Tuesday, April 29, 2014

VSA Headlines - March/April 2014

UK

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 www.mylegalhigh.org.

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.

USA

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.

CANADA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

FIJI

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

MALAYSIA

'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.

SAUDI ARABIA

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.

QATAR

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.

GHANA

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.