Thursday, December 17, 2015

VSA Headlines - Nov/Dec 2015

The Global Drug Survey 2016 has launched and you can take part here. If you haven't seen already, there are also some really interesting findings from last year, including this on nitrous oxide.


Firm sentenced after worker dies after inhaling paint stripper: An employer has been fined after a worker died after inhaling fumes while cleaning a chemical stripping paint tank at a motor vehicle repair company

Other 'legal highs'

Man in Bedford dies after taking 'legal high' drug: A man has died after taking a synthetic cannabis substitute called "Spice" in Bedford, police said.

Family tribute to man killed by best friend while high on drugs: A family has paid tribute to a young musician who was killed by his best friend who had taken a previously legal high.

New psychoactive substance banned under temporary power: Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims announces Methiopropamine (MPA) to be banned.

Investigation launched into dangers of 'legal highs' after Manchester sees a huge rise in use: Manchester Metropolitan University academics are to carry out a major new piece of research for the town hall amid growing concerns.

Legal Highs: A Heart (North East) News Investigation.

Project aims to educate Newcastle youngsters about dangers of using legal highs: As city leaders work to clamp down on the legal high epidemic, anti-drug campaigners are working with young people to educate them about the dangerous habit

Prisons chief warns of legal high surge: The outgoing chief inspector of prisons has said there is "no doubt" jails have deteriorated in the five years he has been in the role. See also: Legal high addiction in prison has 'seven-fold' increase and Prisoners' use of legal highs 'puts severe strain on ambulance services'.

Hundreds of patients attending A&E after taking ‘legal highs’: Details obtained by The Scotsman show more than 600 people have been seen by Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments since 2011.

New test for Spice legal high will be 'game changer', says prison minister: Ministry of Justice will be able to detect prisoners using the synethic drug from early next year.

Eton College funds research into why young people take psychoactive 'legal highs': Eton College is funding research into what motivates young people to take so-called “legal highs”, with the aim of improving its drug education strategies.

Thync carefully: mood-altering tech is coming: “With a new technology called Thync, you can now change how you’re feeling at the touch of a button.”


GardaĆ­ unable to pursue 'legal high' prosecutions even if linked to cases of death: Gardai are unable to pursue prosecutions for the sale and possession of some ‘legal highs’ even if they have been linked deaths, according to a senior Garda in the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.


Gay Atlanta adult entertainer died from huffing: A 25-year-old gay Atlanta man and adult entertainer found dead in a Midtown hotel room died after huffing cleaning solvent.

PA police chief charged for alleged "huffing" while on duty (PA): A Pennsylvania police chief has been charged for huffing while on duty.

Dubois mom turns in son for alleged huffing (IN): The Jasper Police Department made a drug-related arrest late Sunday night after receiving a call from a concerned parent.

Bond set at $500,000 for Scottsbluff man facing murder charge (NE): [He] allegedly got into an argument over car keys in the 200 block of East Overland on November 16th after ... drinking all day and huffing ...

Supernatural series raises awareness of inhalant abuse (LA): Author and Hammond resident Stacie S. Triche has been using her supernatural “Concealed Names” series as a means to raise awareness for inhalant abuse, which her nephew died from.

Traffic accidents and fatalities caused by VSA reported in FLIN, MD, OH, OR (nitrous oxide), WA and WI.


Sniffing spike in Galiwinku after contractors working on cyclone recovery import aerosol cans (NT): Contractors importing aerosol sprays for the reconstruction of cyclone-battered Indigenous community Galiwinku has led to a "spike" in sniffing, according to Northern Territory police.


16-year-old boy dies after inhaling lighter gas: A 16-year-old boy died after inhaling butane gas used in a lighter while in a park with friends in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, police said Sunday.

Laughing gas crackdown looms over recreational use as drug: Authorities are moving to crack down on laughing gas (nitrous oxide) as a recreational drug because it is becoming easier to obtain through online sales of bicycle tire inflators, which normally use carbon dioxide.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

VSA Headlines - Sept/Oct 2015

This was the first year Re-Solv participated in Recovery Month. What a brilliant September and a big THANK YOU to all the event organisers. Drink & Drug News have posted a great round-up of Recovery Month 2015.


14-year-old boy died after he inhaled lighter gas during caravan holiday: Garda Eoin Culligan, who attended the scene, said that he discovered a can of butane gas, of the type used to refill lighters, next to where the boy's body had been discovered.


Coroner records accidental death after man died from laughing gas inhalation: A young Hereford man died after inhaling a chemical commonly known as laughing gas, an inquest heard.

York launches green solvent service: Scientists at the University of York have launched a service to design and produce environmentally friendly solvents for industrial purposes.

Other legal highs

Student found dead in halls after taking legal high: An inquest has heard how a student was found dead in a bedroom at a Plymouth University halls-of-residence after taking a "legal high".

Inmate died after smoking legal high 'Spice' in Liverpool prison HMP Altcourse: A report into the death last year revealed the 24-year-old smoked the synthetic cannabis only hours before his death.

Proposed blanket ban on legal highs criticised by MPs: Report published by home affairs committee accuses ministers of trying to rush bill through parliament before proposals can be properly evaluated.

Council workshops hope to end 'legal high' abuse: The Safer NPT partnership is aiming to ensure that lessons around legal highs are not learned the hard way by organising workshops for parents on the topic.

The Deadly World of Legal Highs: BBC Scotland investigates the multi-million pound world of the legal high trade.

Deaths involving legal highs rise to 114 last year from just four in 2009: [Scottish] stats for 2014/15 show 114 deaths where legal highs had been taken and Holyrood's Community Safety Minister says it is "unacceptable" such substances are being legally sold on high streets.

Legal highs: Call to investigate link to prison deaths: The Prison Officers' Association (POA) has written to the chief coroner for England and Wales asking him to investigate the link between prisoner deaths and so-called legal highs.

Legal high 'plague' at Portland Prison, report reveals: Portland prison has been hit by a widespread 'plague' of legal highs which has led to a criminal network and inmates' families targeted on the outside, a damning report has revealed.

Six ambulances a day on 'legal high' callouts: Ambulances were called out on average six times a day to deal with cases involving so-called legal highs last year, a BBC Scotland investigation has found. See also, for England, Paramedics 'baffled' by legal highs, as police incidents rise and a feature on Radio 1's Newsbeat.

Newcastle University professor says legal high users are making themselves 'human guinea pigs': Newcastle University’s Prof Simon Thomas is (a director of the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) issues stark warning about dangers opf new drugs menace not even tested on animals.

Nottingham prisoner smuggled £29k of legal highs into HMP Stocken: Police are investigating how drugs worth an estimated £29,000 were smuggled between two jails during the transfer of a prisoner.

Shocking video shows man collapse after taking substance: Cheshire Police has issued legal notices against three city centre shops to stop them selling legal highs as they released a shocking video showing a man collapsing after apparently having taken one of the substances.

I Walked Around Bestival Asking to Test People's Drugs: Landing on the Isle of Wight, I jumped in a cab with two guys from London. We were all on our way to Bestival, the last big British festival of the summer, and my fare-sharers were obviously anticipating a big one, having each taken a couple of pills before crossing the Solent.

On a high: why Britain is back on ecstasy: Ecstasy, along with its dance music soundtrack, is enjoying a resurgence with a new generation of clubbers. Are they responding to the crackdown on legal highs or the fact that the quality of the drug is better than ever?

First Lincoln 'legal high' ban prosecutions successful: The first two people have been prosecuted for ignoring Lincoln City Council’s ban on ‘legal highs’.

‘It’s no laughing matter’: Southwater police in nitrous oxide campaign: Police volunteers in Southwater have produced a poster raising awareness of the dangers of legal high nitrous oxide.


Woman's death may be linked to computer cleaner (DE): A new trend in substance abuse may be to blame for the death of a 27-year-old Delaware woman in Murfreesboro Saturday night.

Man caught huffing in Wal-Mart restroom dies of cardiac arrest (WA): A 29-year-old man who had repeatedly been caught inhaling fumes from stolen cans of compressed air cans in Kitsap County died after police found him inhaling the substance in Poulsbo.

Huffing can be fatal (KS): On a Friday evening in 2013, things changed for John. He was at a friend's house and a can of compressed air changed everything for him.

Patterns of Inhalant Use among Incarcerated Youth: Inhalant use is especially prevalent among antisocial youth and can have serious health consequences. However, the extant literature has not investigated how use of various inhalants may co-occur among incarcerated youth. This study begins to address this gap in the literature.

Concert to raise money for anti-huffing awareness (VA): That’s the message a committee of community leaders and public school students have been working to spread since Andrew Bailey Spencer collapsed and died at his home in Blacksburg last year from a practice known as “huffing.”

Madison police say suspect was 'huffing' before fatal crash (WI): Man was inhaling fumes from a computer cleaning spray while driving

Hamilton mother sentenced for giving kids alcohol, inhalants (MT): A Hamilton woman who pleaded guilty to proving alcohol to a minor and inhaling canned air with her children has been sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years suspended

'Happening too often': Drivers high on cleaning products (MI): In the last few months, authorities have responded to car accidents caused by people getting high off cleaning products.

‘Inhalant-abusing’ mom battles billionaire ex to see her kid (NY): A former model — who hasn't been able to speak to her daughter since the child’s billionaire father showed a Manhattan judge video of his ex inhaling a can of Dust-Off spray to get high — is headed for a bruising trial in an effort to get her little girl back.


Huffing propane can kill you, Nunavut coroner warns: Young Pond Inlet man, 19, dies after inhaling propane.

Huff playwright Cliff Cardinal on solvent abuse: "a scary subculture that nobody wants to talk about": Cardinal's award-winning 2012 show explores life on the margins


Logan police work with retailers in an attempt to stop youths abusing volatile substances in the area (QLD): Logan police have worked with retailers in order to ­remove the active ingredient that gives glue sniffers a high, a leading police officer in the region says.


Other legal highs

'Matter of time' till legal highs back on shelves: In 2013, the New Zealand Government introduced game-changing and world-leading legislation designed to tackle the legal highs industry. A year later, under a wave of public pressure, psychoactive substances were pulled from the shelves. However, next month players in the industry can take their first tentative steps back into the marketplace. Timothy Brown reports on what the future holds.


Concern over sale of volatile substances: The Government should put in place regulations that will stop hardware retailers and other traders from selling volatile substances to minors.


Rescued minors back to sniffing rugby: A day after the 45 minors, who were rounded up under the bridge in Barangays Mabolo and Banilad last Friday night, were released, some of them were spotted slipping back into their old habits--sniffing rugby.


Destitute kids fall into glue-sniffing trap: Sniffing of glue or adhesives, cycle-tube solutions of different brands and other volatile solvents is on the rise among children belong to very poor families, vagabonds, orphans and the homeless.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

VSA Headlines - August 2015


Tragedy of Stanley teen who died after inhaling deodorant: A police officer with more than two decades of experience investigating sudden deaths described the loss of a teenager’s life due to solvent abuse as a tragedy at an inquest.

Spurned lover jailed after setting fire to his own clothes: Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the relationship had deteriorated after [his partner] found out he had been sniffing gas.

Nitrous oxide campaigners take drug outside UK parliament in protest at bill: About 100 people attend a mass inhalation against psychoactive substances bill, which would criminalise sale and supply of ‘nox’ and other drugs. (Re-Solv's statement, quoted in this article, voices the "fear that the growing use of nitrous oxide may inadvertently normalise the inhalation of gases to achieve a high, possibly leading to increased misuse of butane.")

V Festival: Police seize more than 17,000 canisters of nitrous oxide in 'legal high' crackdown

Medical spray is new fix: Youngsters warned off taking deadly legal high: Youngsters have been warned off using a potentially deadly new legal high available online.


Increase in numbers sniffing gas: Warnings are being issued regarding the life-threatening danger of inhaling butane gas — with drug agencies noticing a resurgence in recent years.

‘Deeply worrying’ increase in people huffing butane in Dublin city centre: It’s widely and cheaply available – but can lead to fits, short term memory loss and in some cases sudden death.

'Legal Highs'

Paramedics see increase in patients who have taken legal highs. Paramedics in the West Midlands say they have seen an increase in the number of call-outs to patients who have taken so-called ‘legal highs’. West Midlands Ambulance Service today released figures for 999 calls they have received across the area where the legal high ‘black mamba’ is mentioned. In April, they received eight black mamba calls, in May, nine, in June, 20, July, 29 and August, 39 so far. (BBC report states that W. Mids "call-outs to people suffering seizures and hallucinations after taking a former "legal high" have quadrupled".)

Tragedy as disabled woman dies after taking legal high 'Black Mamba': Inquest told [she] was found at home by her partner after taking 'synthetic' drug.

Man died after taking a now-banned legal high 'Banshee Dust' and trying to throw himself through a window: A coroner has welcomed the fact a legal high which was associated with a Swansea man's death has been banned.

Death of Morriston man leads to legal high ban call by Swansea coroner: Aled Gruffydd, assistant coroner in Swansea, urged action over ethylphenidate, which users inject, following an inquest into the death.

Preston mum speaks out against legal highs which killed her son: In June 2009 Aileen Worswick suffered every mum’s worst nightmare.

Heartbroken Bangor mum tortured by son’s ‘legal high’ drug death: A heartbroken mum who blames legal highs for the death of her 17-year-old son has spoken of her pain at being unable to help him in his final moments.

Babies are ‘hooked on legal highs’: “We are seeing a number of babies born that are demonstrating withdrawal symptoms very quickly after birth and for extended periods of time,” said temporary chief inspector Lindsey Stamp.

Jordan Blackburn issues photo of himself in induced coma to show dangers of legal highs. The 20-year-old had been hospitalised after taking legal highs at Kendal Calling.

Newcastle legal high dealers 'could be pushed under ground' after council bans traders, says shop owner: Jacob Ideala, one of three city businesses ordered to stop selling legal highs, says the substances could end up in the hands of the wrong people


Woman found dead in her car in Walmart parking lot (FL): A woman from Archer died in a parking lot after police say she inhaled several cans of dust cleaner.

Book promoters film trailer at park: It is dedicated to Triche’s nephew, Charles, who died young from inhalant abuse. All profits from the book, which is one of four in a series, will go to promote inhalant abuse awareness in schools.

Driver high on inhalants gets 12 years in jail for injuring two in crash at fast-food restaurant (NJ).

Driver strikes house after allegedly “huffing” (MA): A driver hit a house Sunday night demolishing a handicap ramp and causing the front porch roof to collapse.


Retailers ready for next high: The Otago Daily Times has been told more Dunedin dairies are selling small quantities of legal, non psychoactive products, in anticipation of a psychoactive product being approved for sale.


Dendrite addiction among street kids becoming great concern for Siliguri (West Bengal): Public places under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation area including bus terminuses, railway stations and parks have become a safe haven for street children to sniff Dendrite and take drugs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

VSA Headlines - July 2015

Tavistock teenager dies after inhaling butane gas with addict she met on Facebook: a teenage girl died of butane gas inhalation while with her addict boyfriend who she met on Facebook, an inquest has heard.

Young people warned about dangers of inhaling laughing gas after death of 22-year-old: The warning comes after a Brighton student's death was linked to the use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

Teenager dies ‘after taking laughing gas’ at party in south-east London: Police believe 18-year-old Ally Calvert, who died in hospital after suffering cardiac arrest, had taken nitrous oxide at party in Bexley. Further comment by Marina Clayton of Re-Solv on BBC Radio Scotland (at 1hr 17 mins).

Exeter parents warned as children as young as 11 risk lives in aerosol craze: A city-wide warning to parents has been issued by Exeter police over the rising use of dangerous deodorant body spray fumes to get ‘high’ by children as young as 11.

Fife father who lost his son to solvent abuse hopes to save others: A Fife father is demanding action on solvent abuse as he renews campaigning following the death of his son.

Oil worker caught sniffing gas in car fined and banned from driving: An oil worker who was caught sniffing gas in his car by police has been banned from driving and fined £450.

Bereaved mother leads school campaign to raise awareness of dangers of 'laughing gas': A mother whose son died after inhaling laughing gas has thanked the school she works at for helping to raise awareness of the dangers of the drug.

Drugs for breakfast: Glastonbury crowd abuse legal highs openly at festival: Pictures showed people passed out under foil blankets and groups of people waking up to inhale nitrous oxide balloons.

Lambeth cracks down on laughing gas by banning legal highs: A London council is cracking down on laughing gas by banning the use and supply of legal highs in public areas across the whole borough.

Marnie Simpson 'deeply regrets' inhaling laughing gas on Snapchat post: A spokesperson has explained the Geordie Shore star wasn't aware of the dangers beforehand

Other legal highs

Family warning after two Norfolk legal high deaths: The family of a Norfolk man, who died after taking a legal high, have issued a desperate plea to others to stay away from the substances.

'Legal highs' linked to a number of prison deaths: The use of so-called legal highs has been a factor in at least 19 prisoner deaths between 2012 and 2014, a new report has revealed.

Internal injuries from legal highs resemble those suffered in car crashes: Legal highs users are being admitted to the north-east’s biggest hospital with internal injuries as severe as those suffered by car crash victims.

Violence, suicide threats and terrified children: Legal high police call-outs rocket 10-fold and many relate to children.

How much do you know about legal highs? Swansea awareness event hits the streets.

Angelus Launches New Legal Highs Education Film ‘Vortex’: The Angelus Foundation, the British charity dedicated to raising awareness of ‘legal highs’, has launched a new film warning of the dangers of taking these new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Legal highs: Students speak out on Government's upcoming 'blanket ban' and Psychoactive Substances Bill

Empty laughing gas cannisters turned into art in Salford to warn teenagers of the dangers of nitrous oxide: Police officers have teamed up with Salford's Salix Homes and Beechfarm Residents Association to find a novel use for the nitrous oxide cylinders.


Aerosol addiction teen in custody for his own safety: A 16-year-old boy, who has possible suicidal ideation and who is addicted to aerosols, has been remanded in custody “for his own protection” even though the law does not allow for incarceration for the sole reason of self-protection, a children’s court in Kerry has heard.


Gas huffing suspected in Gambell man's death in Anchorage park (AK): a talented Alaska Native carver, but one who suffered from a long history of huffing to get high.


Gas-huffing teens spark health warning in Eastern Townships: 13-year-old girl fell from bridge in gas-induced stupor, receiving concussion and facial fractures.


Mornington Council to remove all sniffables after outbreak among youth: A remote indigenous community in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria is calling for a ban on sniffable fuels because children as young as nine are getting high on the fuel.

Petrol stations refusing to convert fuel to address petrol sniffing issue: Petrol stations in three states are resisting increased pressure from the federal government to convert their fuel to a low-aromatic version to combat the issue of petrol sniffing, saying it is too expensive and unnecessary.


‘Save your kids from inhalant abuse’ (Uttar Pradesh): Keep solvents like nail polish removers, whiteners, spirit and petrol away from the reach of children for they may get attracted to it. That was the piece of advice de-addiction experts gave parents in the city on the eve of International Day Against Drug Abuse.

Concern Over Kids' Addiction to Sniffing Whitener (Tamil Nadu): Whitener addiction is on the rise among teens, mostly street children, in the Fort City area and has been so for years now, according to child welfare expert.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

VSA Headlines - June 2015

If you're interested in contributing to understanding about legal highs and their use, please consider taking part in one of the following surveys:

Open until 30th June "to gain insights from people in England into the range of perceptions and experiences of ‘legal high’ substances".

"Britain’s draft blanket ban on legal highs including laughing gas and poppers threatens to send the trade underground. Share your experiences of buying and taking legal highs" with the Guardian.


The Government's proposed New Psychoactive Substances Bill continues to be debated, with perspectives including:

The new Psychoactive Substances Bill – a quick introduction from the Centre for Public Health blog.

Comment: NPS Bill from Harry Shapiro's blog.

LGA calls for updated laws to tackle 'legal highs': "Councils desperately need new powers to crack-down on the sale of new psychoactive substances which are untested, unpredictable and are linked to a growing number of deaths."

Blanket ban will make it simpler for law enforcement to deal with unsafe drugs: NPCC Lead for New Psychoactive Substances,  Commander Simon Bray, discusses the dangers of so-called 'legal highs' after the UK Government has today published a bill to introduce a blanket ban.

Angelus’ Success in Campaigning to Tackle Open Sale of ‘Legal Highs’: Following an intense six year campaign, the team at the Angelus Foundation welcomes the Government plans to legislate against the sale of new psychoactive substances, which most young people call ‘legal highs’.

Independent trade welcomes ‘legal high’ ban: The independent trade has welcomed moves by the new Conservative government to introduce a blanket ban on the production, distribution, sale and supply of so-called “legal highs”, reports today’s Independent Retail News.

Wirral health chiefs welcome blanket ban on sale of 'legal highs': Wirral health chiefs have welcomed Government legislation banning the sale of so-called 'legal highs'.

Ban legal highs before people die, urges dad of teen rushed to hospital after taking '420'.

Special Report - legal highs in Manchester: [Homeless charity] manager said he welcomed the legal-high ban being brought in by the government.

Psychoactive Substances Bill: What's banned and how are they checked? The government is setting out new drug laws on Friday which seek to ban all psychoactive substances - or drugs which affect the human brain.

What’s wrong with the Psychoactive Substances Bill? All kinds of sensory experiences can affect thinking and impair judgement. Drinking, obviously; the inhalation of cannabis; and perhaps even the sight of a new Home Office bill.

Academy concerns over Psychoactive Substances Bill: The Academy and other research organisations have written to the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, to highlight concerns over unintended but damaging consequences for medical research of the Psychoactive Substances Bill

Should we ban ‘legal highs’? There has for some time now been a call both nationally and internationally to have a thorough re-examination of how ‘society’ and its ‘law makers’ tackle drug use; and then how we deal with the often catastrophic resulting effects on the lives of individuals their families and communities.

Lord Paddick: Psychoactive Substances Bill is not evidence led and it should be: Former Metropolitan Police Officer and Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick is critical of the new legal highs bill and says it shows the Government has 'no interest in an evidence-led approach'.

The House of Lords spent a fair bit of time this week debating Ireland’s head shop laws: Molly Meacher (Baroness Meacher), a former social worker, said experts had warned “the web trade in synthetic psychoactive substances is apparently thriving in Ireland”. Call to halt legal highs ban based on 'flawed' Irish system.

Drug campaigners back 'legal high' warning: Drug campaigners today backed the warning from police chiefs that new Government powers to ban legal highs will not work.

Here’s what drug and legal experts actually think of the blanket ban on legal highs: The government’s psychoactive substances bill will ban all new psychoactive substances. We asked seven experts what they thought of the proposed law.

Along with hundreds of others, I'll be inhaling laughing gas outside Parliament to protest the Tories' legal high bill: Their proposed ban is an affront to our right to do whatever we want with our bodies

Legal highs ban could be 'a disaster' for North East claims Newcastle dealer: “At the end of the day we live in an imperfect world, we are just making it safer. Unless we can get rid of every single drug on this planet people will still use them.”


Parklife 2015: Woman seriously ill in hospital after drinking the sniffing drug poppers at Heaton Park festival: Police say they confiscated 400 bottles of poppers which were being sold on site by the festival.

Stories about nitrous oxide being stolen from hospitals came from BridlingtonCornwallCumbria, East Kilbride and Grimsby.

Other legal highs

Father sends ‘legal highs’ danger alert after son’s death: A father whose teenage son died after taking drugs has sent a stark warning to other parents of children using “legal highs” from the internet.

Young driver killed himself and two friends in 97mph crash after he 'inhaled hippy crack while at the wheel': A young driver thought to have inhaled the legal high nitrous oxide at the wheel of his car hit speeds of 97mph before ploughing into an oncoming vehicle - killing himself and two friends.

2nd National New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Conference: Responding Positively to the "Ripple Effect" held jointly between legal highs awareness charity, Angelus, and Northamptonshire based charity, Solve It.

Novel Psychoactive Substance use amongst clients accessing Changing Lives services in Newcastle – September 2014: A new study undertaken by Soundingboard Research & Consultancy and commissioned by Changing Lives to gain a better understanding of the use of Novel Psychoactive Substances (‘legal highs’) amongst individuals accessing a number of its services.

Increase in 'legal high' drugs seized at UK borders: The number of 'legal high' substances seized at Britain's borders has increased by three-quarters, according to new figures.

Special Report - legal highs in Manchester: True toll hidden by confusion and lack of official figures: Health services have no clear picture of the numbers of legal-high admissions they are dealing with, the M.E.N. has discovered - despite anecdotal evidence of a significant rise.

New campaign launches in Hertfordshire to tackle legal highs: The new campaign, set up by Hertfordshire Constabulary, with the support of the County Council, Trading Standards, and charity Spectrum, is called Why Gamble With Your Life, and is aimed to educate 14-35-year olds on the dangers of taking legal highs.

Legal high shop closed by Scots police in first case since ban was proposed in Queen's speech: By using existing legislation, police in Scotland have been able to act ahead of the ban on legal highs trailed in last week’s Queen’s Speech.

Hollyoaks plans 'legal highs' storyline for Holly Cunningham: Hollyoaks teen Holly Cunningham will head down a darker path this summer when she starts taking legal highs.


Huffing played a role in drowning death of Togiak teen, VPSO says (AK): Togiak teen was huffing gas before falling in creek, drowning, VPSO says.

Supreme Court: Huffing from aerosol cans can lead to DUI charge: The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that a person can be charged with driving under the influence for huffing aerosol propellants.

Motoring offences related to VSA were reported in AR, MI, MTNJOH and WY.

Other legal highs

Chasing the synthetic high: ‘Legal’ drugs are causing trouble for law enforcement: Constantly changing cocktails of ingredients with unpredictable effects are meant to mimic more established illicit drugs


Alarm over rise in glue sniffing: A surge in teenagers sniffing glue and getting high on petrol fumes has sparked calls for heightened parental vigilance over the summer holidays.


Phi Phi laughing gas goes viral, prompts warning nitrous oxide can be lethal: Photos of three young foreign women on Phi Phi Island reportedly under the effects of inhaling nitrous oxide, better known “laughing gas”, have gone viral on social media, prompting officials to issue a health warning.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

VSA Headlines - May 2015


In the Queen’s Speech on 27 May 2015, the government announced that "new legislation will … ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs."

(In December 2013, the government tasked a panel of experts to "[look] at whether, and if so, how the legislative framework for responding to these new drugs could be enhanced." The Expert Panel Report, outlining the relevant issues and making recommendations can be read here.)

The proposed new bill itself can be read here, there is additional supporting information here, and the progress of the bill through parliament can be followed here.

Re-Solv is seeking to clarify the position of volatile substances, in particular butane, under the terms of the proposed Bill.


Volatile Substance Abuse in I Science: Last month, nitrous oxide (also known as ‘laughing gas’, or for some reason, ‘hippy crack’) emerged as the second most popular drug amongst young people in the UK, behind only cannabis, with 6.1% of people aged 16-24 admitting to having taken it in the last year.

Prison warning for gas sniffing flat firestarter: A gas-sniffing addict’s flat went up in flames after he messed around with a cigarette lighter while inhaling butane.

Gas-guzzling petrol addict arrested again for drinking from the fuel pumps: The 45-year-old ended up in court on New Year's Eve for flouting an order banning him from all garage pumps.

Glastonbury among 40 festivals to campaign against legal highs: Organisers of music events also including Bestival and T in the Park will replace homepages with warning of the dangers of substances such as nitrous oxide.

Other legal highs

Cardiff man died after taking legal designer drug 'five times stronger than heroin': [He] was found dead at his home in Cardiff on February 9 after taking a cocktail of drugs.

Falkirk police investigate alleged ‘legal high drug’ death: A 25-year-old man died at Forth Valley Royal Hospital last Thursday just days after having reportedly purchased a so-called legal high from a Falkirk shop.

What exactly are legal highs? Producers and suppliers of so-called legal highs could face up to seven years in jail under new legislation proposed by the government.

Legal highs are being banned, here's what you've told us about them (Newsbeat).

Legal high ban urged by councils in England and Wales: The Local Government Association (LGA) said current legislation was "not fit" for tackling the growing numbers of deaths linked to the substances.

First UK legal high prosecution secured in Belfast: Two men and a woman were given community service orders in a groundbreaking case over the sale of £400,000 worth of so-called legal highs in Belfast.

Legal high report reveals fears over use of drugs across the North East: For the first time a report has shown how use of the over-the-counter drugs is leading to a catalogue of crime, hospital admissions and mental health problems. Read the full report from Changing Lives here.

Northamptonshire charity fighting dangers of legal-highs awarded £240,000 grant from Big Lottery Fund: Solve It has been awarded the cash by the Big Lottery Fund and the windfall will help support its work to tackle the growing problem of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) over the next three years.

Legal highs: How dangerous are they?

New film warns of 'legal highs' risk: An interactive online film for teenagers which highlights the dangers of "legal highs" has been launched.

Legal high ‘epidemic’ for young prisoners: “Epidemic” levels of legal highs are putting Wigan prisoners and staff at risk, it was claimed this week.

'Our purity is above 99%': the Chinese labs churning out legal highs for the west.


People are sniffing cheap butane gas to get high on the streets of Dublin: The “old-school” gas sniffing is on the rise, says Ana Liffey director, Tony Duffin.


LPG Dependence after a Suicide Attempt: Case Reports in Psychiatry, Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 643253.


Nebraska City woman dies abusing inhalant [NE]: Authorities in Nebraska City are investigating what they are calling an accidental death on Sunday.

Teens unaware that 'huffing' is deadly [LA]: Now the family of an eighth grader who lost his life is speaking out to teens and their parents about something called "huffing," and they say teachers and parents need to be concerned.

Motoring offences caused by VSA were reported in FLKY, MIMT, OHOK and SD.


Audit puts a cap on petrol-sniffing: The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's (PM&C) management of initiatives to supply low aromatic fuel (LAF) to Indigenous communities to reduce petrol-sniffing has been found to be effective and well-documented.


Other legal highs

Synthetic drug ban success - study: A new study shows that getting synthetic cannabis off the shelves has virtually stopped the flow of users needing mental health care.

VSA Headlines - April 2015


'Hippy crack' craze will kill more teens, warns doctor: Experts predict rise in deaths linked to nitrous oxide which has already killed 17 people this year.

Glastonbury bans 'hippie crack' from 'sacred' festival space: Seemingly objecting most to the silver canisters left behind by users of the legal high, Liz Eliot, the co-ordinator of Glastonbury’s Green Fields, wrote a statement for music fans warning that nitrous oxide is also nearly 300 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Amazon's 'hippy crack' for 30p a hit deal is slammed by drug charities and grieving mother: The 'laughing gas' is sold to help pump whipped cream but web shoppers can also buy the cartridges with a cracker – a ­dispenser that can fill balloons

Investigation reveals dangers of 'hippy crack' craze putting country's youngsters at risk: Discarded metal canisters around city streets lay bare the soaring popularity of dangerous legal high.

'He needs to apologise': Drugs charity calls on 'role model' England star Raheem Sterling to apologise after video of him 'inhaling hippy crack' emerges.

Jack Grealish caught up in 'hippy crack' controversy as Aston Villa star pictured inhaling nitrous oxide on night out.

EastEnders' Lorna Fitzgerald pictured taking 'hippy crack' as show bosses launch probe.

Why are so many people using laughing gas? After Raheem Sterling was filmed apparently inhaling nitrous oxide, a drugs expert says the gas has become ubiquitous, warning of possible dangers

Other legal highs

Two cousins found dead 'after taking legal highs at house party' - and third man in hospital: Police are today probing the death of two men suspected of taking a lethal batch of "legal highs" at a house party.

Mother-of-one, 18, 'has two heart attacks and dies after taking former legal high M-Cat at a house party': An 18-year-old mother-of-one had two heart attacks before dying from multiple organ failure after taking M-Cat at a house party, her family have said.

Parents of teen found dead in housing estate in Newtownards call for ban on legal highs: The parents of a teenager found dead in the middle of a housing estate have blamed legal highs and pleaded for them to be banned.

Stoke-on-Trent kids quizzed on scale of legal high use in the city: More than 2,000 pupils aged 11 to 16 in secondary schools were questioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council as part of the authority's biennial Stoke-on-Trent Young People's Lifestyle Survey.

Guilty pleas in ground-breaking legal high case: Guilty pleas have been entered in a ground-breaking prosecution over the sale of so-called legal highs in Belfast, the High Court has heard.

New Addaction project aims to raise awareness of legal high risks: Addaction operations manager Darren Jones said: "We will be getting out to colleges, clubs, pubs, and anywhere else in the community where there may be people affected to offer support.

Lincoln legal high ban comes into force: The UK's first city-wide ban on people taking legal highs in public has come into force.

Teenager's story of being hospitalised after taking legal high is worth a hundred "just say no to drugs" messages, says Abbie Wightwick.

My brother died in agony from £2 legal high and I don't want another family to go through same heartache: The family of a man who died in agony after taking a £2 legal high are backing our campaign to get all such drugs banned, writes Phil Cardy in the Sunday People .

Legal highs trader urges change in law to help customers ‘make an informed choice’: “If we had the same responsibility as those selling alcohol have, we could say: ‘I think this will be too strong for you’ or, ‘you only need a little bit at a time’ and, ‘maybe you should give it a rest for a bit’ or ‘I think you’ve had enough already’, but we are not allowed to by law.”


Huntington driver who caused fatal crash after inhaling cleaning product to be sentenced today (NY): A 20 year old Huntington driver, who admitted he inhaled an aerosol keyboard cleaner before he  broadsided a Commack woman’s car, killing her, will be sentenced today.

Mom admits to inhaling dust cleaner while watching her baby, authorities say (NJ): A 22-year-old Sparta woman pleaded guilty to child neglect charges that stemmed from a December 2014 incident in which police said she'd inhaled dust cleaner while she was taking care of her 20-month-old daughter.

Alleged ‘huffers’ arrested in Lake Worth on child neglect charges [FL]: Two people were arrested in Lake Worth Tuesday after Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies found them semiconscious in an apartment littered with Dust-Off cans the couple were allegedly using to get high, according to an arrest report. Lying on the floor among the cans of the compressed gas cleaner was a crying 1-year-old.

Man found passed out in Abilene after inhaling 32 cans of solvent [TX]: [He] reportedly admitted to police that he is addicted to inhaling solvents and that the 32 cans were his.

Man, 21, accused of huffing gasoline (FL): A 21-year-old Ocala man who told a sheriff’s deputy that he was snorting gasoline from a lawnmower because “it makes him see things” was charged with inhaling harmful material/chemical.

Motoring offences caused by VSA were reported in CA, MI, MT and NC.


Main Street sniffing 'out of control' says Winnipeg worker: Predatory solvent pushers are destroying the lives of some of the city's most at-risk people and no one is doing anything to stop it, says a woman who works on Winnipeg's Main Street downtown. Another story on this topic by CBC can be read here.

Natuashish youth found sniffing gas at abandoned home: The Innu Nation deputy chief in the small Labrador community of Natuashish says enough is enough and something more needs to be done after he found a group of youth sniffing gas at an abandoned home.


Other legal highs

Auckland Council decides legal high areas: Auckland Council has decided where legal highs can be sold if they become licensed again later this year.


Substance abuse common among street children: Study [New Delhi]: Tobacco and alcohol followed by cannabis and inhalants, sedatives, heroin and opium are the most common items of substance abuse among children on streets, according to a study by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Monday, March 30, 2015

VSA Headlines - March 2015


Ban legal highs from music festivals, says Home Office: Organisers of summer festivals asked to bar the synthetic drugs along with 'laughing gas', or nitrous oxide

250 legal high canisters discovered in Southminster: Concerns have been raised after 250 empty legal high canisters were discovered during a Southminster litter pick.

Other 'legal highs'

Behind the scenes at one of Europe's only 'legal high' testing laboratory: In response to the growing trend, organisation the WEDINOS project (Welsh Emerging Drugs & Identification of Novel Substances) was set up in 2013 to help tackle the growing trend of new and emerging drugs.

Parklife 2015 festival-goers with 'legal highs' to be refused entry to event: The government isn't the only body cracking down on legal high drugs – Parklife organisers will confiscate and refuse entry to anyone caught with legal-high substances

Youngsters fight legal highs with film: Campaigners have welcomed the production of a documentary created by young people to highlight the dangers posed by Legal Highs.

NHS bosses ask shops to stop selling legal highs: NHS chiefs are calling on shops to stop selling legal highs to curb an “alarming” strain on health services.

Drugs Investigation - legal highs in Harrogate: We can now reveal the full 15-page investigation which has highlighted a surge in use of legal highs in Harrogate in recent months.

Cumbria drug advice service sees a rise in legal high use: Staff at west Cumbria’s Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service say that at least 20 per cent of the people who ask them for help have used potentially deadly substances which are often sold online as “plant food”.

MPs 'Putting Lives At Risk Over Legal Highs': Health experts say MPs have not made banning 'legal highs' a big enough priority despite 77% of the public wanting them outlawed.


Boy dies after inhaling aerosol computer keyboard cleaner (MS): A 14-year-old boy died Sunday near Kiln, Miss., after apparently inhaling aerosol computer keyboard duster, according to

Widow of man who died from huffing wants Nebraska retailers to abide by registry law (NE): For Julie Lange, the phone call she got on the eve of New Year’s Eve, tragically, wasn’t a surprise.

Parents urged to talk to kids about dangers of inhaling common household items:  It’s national poison awareness week and experts are urging parents to talk to kids about inhalant abuse.

Jonesboro police work second air duster related accident this month (AR): In this latest case, police say the driver hit a man and nearly ran over his two kids.

Couple 'huff' canned air, pass out in Walmart lot with 3-year-old in car, police say (MI):  With their 3-year-old daughter in the back seat, two parents "huffed" canned air to the point that they passed out, authorities allege.

Flagger hit by driver huffing behind the wheel (OR): A flagger working in a construction zone was hit by a car and critically injured on Wednesday afternoon.  Police arrested the driver who they say was huffing inhalants.

Spike in inhalant use catching GPD's attention (FL): Gainesville police are seeing a surge in the number of cases of people using a dangerous and somewhat obscure method of getting high.

Legally high? Teenagers and prescription drug abuse: While awareness of the dangers of illegal drugs has increased, many teens are still ignorant of the significant physical danger posed by legally prescribed drugs, according to a new study in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.


Girl, 13, dies after sniffing deodorant (WA): Parents are being warned about the dangers of common aerosol deodorants containing butane after the death of a girl who police suspect deliberately inhaled the spray to get high.

NT Indigenous community galvanised to keep children out of care amid petrol sniffing outbreak: A fight is looming between a NT community where petrol sniffing is rife among kids and a government that has the power to forcibly remove children it deems at risk.

Ticking timebomb: why ice could be the new drug scourge of the outback (NT). The concern over a resurgence in volatile substance abuse – sniffing – is compounded by fears of another emerging drug problem: crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.

Monday, February 23, 2015

VSA Headlines - February 2015


Smoking woman dies from aerosol burns in Edinburgh: A woman who burst into flames in an Edinburgh cafe after sniffing aerosols and smoking a cigarette has died.

Porter died in ‘relatively harmless’ experiment: An Aberystwyth Arts Centre porter ... was found in a technician’s room at the Arts Centre slumped over a stool with an aerosol can nearby.

East Surrey Hospital midwife struck off for inhaling laughing gas in delivery room: A midwife has been struck off after she admitted deliberately inhaling laughing gas in an East Surrey Hospital delivery room.

Can you help LOST go that extra mile in new campaign? The Lee O’Brien Solvent Trust has come up with a brand new concept to highlight its commitment to preventing drug deaths - and raise money at the same time.

Police warning over craze for inhaling potentially lethal 'laughing gas': The campaign is part on the ongoing Operation Nitrox – which was launched by the force last year to highlight the risks of so-called legal highs.

NO Russian roulette is no laughing matter say Broxbourne Police: Broxbourne Chief Inspector Dean Patient is concerned by the growing numbers of teenagers in Broxbourne who make recreational use of nitrous oxide (NO), better known as laughing gas.

Other legal highs

‘Legal highs’ incidents up more than 150 per cent in a year, say police: The number of police incidents involving ‘legal highs’ has almost trebled across England in a year, new figures obtained by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) reveal.

Legal highs 'getting stronger and more addictive': Josie Smith, from the Welsh drug testing agency Wedinos, said: "What we have found, certainly in the past year, is an increase in the strength of NPS [New psychoactive substances] drugs, not only the range of NPS that's on the market, but some of the substances.

Legal highs set to be banned in Lincoln city centre: A proposal to stop the use of the substances in public places under a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is expected to be approved on Monday evening. The ban would be the first of its kind in the country.


Mother shares heartbreak of daughter's huffing death (MO): Teen died after inhaling compressed air meant to clean dusty keyboards.

Man huffing gas severely burned (OH): A 20-year-old man suffered burns to about 65 percent of his body after a fire broke out while he was huffing gasoline in Middletown early Tuesday, authorities said.

Man Huffs Air Duster, Gets Frostbite and Breathing Problems (MI): A 40-year-old man in Michigan who intentionally inhaled three cans of compressed air to get high was rushed to a hospital, where doctors treated him for frostbite and significant swelling in his airway, according to a new report of his case.

Father works to stop deadly 'huffing' practice (CT): A local parent is speaking publicly about the deadly practice known as huffing, which he says is destroying his family.

Man crashes into car, has nitrous oxide containers, police say (FL): A man who caused a crash in Boca Raton had more than 40 containers of nitrous oxide gas typically used for whipped-cream dispensers, police said.


P.E.I. man jailed after inhaling compressed gas before driving: A man who was twice caught driving after huffing from cans of compressed air was sentenced Thursday to eight days in jail.


Legal highs

Auckland legal high hearings begin: "It is important to remember that the council cannot ban these substances, and this decision is about where the substances can be sold once they are licensed by Government."


Child star in coma after TV stunt goes wrong: A 12-year-old child singer was left in a coma after inhaling helium for a TV show.

Monday, January 19, 2015

VSA Headlines - January 2015

The latest Public Health England (PHE) adult and young people's reports into substance misuse treatment cite 100 adults in treatment for 'solvents' and 134 young people between 1 April 2013 - 31 March 2014.

"Solvent use was more prevalent in the younger age groups with 34% of all primary solvent use occurring in those under the age of 14." This reflects the findings of the annual Smoking, drinking and drug use report, which shows, year on year, that 11,12 and 13-year-olds are more likely to be misusing solvents than any other drug.

Re-Solv does have ongoing concerns that VSA is not fully reflected in these figures. A survey of over 400 substance misuse professionals participating in our Community for Recovery VSA training programme showed that only 46% of services currently assess clients for past and/or current VSA. As a result, accurate information on VS-use is not necessarily being recorded on Treatment Outcomes Profile (TOP) assessment forms.

Re-Solv has developed a free guide to assessing for solvent and volatile substance abuse and would ask that VS-use, together with information on the specific product being misused, is included in assessment data for both primary and secondary use, for both adults and young people.

Please help prevent more deaths from ‘hidden’ VSA.

Many thanks.

*     *     *     *


Sometimes Poppers Are Not Poppers: Huffing as an Emergent Health Concern among MSM Substance Users. Timothy M. Hall , Steven Shoptaw , Cathy J. Reback. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health. DOI: 10.1080/19359705.2014.973180.


Legal Highs

High and dry? Party drug could target excess drinking: A patent has been filed for a drug that produces some of ecstasy’s euphoric effects – and seems to put the brakes on boozing

New Psychoactive Substances: Needs Assessment for Tayside, 2014. The aim of the work was to improve our understanding of what is happening with regards to NPS in the Tayside area and make recommendations as to how the help and support offered to people who either take NPS or know others who do could be improved.

The Kyle Files: Jeremy Kyle investigates the latest drug craze of legal highs including the suppliers.


Aerosol can explosion ruined my life, says girl (14): Brave Jessica Woods hopes others will learn the dangers of aerosol abuse after gas blast leaves her scarred for life.


Spartanburg man was huffing nitrous oxide before head-on crash (SC): [The] 24-year-old was high after inhaling 50 cartridges worth of nitrous oxide when he caused a head-on crash.

Man guilty of manslaughter in crash blamed on ‘huffing’ (VT): Jurors couldn’t reach consensus on whether a fatal crash was murder, but they did find the Rutland man guilty of involuntary manslaughter.


There used to be a drop-in centre where a boy died from sniffing aerosol. It might have saved his life.
Questions are being asked about how the death of a 12-year-old boy in Alice Springs could have been prevented. Could government cuts be to blame?

Troubled youths find help, and traditions, in Australia’s outback: It began two decades ago in Yuendumu, when the problem of youths sniffing gasoline swept the outback.


Legal highs

Consultation on legal highs policy starts: Under new legislation, Councils have the option to develop a Local Approved Products Policy. The Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority have indicated that it is their intention to take these policies into consideration when deciding whether to approve a license application. Council policies can only regulate locations where products can be sold and cannot prohibit the sale of legal highs in the District.


Myanmar Street Kids Turn to Sniffing Glue to Forget Hunger: Sweaty hair matted to his pale, emaciated face, Thant Zin Oo starts his days early, winding through small alleyways outside Myanmar's biggest city Yangon and scavenging through garbage piled up behind shops and factories in search of something — anything — to sell.