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.