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!


UK

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.

USA

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

JAMAICA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NZ

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.

MALAYSIA

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 ARABIA

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.)

INDIA

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.

MYANMAR

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.