Friday, December 22, 2017

VSA Headlines - December 2017

PHE and the Department of Health have published the latest treatment statistics for both young people and adults.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, 359 adults and 430 young people were in in treatment services for VSA. Among young people in treatment, "primary solvent users have the lowest median age of 15" and 9% of under-13s in treatment services are using solvents.

Other headlines this month include:-


Mystery of child who was found dead in bed: Post-mortem results showed [the 11-year-old] had died from cardiac arrest caused by inhaling butane or propane – the propellants in the Sure deodorant she was found with.

Professor Aneez Esmail, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the General Practice Awards: Professor Esmail has published extensively on areas related to public health and primary care, including work on prevention of cot deaths, epidemiology of solvent abuse, preventing paediatric admissions and evaluation of telemedicine.

Men filmed inhaling from balloons while driving long motorway: Even the driver can be seen sucking back air from the balloon, possibly because it contains nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas or hippy crack.

Moment driver overtakes on fast lane verge as passengers “inhale from balloon”: The man who captured the footage reported seeing passengers inhaling from balloons in the back of the car.

Shops face closure by Tower Hamlets Council for selling ‘laughing gas’ illegally: Police are making sweeps on council estates in east London to stop gangs hanging around using ‘laughing gas’ to get their kicks.

Out on his gas: Motherwell's Jacob Blyth ditched by footie club three weeks after holiday snaps appear to show him inhaling “hippy crack” in Marbella.

Police discover nitrous oxide canisters in Haddocks Wood in Runcorn: Officers invited residents to report any locations where canisters can be found to PCSOs so the council can safely dispose of the cans.

Ban energy drinks from schools because they're ‘legal highs’, demands teaching union: The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) says the stimulants in the drinks contribute to ‘poor behaviour'.


Judge says Ireland 'becoming an uncaring country' as he hears about homeless man addicted to abusing gas for a decade: Ireland is becoming an uncaring country, a judge has said after hearing that a homeless man has spent a decade addicted to abusing butane gas to forget his “tragic existence” on the streets of Dublin.


Laughing gas sales rise by 400% in the Netherlands: Coupled with less restrictive sales and increased usage at dance festivals the sale of laughing gas canisters has risen by whopping 400 percent.


6,000 addicts applied to treatment center in Turkey’s Manisa in first five months of 2017: Users of synthetic cannabinoid do not use this substance on its own. They also use volatile substance, hashish, alcohol, and methamphetamine,” Aslıhan said.


The latest Monitoring the Future report has been published. This year, 43,703 students from 360 public and private schools participated in the survey to report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Findings on the use of inhalants were as follows:

"Use of inhalants significantly increased among 8th grade students in 2017. Inhalant use includes sniffing glue, gases, or sprays, and is an unusual type of substance use because it is more common among younger than older adolescents. In 2017 the percent of 8th grade students who had ever used inhalants in their lifetime increased 1.2% to 8.9%, a significant increase; use in the past 12 months increased 0.9% to 4.7%, also a significant increase.

"This upturn may mark the end of a gradual decline that started nearly a decade earlier in 2008.
For some years MTF has warned that inhalant use is primed to increase. Perceptions of risk from using inhalants among 8th graders have been steadily declining since 2010, which is often a leading indicator of future increases in prevalence.

"Any illicit drug use including inhalants also significantly increased among 8th grade students in 2017. Lifetime use increased 2.7% to 23.3% and past 12 month use increased 2.3% to 15.8%, both significant increases. These increases were driven primarily by the upturn in inhalant use."

The survey is funded by the NIDA, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and conducted by the University of Michigan. Read the full report here.

Other USA headlines this month include:-

Inhalant abuse twice as common in adolescents vs. adults: Adolescents were more than twice as likely to abuse inhalants in 2015 than adults, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Siblings Seek to Close DWI Loophole in Brother's Memory (WI): A Rosemount man wrote to his lawmaker in hopes of closing a driving-while-intoxicated statute loophole in Minnesota by adding difluoroethane (DFE) to the list of intoxicating substances.

Northern Californian in fatal wrong-way crash was allegedly high on air duster (CA): A Cal­i­for­nia man ac­cused of caus­ing a crash last month that killed three men in Wisconsin has been charged with homicide.

Mother warns about the dangers of "huffing": "No mother should have this as the last picture of their children," says Danielle Wellard, who lost her son to the addiction in 2004.

Man who entered stranger's party naked drunk after sniffing glue sentenced to prison (OR): A man who showed up at a party naked and groped a woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

$1,000 on whipped cream? Huffer’s 75-bottle-a-day habit made him act ‘aggressively’: (WA) A man’s bizarre behavior is being blamed on the amount of whipped cream bottles he was huffing daily, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Thieves breaking into yards, "huffing" refrigerant from AC units: Throughout the country there’s a trend involving people “huffing” refrigerant from AC units.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in ARCT and MN, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, FL, MIOH, OH, OKPA, TX and WY.


Growth in chroming worrying authorities after two teen deaths in Townsville (NQ): A 13-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl died in Townsville after inhaling toxic chemical fumes in search of a high, a practice known as chroming.

Homeless youth charity prepares for serious talks with government: A meeting has been scheduled between the State Government and Cairns charity Street Level Youth Care following the Cairns Post’s revelations this week of widespread inhalant abuse in the city.


Glue-sniffing at worrying level: Glue-sniffing especially among children is at a worrying level, said State Community Development and Consumers Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid.

Legislation needed against glue sniffing: An Intoxicating Substance Act should be put in place to prohibit the misuse of certain substances which may cause intoxication when inhaled.

Criminalising glue sniffing solves nothing: Whenever I hear of someone calling for the criminalisation of an addiction as a method of prevention, I get nervous.

Treat it as a health problem: Malaysia is now frequently showcased internationally as an example of what can happen when resources are invested in a programme supported by proven strategies and evidence-backed interventions such as needle exchanges and opioid substitution therapies, which is why criminalising glue sniffing or inhalant addiction in general is a bad idea.

Glue-sniffing addicts in Melaka feed their habit by becoming parking touts: A group of glue sniffers are using threatening tactics to extort money from unsuspecting motorists who wish to park their vehicles.


Tips to help prevent your child from committing suicide or sniffing glue: Scientists have revealed that parents who are supportive protect their youngsters from wanting to commit suicide or sniff glue.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

VSA Headlines - November 2017

Rise in percentage of pupils in England who have used volatile substances in the past year - from 2.9% in 2014 to 4.4% in 2016

The new Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England - 2016 report has been published showing an increase in the number of 11-15 year old pupils who report having used drugs. In their summary, the ONS note:

24 per cent of pupils reported they had ever taken drugs. This compares to 15 per cent in 2014. Part of the increase since 2014 may be explained by the addition of questions on nitrous oxide and new psychoactive substances. After allowing for this however, it still represents a large increase which has not been observed in other data sources. Therefore an estimate from the next survey in 2018 is required before we can be confident that these survey results reflect a genuine trend in the wider population. In the meantime the results for drug taking from this survey should be treated with caution.

Rates of use were as follows:

"The proportion saying they had taken volatile substances has been around 3% to 4% since 2010, and class A drug use around 2% to 3% across the same period. Nitrous oxide and new psychoactive substances were included in the drug prevalence measure for the first time in 2016, with 4% and 2% of pupils respectively saying that they had taken them in the last year."

Pupils’ early experience of drug use was most likely to involve cannabis (40%) or volatile substances (39%). After cannabis (21%), pupils were most likely to have been offered volatile substances (11%) or nitrous oxide (9%). Pupils who tried drugs at an earlier age were more likely to report using volatile substances.

The percentage of pupils who have used volatile substances in the past year has risen from 2.9% in 2014 to 4.4% in 2016 (4.1% boys and 4.8% girls). This does not include nitrous oxide or poppers which have been used by 4% and 0.6% of pupils respectively in the past year.


VSA Headlines this month include:


'Hippy crack' nitrous oxide IS an illegal drug - but only when it's being used to get high, rule senior judges: The party drug known as hippy crack is not a 'medicinal product' and is illegal, senior judges ruled today.

Dundee man, 30, caused alarm by inhaling gas: [He] admitted that on February 27, at Murraygate, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm, repeatedly inhaled gas from a gas canister and refused to desist, causing members of the public alarm.

Inmate collapses after inhaling nitrous oxide with other prisoners: Footage appearing to show inmates inside a UK prison inhaling nitrous oxide, street name 'hippy crack.

‘Toxic Terry’ inspires band: The recovery journey of a man who was once Preston’s most notorious vagrant has inspired a local band to write and record a song in the hope of raising cash for addiction charities.

Blow-by-blow: Celebrity Big Brother star Calum Best filmed ‘inhaling from a balloon’ on wild night out in London


How one country persuaded teens to give up drink and drugs: Iceland used to have a big teenage smoking, drinking and drug problem. Now it doesn't.


‘Very deadly’: Utah woman loses daughter to compressed air addiction (UT): Last June, at age 26, she relapsed from an addiction to air duster, compressed chemicals used to clean computer equipment. She’d been struggling with the addiction for years.

Huffing case was difficult to prosecute, but why? (FL): Last week, he was convicted of huffing a can of Endust, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and ultimately killing an East Hill woman.

Courtroom drama in Paoli teen case (OK): A detailed description of a night of huffing canned air was followed by heavy tears from one witness in a courtroom drama unfolding for a Paoli teenager facing a first-degree manslaughter charge.

Testimony begins in trial of man accused of child sex abuse (TX): In the interview, Sturgis admits to huffing but denies doing it around children.

Rexburg driver huffed compressed air before crash that injured 4 (ID): The driver of a vehicle who crashed into a light pole, injuring himself and three passengers, huffed compressed air from an air duster can moments before the wreck.

Man huffing gas cuts hole in Clay County apartment building (KY): According to police, England got high on gas fumes and then cut a large hole in the wall between his apartment and the one next door at a complex on Muddy Gap Road in Manchester.

‘Huffing’ problem leads man to break in OfficeMax twice in one morning (AK): Juneau resident doesn’t remember either crime, charged with burglary.

Inhalant deaths still a real, local concern (GA): The Chatham County Coroner is shining a light on a forgotten problem: deaths caused by using inhalants, which are found on store shelves everywhere.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in IN and TX while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, MI, NJ, NY and WI.


Second Townsville teen dies from chroming (QLD): Police say the dangerous practice of chroming is on the rise in Townsville, with two teens dying in just over a week.

Sustained reduction in petrol sniffing after low aromatic fuel rollout: The rollout of low aromatic fuel has contributed to significant and sustained reduction in petrol sniffing and associated health problems in Indigenous communities, studies have found.

NT govt pledges nearly $1m for youth rehab: [This includes] $350,000 towards four full time volatile substance abuse workers in the East Arnhem region to support Miwatj community-based work to reduce and prevent harmful sniffing.

Confirmed cases of aviation fuel sniffing in West Arnhem Land: Today Jim Rogers, the regional Chief Executive from the Department of the Chief Minister confirmed that aviation fuel sniffing had reached the community of Gunbalanya.

No culture other than sex, drugs and alcohol: A group of young girls captured chroming on CCTV. Their faces have been blurred due to their young age but they can be clearly seen clutching deodorant cans, with one girls using a cloth to inhale the volatile substance.


Substance abuse among street children in India - A drugged reality: The national capital, which also happens to be a capital for increasing drug abuse amongst children especially amongst street children, sees numerous deaths every day owing to volatile substance abuse.

More children falling prey in Jagtial (Telangana): A recent incident where about 20 fifth class students of Jagtial district caught inhaling fevicol and whitener shows the gravity of the situation of both urban and rural children getting addicted to these vices.


Rugby kids: Lea Japson, head of Cebu City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services... told SunStar Cebu that the continued proliferation of solvent abuse alarms her.


Man arrested after ‘powerful’ temple statues attacked: A Buri Ram man believed to be delusional from sniffing glue was arrested on Thursday night after allegedly smashing statues at Wat Sawang Arom.

VSA Headlines - October 2017


15-year-old died after inhaling lighter fluid, inquest hears: A teenage boy from Poole died after inhaling lighter fluid, an inquest has heard.

Alcoholic abused paramedic after being told to stop sniffing gas (South Shields): “As he was receiving treatment, he attempted to sniff one of the bottles of gas which was in his possession."

'It will kill you': Telford addict gave up drugs but turned to sniffing lighter fuel, court told: A Telford man successfully kicked his drug habit, only to become addicted to sniffing lighter fuel.

38 year-old pleaded guilty to theft at Worcester Magistrates Court: The court heard [he has] problems with drugs and alcohol, and more recently solvent abuse.

Parents' warning as school girls seen 'inhaling aerosols' in Lion Walk (Colchester): Parents are concerned after a group of schoolgirls were seen “inhaling aerosols” in the town centre.

Man described as ticking bomb by Norwich judge is jailed for repeatedly refusing to stop inhaling butane gas: A man who has repeatedly refused to stop inhaling butane gas on Norwich streets has been jailed by a judge who described him as a “ticking bomb” and “an accident waiting to happen”.

Could you be the next "Mrs Toxic Terry" as reformed Preston solvent abuser looks for love? A man who was once Preston’s most notorious vagrant says he is ready for romance after turning his life around ...

Young citizens learn life lessons at Franklin Gardens: Lessons learned included: cyber safety, how to react  to and prevent crimes and hazards, safety around lorries and understanding solvent abuse.

Number of hippy crack deaths DOUBLE in a year as expert warns the 'appalling trend' needs to be reversed before more young people die: Government data shows that eight people died from using laughing gas last year, a 100 per cent rise of the four deaths recorded in 2015.

Swan Housing Association reveals cause of Hornchurch explosion was ‘gas canister explosion’: A police spokeswoman said the flat where the explosion ignited, contained “a large quantity of Butane gas canisters”.


Virginia Man Dies From Inhaling Cans of Compressed Air: The Virginia medical examiner's office has determined that a 28-year-old man found dead in a car in a Walmart parking lot died from inhaling cans of compressed air.

Driver accused of using inhalant before crash (OR): An 18-year-old St. Helens youth accused of killing a man walking along Gable Road faces new charges stemming from the incident.

Supreme Court overturns driver’s ‘huffing’ conviction (MN): For the time being, at least, huffing and driving do mix, legally speaking. The Minnesota Supreme Court on Oct. 11 ruled that a chemical commonly sold as the computer-cleaning product “Dust-Off” is not a “hazardous substance” under state law, and therefore cannot lead to a DWI conviction.

Rep. crafting bold drug bills on huffing, seized money (NH): State Rep. Brandon Phinney, L-Rochester, has drafted legislative service requests (LSRs) for two separate drug-related bills. One would increase the amount of money that prevention and treatment efforts receive when police seize funds during major drug busts; the other would make the huffing of chemicals a non-criminal act.


Cliff Cardinal's Huff is a masterpiece in the making: Hard-hitting and endlessly creative solo show shines a light on the disturbing realities of life on a reservation.


Teenagers laugh as they film friend dying after inhaling lighter fluid to get high (Leningrad Oblast): Mikhail Lukoyanov, 17, died after inhaling the fumes to get high with his friends in Volosovo in north western Russia - seen in mobile phone footage.


Three injured in UAE car explosion after inhaling gas (Sharjah): Three Emirati youths received serious burn injuries after the gas they were inhaling from a cigarette lighter caught fire in their car.


‘More boys doing drugs now’ (Karnataka): Snorting and sniffing substance to be used to apply puncture of vehicle tubes and others is little bit high among boys and less among girls.

Youth addicted to sniffing glue kills self (Tamil Nadu): The police investigation revealed that he had a habit of sniffing the glue to get high for the past one year.

The problem of growing drug addiction among Kashmiri youths missing focus in years of Valley’s conflict: From cannabis to medicinal opioids to inhalants such as glue and paint thinner, the youth of Kashmir are getting hooked to different substances, officials said.


Care kids’ stories tell of neglect and despair (NT): From turning to aerosol-sniffing to the devastating realisation they wouldn’t be going home, Indigenous children have told of the effects of being forcibly placed in care.

Ombudsman found that the capsicum spraying of a "skinny, quite small" boy aged 11 while he was handcuffed and contained in the cage of a police van was inappropriate and risky (NT). The boy, who had been sniffing a volatile substance, was spit-hooded and handcuffed after repeatedly spitting at officers, and tried to use the hood to choke himself, before pulling it off. 

Does Laughing Gas Cause Nerve Damage? Australian Student Inhales 360 N2O Canisters (NSW): An Australian college student is recovering after she was left with severe nerve damage to her spinal cord after inhaling 360 canisters of nitrous oxide (N2O), or laughing gas, in a week.


Man's death highlights rehab access issues - coroner: He had been taken out of his mother's care when he was two, had an abusive childhood and began huffing inhalants at the age of 12. This continued through to his death, when he was using three to four cans of fly spray a day.

Man fights police for rights of kids to huff glue: "That's glue. That's a legal product in this country. Abuse of solvents and glue is legal in this country!"

Friday, September 29, 2017

VSA Headlines - September 2017

Zoe Dunford, who lost her son to nitrous oxide, spoke on ITV's This Morning. Latest statistics from the ONS record 8 deaths in 2016 where nitrous oxide was mentioned on the death certificate, up from 4 in 2015 (see Drug-related deaths involving nitrous oxide, 1993 to 2015).


Debut Monster Live to be mash-up of acoustic acts and genre-hopping DJs: Headlining this debut show will be Captain Hotknives - an acoustic artist, who tackles subjects such as begging, solvent abuse, pigeon hypnosis, and the terrible quality of muffins on trains.

Racist thug jailed after hurling abuse at revellers at Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival: [He] had battled with solvent and alcohol abuse following the breakdown of his marriage and this led to his offending.


14 Year old teen dies in Aleknagik, huffing suspected: A 14-year-old teen was found dead in a boat in the community of Aleknagik during the early morning hours on Saturday.

Union Grove High School mourns 15-year old boy: Several aerosol spray cans were reportedly found near his body, and one was found in his hand. [His mother] allegedly has problems with alcohol and inhaling from aerosol cans — also known as “huffing”.

Walmart death victim had cardiac arrest after inhaling aerosol (OK): The medical examiner says a woman found dead in a Walmart restroom died of a cardiac arrhythmia due to Difluoroethane toxicity.

Man involved in fatal crash was huffing air duster (AR): Arkansas State Police say a man involved in a head-on collision last month that claimed the life of a Greene County minister was huffing air duster at the time of the crash.

Driver was huffing gas before deadly Fairview collision (ID): A Meridian woman accused of causing a chain-reaction wreck that killed another driver had inhaled compressed gas before the crash, prosecutors say.

Huffing may have caused death in north Greeley car explosion, police say (CO): A woman is dead and a man was taken to the hospital early Monday morning after a car explosion that may have been caused by the two people inhaling the vapors from canisters of compressed air.

Man convicted in fatal crash while high on computer cleaner (NJ): A man accused of being high on cleaning chemicals from an aerosol can when he crashed his pickup truck into a New Jersey farmers market, killing a woman, has been convicted of criminal charges.

Aaron Carter's family and friends fear star on verge of relapse: In 2001 he was admitted to rehab for an addiction to inhaling aerosol spray from cans that are used to clean keyboards.

Valley father angry with smoke shop that sold "whippets" to his son (AZ): A Valley father is outraged after his son landed in the emergency room, after using inhalants known as "whippets" he bought from a Surprise smoke shop.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in AR, MN, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, IAMAMI, SC and TN,


NT failed boy who said he sniffed inhalants to stop hunger, royal commission told: Child welfare authorities reportedly told rehabilitation camp that was caring for boy to ‘stop calling’.

Courthouse cleanup starts as authorities target inhalant abuse: An alarming rise in youths abusing inhalants like deodorant in areas of the Cairns CBD like the vacant Courthouse Hotel comes as no shock to the volunteers at Street Level Youth Care.

Desperate youths sniffing ‘unsniffable’ Opal fuel: A small number of desperate young petrol sniffers in Arnhem Land are resorting to sniffing stolen Opal fuel – once described as “unsniffable” – despite a government efforts to curtail volatile substance abuse in the region.

Wagga's historic rail gatehouse trashed. Huffing kids blamed: Wagga’s historic rail gatehouse is slowly being destroyed by a relentless group of children who are using the premises to get high.

Meet the People Doing Far More NOS Than You: Three NOS addicts tell us about their cooked brains and failing memories.


Huffing linked to death of 20-year-old Rotorua man: [He]  was found unconscious laying next to two aerosol cans of deodorant, the remnants of his huffing addiction.


Delhi boy killed over whitener for inhalation as mother watched on: A juvenile slashed a 16-year-old's neck with a broken glass bottle after a scuffle over a whitener.


Homeless children sniff glue to take 'away the pain' of surviving Somalia's streets: Hargeisa. Plastic bottles litter the ground as children emerge from an abandoned mud-brick building in this hot, dusty East African city.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

VSA Headlines - August 2017

In response to some media stories about the effects of 'hippy crack' and with the aim of providing practical harm reduction advice, Vice has produced the really useful 'Always practice safe sesh' video about Nitrous Oxide.


'Legal high' review after laughing gas cases collapse: The Home Office says it will continue to prosecute those who sell nitrous oxide, despite the collapse of the first contested cases under new laws.The Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing two cases after a judge and the government's own expert witness said "laughing gas" was exempt. This now raises questions as to whether the new law will need to be amended.

Nitrous oxide gets the last laugh: The Novel Psychoactive Substances Act has taken its first major blow as a court ruled that nitrous oxide could be defined as a medicine, and is therefore legal.

Men filmed inhaling from balloons while driving long motorway: Three people have been filmed driving along a UK motorway while inhaling from a balloon.

What happened when Armagh I went on a night out with the PSNI: ... There is a need to educate youngsters on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, days after 200 tramadol tablets were seized from a young man; a drug easily accessible online. Solvent abuse is another big problem the police are trying to tackle.

I fight my mental health demons with my bare hands: ... as a young teenager, I began to immunise myself with cheap supermarket cider, gas and solvents.

What are those small metal cylinders on the roadside around Plymouth? Nitrous oxide or laughing gas - known informally as 'hippy crack' - is becoming more and more widespread.

Police discover nitrous oxide canisters in Haddocks Wood in Runcorn: The legal high, also known as laughing gas, is one of the substances covered in the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 which limits the supply of the product.

Gas canisters littering streets around Dinas Powys: Residents have raised concerns after a number of miniature gas canisters were found littering areas around Dinas Powys earlier this week.

Shops face closure by Tower Hamlets Council for selling ‘laughing gas’ illegally: Police are making sweeps on council estates in east London to stop gangs hanging around using ‘laughing gas’ to get their kicks.


Man who wrecked mother's house after 'sniffing gas' gets suspended sentence: A man who "wrecked" his mother's home after allegedly sniffing gas has been given a suspended jail sentence.


Laughing gas sales balloon on Dutch party scene: Wholesalers in the Netherlands say that in the past two years there has been a 400% rise in sales of nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas.


6,000 addicts applied to treatment center in Turkey’s Manisa in first five months of 2017: ... In the clinic, we see at most plural-substance abuse cases. Users of synthetic cannabinoid do not use this substance on its own. They also use volatile substance, hashish, alcohol, and methamphetamine."


Inhalant abuse twice as common in adolescents vs. adults: Adolescents were more than twice as likely to abuse inhalants in 2015 than adults, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Warrant issued for driver accused of killing three in fiery I-94 crash (WI): ... A blood sample revealed that 0.022 of ethanol and 1,1 of difluoroethane — both of which are found in aerosol sprays and gas duster products — were present.

Northern Californian in fatal wrong-way crash was allegedly high on air duster (CA): A California man ac­cused of caus­ing a crash last month that killed three men in Wisconsin has been charged with homicide.

Thieves breaking into yards, "huffing" refrigerant from AC units: Throughout the country there’s a trend involving people “huffing” refrigerant from AC units.

Really? Suspect reportedly huffed 50 to 75 cans of whipped cream a day to get high (WA): Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were recently called to a house in the Ashford, Wash., area over a report of a man acting “crazy” and refusing to leave a house, the sheriff’s department said Wednesday.

Other traffic accidents caused by VSA were reported in MI, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FLOH and WY.


Runaway boy drowned: ...The department was also aware that as he entered into his teenage years he was developing a significant problem related to inhaling solvents.

Sniffing toxic substances on the rise for children in Cairns city: A heartbreaking rise in kids as young as eight inhaling toxic aerosol can fumes to get high is going largely unseen except among those actively looking in the shadows.


Teen dead after house fire blamed on petrol sniffing: A teen girl critically injured by a south Auckland house fire has died after spending two months in hospital.


Two teens, believed to be sniffing glue, fall off building; one dies: A boy was found dead, while his friend injured, after falling off a building where they were believed to have been sniffing glue earlier.

Monday, July 17, 2017

VSA Headlines - July 2017

The government has published their 2017 Drug Strategy. Bearing in mind that VSA is the most common form of substance abuse among under-13s, it is good that the role of early intervention and prevention is recognised:

“We are clear that reducing the harms caused by drugs needs to be part of a balanced approach. This means acting at the earliest opportunity to prevent people from starting to use drugs in the first place and prevent escalation to more harmful use …” (p5)

It is also recognised that “Parents, families and friends also play an integral role in preventing substance misuse” (p10): a long-term concern for Re-Solv and key focus of our ongoing community project in Stoke-on-Trent.

There is recognition that: "We know that people with co-occurring substance misuse and mental health conditions are too often unable to access the care they need"  (p33). This is a critical issue for many using solvents, and Re-Solv hopes to be able to contribute to the development of "new national guidance" to promote effective joint working and "preventing exclusion based on presenting need.”

Finally, we welcome the statement that there should be equality of access to services for anyone struggling with substance misuse: "We are clear that no-one should be left behind on the road to recovery” (p28).


Criminal behaviour order bans [local man] from abusing solvents, drinking & swearing in Truro: A 25-year-old has been slapped with a criminal behaviour order (CBO) to stop him abusing solvents, boozing on the streets and swearing anywhere in Truro.

(Re-Solv do have concerns about a further headline relating to this story: This man chased down aggressive solvent abuser and helped with police arrest in Truro as chasing or raising the adrenaline levels of anyone high on butane gas will increase their risk of sudden death.)

Horror as Brit girl, 18, falls into a coma after inhaling laughing gas on night out in Malia: The youngster is thought to have been on the last night of her holiday to Crete.

Children as young as 12 reportedly using laughing gas in East Herts: ... Police recovered 674 canisters of laughing gas after breaking up an end of GCSE exams party in a field on the Standon Lordship.

Here's an insight into Colchester's compassionate approach to rough sleepers and vulnerable people with Community Day of Support: ... With addiction and solvent abuse fuelling offensive behaviour in town, there are plans to consult with off-licences so they can take a firmer line on who they sell to.

Illegal highs seized from underage teens in Newquay: Police in Newquay say they are safeguarding youngsters as alcohol and 'laughing gas' cannisters are seized from underage drinkers in the town.

And a note that, although helium is not a volatile substance, there have been 2 cases reported this month of children passing out from inhaling helium from balloons: McDonald’s issue warning in Scotland over helium balloons after two kids in 24 hours pass out inhaling the freebies. Re-Solv can provide information about helium use and safety guidance for organisations - our helpline is 01785 810762.


A traffic accident caused by VSA was posted online in NY, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in ARFL, MA, OK, Stillwater OK, Tahlequah OK, Johnson City TN and Nashville TN.


The unspoken problem in Pikangikum:  "... Alcoholism and solvent abuse is rampant, with estimates that up to 500 young people regularly sniff gasoline.


NT govt team combats youth Avgas sniffing: The Northern Territory government has established a special body to address the scourge of toxic aviation fuel sniffing amongst children in Aboriginal communities after some recorded blood lead levels 17 times above the safe rate.


Police suspect huffing caused explosion that left person with serious burns: An explosion inside a car that left a female with serious facial burns may have been caused by huffing, police say.


Snake bite abuse rears its head in Mumbai again: ... "There is an alarming trend where school students, in uniforms, go out to purchase solvents like whitener or turpentine for abuse. Earlier, only street-dwellers used to buy these solvents for abuse. Solvents are not covered by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act so police prefer to to turn a blind eye to the issue," said Eldred Tellis, founder of NGO Sankalp that has been rehabilitating drug users.


Student studying in U.S. returns to China in wheelchair because of laughing gas abuse: Chinese student Lin Na (not her real name) got hooked on a laughing gas while studying in the U.S., resulting in serious injury.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

VSA Headlines - June 2017

New research from Australia has found that petrol sniffing stunts the growth of children: “Petrol sniffing makes you shorter, and there’s no way to catch up even after you stop sniffing” says Professor Andrew Lawrence at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, discussing the latest research findings from his group which are published in the journal Addiction Research and Theory.


The pharmacist who confronted a mother's aerosol addiction: Veerpal Sandhu was awarded by Well for identifying a family in need of support. Ms Sandhu became alarmed when a member of her team brought to her attention that a customer had been buying large numbers of aerosol deodorants. The woman was visiting the pharmacy almost daily to try to purchase them. Ms Sandhu recognised that this could be a case of substance abuse – something she remembered from previous training.

Young people are dicing with death by abusing solvents in Wishaw's Perchy Park: Residents call for action on children get a buzz by sniffing gas cans.

'Hippy Crackdown' at TRNSMT festival as cops vow zero tolerance approach to the legal high:
Laughing gas has been in widespread use at Glastonbury but Police Scotland warn they will be treated "as illegal drugs" at the Glasgow Green festival next month.

CMU@TGE 2017: A Recent History Of Getting High: “Nitrous was massive in 2016”.

Hippy crack for breakfast! Glastonbury revellers get the party started VERY early.


Grieving daughter uses social media to raise awareness on 'huffing' (AZ): A grieving daughter is using her father’s tragic death to spread awareness about a deadly addiction, often fueled by items found in any household.

Man who huffed aerosol, killed pedestrian, gets 12-year prison sentence (WI): A Madison man convicted of striking and killing a pedestrian with his truck in 2015 after inhaling aerosol duster from a can was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison.

Naked man accused of sexually assaulting woman at stranger's housewarming party (OR): [He] said he had been sniffing glue and drinking malt liquor.

East Alabama coroner warns of increase in 'huffing' deaths (AL): An increase in "huffing'' deaths in one east Alabama county has the coroner there issuing a warning about the dangers of inhalant use and abuse.

Air can huffing on the rise in Southwest Florida: On Monday, North Port police responded to a Wal-Mart in the area where they found an unresponsive 34-year-old man ... He died at the hospital.

Woman charged in incident involving alleged huffing and distressed parrot (NC): A woman has been charged by police in Salisbury with inhaling intoxicating fumes and animal cruelty after an incident on Klumac Road.

Traffic accidents caused by VSA occurred in OHOK, WAWI while other VSA-associated arrests took place in ARFLGA, PAWV and a video of a user in VT was posted to Facebook.


Solvent abuse and suicide hit home for Innu leader’s family: The grim reality of solvent abuse and suicide has hit home for an Innu leader who has spent more than two decades trying to get help for youth in Labrador.


NT health department 'lacked leadership' in handling of petrol-sniffing death, coroner says: A coroner has criticised the Northern Territory health department for failing to provide a mandatory treatment program for a man who died of petrol sniffing.


South Auckland fire that left four with burns caused by petrol sniffing: Leftover fumes from petrol sniffing were to blame for an explosion that left four injured, one critically.


Happy Balloons' face tough crackdown: The Ministry of Environment is set to ban the inhalation of nitrous oxide -- better known as laughing gas.

Man dies after inhaling laughing gas: A 20-year-old man died from inhaling laughing gas, a type of party drug that has become popular among young South Koreans, in the first such case here, police said.

“Happy Balloons”: South Korea’s Legal High: After a bit of trepidation, the young man sucks in air from a yellow balloon, as his friend eggs him on. He draws in the last gasp from the balloon and starts to shamble.


Alcohol and substance abuse rampant among students: The school-based survey found that one in every five students used cannabis and one out of six students reported using solvents.


Man inhaled butane, assaulted girlfriend: A man allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and threatened to burn her after inhaling butane fumes

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

VSA Headlines - May 2017

Please note the latest research from Davies et al on eye-damage relating to poppers: "This study demonstrates that a small, yet significant from a public health perspective, proportion of poppers users have visual symptoms. Clinical correlation is required to determine whether these reported symptoms are due to poppers associated maculopathy, or an alternative cause." Read the full paper here.


[A] man who had a history of solvent abuse was taken to hospital after inhaling between 10 and 30 tubes of glue. [He] died two weeks later [from] multi-organ failure due to solvent abuse and liver cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C.


Nitrate inhalants (poppers) associated with increased virus-associated cancer risk in HIV-uninfected MSM: "Although heavy popper use was not associated with increased risk of any individual cancers among all men, daily or weekly popper use for at least 1 year and increasing cumulative exposure were associated with elevated overall risk of virus-associated cancers with causes linked to HPV, HHV-8, and EBV in HIV-uninfected MSM aged 50–70 years,” said the authors.

The cost of “huffing” and its consequences (LA): Tonight, we have the story of a teen’s death that inspired his aunt from Hammond, LA. to warn everyone about the dangers of “huffing” air in a can.

Traffic accidents caused by VSA occurred in MD, MI and WY while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, NCPA and TX.


New gas-sniffing ‘epidemic’ grips Labrador’s Innu community: The deputy grand chief of the Innu Nation in Labrador calls it a “solvent abuse epidemic” in the remote coastal community of 1,000 residents in nearby Natuashish.


Plea for treatment lodged 16 times before NT substance abuser died, inquest hears: Health authorities could not find a mandatory treatment service in the Northern Territory for a man who died from petrol sniffing

Aviation fuel sniffing prompts warning in Australia: Australian health officials have warned of a "serious" incidence of children inhaling aviation fuel in the Northern Territory.

Fuel sniffing at crisis level after cyclone: Young people on Elcho Island are sniffing aviation fuel as they struggle to deal with the mental scars left by consecutive natural disasters, the island’s top doctor has suggested.

Why authorities are so concerned about huffing: Youth workers and health authorities have thrown their support behind police efforts to prevent the emergence of a hazardous habit gripping towns around the country.


A solvent abuser and former inmate turns life around to write children's book: With the help of his probation officer and St Marks rehabilitation centre, Blenheim man Jason Ross wrote a children's book.


Hidden in Plain Sight: Taipei has a Glue Sniffing Problem.


Kenyan children use inhalants to escape poverty: Clouds of white smoke surround the poor and hungry children who live in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. They are huffing inhalants, usually out of small plastic bottles kept close to their faces, to provide a steady flow of poisonous fumes.

Friday, April 28, 2017

VSA Headlines - April 2017


Bristol chef, 24, died after inhaling laughing gas: He had told mental health team he was at 'breaking point' - but there was no evidence that he was trying to take his own life.

New chemical composition of 'poppers' linked to retinal damage: The new chemical composition of the legal high 'poppers' is linked to retinal damage at the back of the eye, finds a small study published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Inhaling Poppers Associated With Visual Toxicity: Interview with Dr. Rebecca Rewbury, Sussex Eye Hospital.

Prison for gas-sniffing window ledge yob who caused traffic chaos in Paisley: It's the second time that [he] has climbed out of the fourth floor flat causing a full-scale emergency.

Is it harder to get hold of laughing gas in Bristol since legal high ban? Almost a year on from the government's ban on legal highs, how much has really changed?

Exposed: The 'hippy crack' craze that is putting Coventry youngsters in danger: Scores of discarded nitrous oxide canisters have been found in Keresley and Coundon.


Driver gets 14 years for fatal crash linked to huffing (WA): At trial, jurors were told [the defendant] and the girls had been huffing computer cleaner in the car.

Motorist was huffing before fatal crash (VT): Police say a motorist who blamed a stuck floor mat for losing control and killing a pedestrian was actually huffing before the deadly crash.

Woman heads to court on homicide by vehicle charge related to huffing (PA): A Lebanon woman is heading to county court on charges she caused a fatal crash after huffing dusting spray.

Teacher caught 'huffing' to get high dies suddenly before his firing (PA): A 41-year-old elementary computer teacher from western Pennsylvania who was about to have his job terminated for a string of arrests related to 'huffing' solvents from aerosol cans to get high has died suddenly.

Elyria mother turns her son into police for huffing canned air to get high (OH): Son found unconscious, left children unattended.

Woman arrested for inhaling laughing gas in front of police (CA): A California woman has been arrested for inhaling shots of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, while speaking with police.

'Poppers' might permanently damage your eyes: More evidence that the harmless high isn't quite harmless.

Traffic accidents caused by VSA occurred in FL while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FLMO, PANV, NYTN and WI.


Double tragedy for family after former police sergeant's son, 13, dies from suspected huffing in the Bay of Plenty town of Opotiki: A boy has died from suspected huffing a day before his 14th birthday, prompting his grandfather to make a heartfelt plea for young people to learn from the tragedy.


Duo injured in car blast while sniffing butane: Two teens, ages 17 and 18, were hospitalised after the butane gas they had been sniffing inside a car with the windows closed caused an explosion.

UAE public health warning after spike in teens inhaling painkiller spray: Public health authorities have issued an alert over the recreational use of a pain relief spray after a spike in teenagers abusing the substance.


Y-Speak: Vulcaseal unsealed: Rugby is originally used for laminating wood products, decorative laminate, edge-banding, metals, FRP, tile board and a wide range of other related products. It can also be used as strong glue. However, in the Philippines, it is used as an inhalant and is known to be the third primary drug problem in the country.

Monday, March 27, 2017

VSA Headlines - March 2017


Killed by deodorant: Forensic pathologist, Dr Jonathan Metcalfe said the cause of [the 12-year-old girl's] death was ”inhalation of volatile substances.”

Man is caught inhaling butane gas on Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road the day after release from six week prison sentence imposed for consuming butane gas: A man was caught inhaling butane gas the day after he was released from prison for an earlier breach of a criminal behaviour order imposed to stop him doing it.

Scores of legal high 'hippy crack' canisters found dumped in beauty spot: Piles of nitrous oxide or 'laughing gas' canisters are found outside Milton Country Park on a near weekly basis.

Teens sniff smoke from wheelie bins to get high: Teenagers are sniffing the fumes from burning wheelie bins to get high, it has been claimed.


School honours teen killed by inhaling lighter fluid: The Montessori Lyceum on Van Ostadestraat in Amsterdam set up a memorial place for 13-year-old student Ouahib Omri, who died this weekend after inhaling lighter fluid.


Woman found dead in car after inhaling aerosol with boyfriend in Woodhaven Meijer parking lot (MI): Woodhaven police said a man who had been inhaling aerosol from a can with his girlfriend frantically ran inside a store to get help once he discovered she was dead.

Young woman's death likely tied to use of inhalants, police say (MI): Police suspect that a 23-year-old woman died after inhaling spray of aerosol cans.

Driver in deadly crash accused of huffing behind the wheel (VT): A driver is accused of huffing behind the wheel and causing a deadly crash.

Driver in fatal 2010 'huffing' crash sentenced to nearly 11 years (CA): A motorist who was high on chemicals found in keyboard cleaner when he rear-ended a car fatally injuring a 9-year-old girl, was sentenced Friday to nearly 11 years in state prison.

Harrison Township man who ‘huffed' and drove gets 6 years in traffic death (MI): A Harrison Township man was ordered to serve over six years in prison Wednesday for causing a traffic death while under the influence of an inhalant.

Man admits inhaling chemical to get high before fatal 2015 crash (FL): Ivan Figueras-Pino’s life ended in a jarring, violent instant.

Man found guilty of vehicular homicide in apparent huffing case (WA): [He] quickly left the courtroom Monday after a jury convicted him of causing a crash that claimed the life of a 17-year-old Sultan girl.

Olathe woman sentenced for causing fatal wreck while ‘huffing’ gas (KS): An Olathe woman who was “huffing” gas from an aerosol can when she caused a fatal traffic crash was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison.

Madison man convicted of traffic homicide of pedestrian after inhaling air duster (WI): A Madison man struck and killed a pedestrian on a virtually empty Far East Side street last year after inhaling aerosol air duster.

Man seriously burned while huffing when aerosol ignites (TN): An Ashland City man is in the hospital with serious burns after police say the cleaning product he was huffing ignited.

Rialto passes unique nitrous oxide ordinance aimed at protecting youth: Rialto has become the first city in the nation to pass an ordinance which bans the sale or distribution of nitrous oxide in the city in an effort to keep the popular inhalant out of the hands of young people and teens.

Traffic accidents caused by VSA occurred in VA, TX and WY while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, KYMD, NCNY, NY and TX.


Teenager dies in glue-sniffing fight in Sharjah: A 16-year-old Arab boy died two days after a physical fight fuelled by sniffing glue with friends who have since been arrested, an official at Sharjah Police told Gulf News on Monday.


Boy, 12, may have permanent brain damage after he 'drank a large amount of alcohol and inhaled a deadly cocktail of household chemicals' (QLD): Boy, 12, could be suffering a permanent brain injury from drinking alcohol. Police believe he may also have been 'chroming', inhaling chemicals.

Gas sniffing and lead poisoning may be causing indigenous suicides across generations: Toronto researchers: It was 1973, and federal epidemiologist Dr. John Davies was concerned by what he saw among northwestern Ontario’s aboriginal population.


70,000 children habituated to drugs, reveals 1st major government survey on Delhi's street kids: "Initiation of drug, tobacco as well as inhalants use started at 9 years of age. Cannabis and alcohol use started a little at about 11 years of age. Even substances such as heroin or opium started at the young age of 12-13 years of age", reads the report.


Investigation sought on Tagbilaran’s ‘rugby boys’: The problem of street children who sniff the solvent rugby has drawn the attention of Bohol officials.