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).

UK

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.

USA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

INDIA

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.

CHINA

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.

UK

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.

USA

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.

CANADA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

SOUTH KOREA

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.

BHUTAN

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.

GUAM

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.

UK

[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.

USA

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.

CANADA

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

TAIWAN

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

KENYA

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

UK

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: MedicalResearch.com 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.

USA

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.

NEW ZEALAND

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.

UAE

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.

PHILIPPINES

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

UK

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.

NETHERLANDS

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.

USA

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.

UAE

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.

AUSTRALIA

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.

INDIA

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.

PHILIPPINES

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

VSA Headlines - February 2017

UK

Inside the criminal trend of stealing laughing gas from hospitals: Steal NOS and sell it in balloons at a rave, and you've made £700 of pure profit, so it's no wonder thefts are on the rise.

Teenagers 'high on laughing gas' throw chairs and smash window in McDonald's: The rampage, which happened at Merseyway in Stockport, is the third such incident in a month at a town centre outlet of the burger giant.

USA

Woman dies after found in bathroom of Niagara Falls mall with inhalant cans: A woman died Wednesday night after she was found with air duster cans in her possession in the bathroom at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, according to police.

Fargo man sentenced to six months for wife's huffing death: A Fargo man was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday, Feb. 13, after pleading guilty to a charge of reckless endangerment for providing the cans of dust cleaner his wife used during a fatal huffing session in December.

Lebanon woman caused fatal accident after huffing (PA): A Lebanon woman caused a fatal crash in December after huffing an aerosol can, police say.

Death in Wells Co. “huffing” incident ruled accidental (IN): A man’s death was ruled accidental after a “huffing” incident in Wells County in January.

Tifton PD, GBI investigate death (GA): People in the area are concerned that huffing may be to blame for the death. Witnesses that found the body said they found multiple cans of aerosol nearby.

Traffic accidents caused by VSA occurred in FLGA, IA and PA while other VSA-associated arrests took place in MA, MIOH, OH and TN.

INDIA

Chances are, a child you know is using drugs: In 2014, the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) conducted the first nationwide survey on drug abuse in children. Of 4,024 minors surveyed, 83.2% had used tobacco, 67.7% consumed alcohol, 35.4% used cannabis and 34.7% were sniffing inhalants such as glue and correction fluid.

THAILAND

Boy dies following inhaling camping gas from can: A 12 year-old boy died and his friend was injured after they inhaled gas from a camping gas can bought from a supermarket in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

SUDAN

Sudanese NGO encourages homeless children to join school: [Faris Alnur Ibrahim, chairman of Mujaddidon Organization] said the majority of the homeless children who joined the open school were addictive to sniffing glue, a petrochemical material used in fixing bicycle wheel tubes. These children sniff the glue as a substitute for drugs because it is inexpensive and easier to obtain.

Monday, January 23, 2017

VSA Headlines - January 2017

Public Health England published the latest NDTMS data on the number of young people in England in treatment services for substance misuse. The number was up from 357 young people being treated for 'solvents' in 2014/15 to 441 in 2015/16. The average age had risen from 14 to 15 years old. VSA accounted for 3% of all young people in treatment (up from 2% the previous year) but 10% of young people under the age of 13 (up from 6.75%).

At the moment there is no prevalence data available for 2015, but the annual Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England report has been showing a reduction in the use of 'glue, gas, aerosols and solvents' among 11-15 year-olds - from 3.6% in 2012 and 2013 to 2.9% in 2014.

It's to be hoped that the increased number of young people in treatment is a positive reflection that more young people are coming forward for help and support, rather than there being an increase in prevalence. We look forward to the findings of the 2016 Smoking, drinking and drug use report when it is published later this year.

Re-Solv's helpline number is 01785 810762, text/whatsapp 07496 959930.

Other headlines this month include:

UK

Study of two solvents links on-the-job exposure to head and neck cancer in women: Occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene may increase the risk of head and neck cancer in women. See BMJ Open.

Aston Villa star filmed 'inhaling hippy crack in club shirt' just HOURS after FA Cup tie: AstonVilla striker Aaron Tshibola has appeared to film himself inhaling "hippy crack" from a balloon just hours after his team was dumped out of the FA Cup by Spurs.

New 'laughing gas' alert as hundreds of cannisters are dumped in car park: Groups are gathering on an industrial estate to inhale the potentially lethal nitrous oxide, also known as 'laughing gas'.

USA

Jury finds huffing man guilty (CA): A jury convicted a Chula Vista man Wednesday of gross vehicular manslaughter in the death of a 9-year-old girl in 2010 in a case involving “huffing”.

Long wait for cause of death (IN): Details likely won’t be known for weeks about why a Craigville man died hours after reportedly huffing aerosol dusting spray and being shocked with a Taser stun gun.

Silicon Valley star is sued for allegedly 'hitting' private driver after 'inhaling laughing gas: Silicon Valley star TJ Miller allegedly attacked his private driver during a heated argument about Donald Trump after inhaling 'laughing gas'.

Traffic accidents caused by VSA occurred in NE, NY, PA and PE while other VSA-associated arrests took place in NHPA, PA and SC.

RUSSIA

Boy, 12, dies after inhaling lighter fluid for fire-breathing video stunt to raise money for struggling mum.