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!"