be accompanied by community support programs to curb substance abuse rates.


Coroner's warning after LPG 'huffing' death: The man whose badly decomposed body was found in a caravan in a Cromwell camping ground last year died of a mishap while "huffing" LPG, the Otago Southland coroner has found.

Legal Highs

Government to ban all legal highs within two weeks: The Government will ban all synthetic drugs within two weeks until they can be proven to be low-risk, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has revealed.

PM admits legal high 'mistake': Prime Minister John Key has admitted the Government made a mistake in allowing 41 legal high products to remain on the market when it introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act last year.

Safety fears spook New Zealand's drug reform pioneers: The plan is still to legalise drugs that are shown to be safe – but some are worried that the government has been spooked by a flurry of media reports about addiction and drug harm.

Fears legal high addicts will put pressure on community groups: There are concerns there will not be enough help available to people addicted to synthetic drugs when legal highs are pulled from the shelves.

Mixed reaction to legal high ban: Case study - Interviews with a mother, a former user and a supplier.

Son's death prompts legal high protest: The loss prompted the Tauranga mother of five to set up a Facebook page called Ban Synthetic Cannabis NZ Wide to protest against legal highs.


Bus companies complain of glue sniffing, vandals: Glue sniffing by schoolchildren is now done in public transport.


'Cops can't act to curb glue-sniffing' (Malacca): No action can be taken against glue-sniffers until a law to prohibit glue-sniffing is drafted, tabled and passed in Parliament, said Malacca police chief Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye.


Teen dies after inhaling ‘laughing gas’: A 14-year-old boy died in Dammam on Monday after inhaling a gas that is used to fill lighters.


Everyday drugs, everyday high: Volatile substance abuse is a growing problem in Qatar, and health professionals are struggling to cut through the culture of silence, write Chantelle D’Mello and Noora Al Thani.


Drug addicts in the Upper East Region now resort to sniffing petrol to get intoxicated. This phenomenon, according to the Upper East Regional Health Directorate, is coupled with the use of hard drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and alcohol abuse.