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.