Thursday, December 20, 2018

VSA Headlines - December 2018

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

Between April 2017 and March 2018, 322 adults and 387 young people (median age 15) were in treatment services for VSA. 6% of under-13s in treatment services are using solvents.

Other headlines this month include:-


Laughing gas laws not working, says ex-chief crown prosecutor: The law governing the sale of nitrous oxide, widely known as laughing gas, is simply not working, a former senior prosecutor has said. Watch the video 'Shops filmed selling 'laughing gas' here.

Laughing gas plot: Arrests in Rutland and Yorkshire: Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of importing up to £6m of nitrous oxide for illegal human use.

Gunners stars caught in 'laughing gas' storm: According to reports, several Arsenal players have been embroiled in a 'laughing gas' storm on Thursday night after it was reported they had inhaled nitrous oxide at a pre-season party.

Discarded 'laughing gas' canisters discovered at Ford Park, Ulverston: The discovery of empty 'hippy crack' canisters has led to warnings about the potential dangers of using the legal high.

Laughing gas cylinders found in Cotford St Luke play area: Children and young people are putting themselves at risk of harm inhaling a gas supposed to be used in medicine and catering.


Casper man adits to battery, huffing, meth-related charges (WY): A man who was arrested for allegedly hitting a child after huffing air duster over the summer appeared in Natrona County District Court on Wednesday and entered guilty pleas to four criminal charges.

Billings man charged for ‘huffing’ prior to October crash that killed construction worker (MT): A 28-year-old Billings man has been charged in the death of a Montana Department of Transportation road worker after an Oct. 24 collision where the victim was struck and killed by a flatbed pickup.

Alleged drug-huffing driver charged following Saugus crash (MA): A man alleged to have huffed drugs was arrested on numerous charges after crashing a vehicle at Cogliano’s Plaza.

Pair caught 'huffing duster' in abandoned Pittston home (PA): Police arrested two men after they allegedly broke into an abandoned home and got high on canned inhalants Saturday afternoon.

Other VSA-associated incidents were reported in OH and across the US but unfortunately we can't provide links as many US reports are now inaccessible due to GDPR legislation.


Angel's story a troubling look at a troubled Child and Family Services: Drug and solvent abuse began by age nine.


The Conversation: Explainer - what is nitrous oxide (or nangs) and how dangerous is it? Media reports last week linked the use of “nangs” to the death of a teenager at schoolies week on the Gold Coast. [He] died when he fell from a balcony. He and his friends had reportedly been using “nangs” that day.

Youth advocates call for better regulation of nitrous oxide canisters known as 'nangs': In schoolies hubs such as Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, the canisters can be found littered along the foreshore — the refuse of a night "on the nangs".

'Nangs' at your door in 30 minutes: How buying laughing gas has become as easy as having dinner delivered.

Fears of a petrol sniffing resurgence in some remote communities: Rates of petrol sniffing have dropped significantly since the introduction of Opal Fuel, but some support service providers say the dangerous practice is slowly returning.


Two teens injured, one critically, after a chemical huffing explosion: Two teenagers have been injured, one critically, after a chemical huffing explosion at an South Auckland apartment block this morning.


Sniffing petrol for breakfast: The Namibian follows the lives of two street children as they speak of their addiction to petrol and other harmful substances.

Friday, November 30, 2018

VSA Headlines - November 2018

This month the Home Office published their Review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

"In conclusion, most of the main aims of the PSA appear to have been achieved, with the open sale of NPS largely eliminated, a significant fall in NPS use in the general population, and a reduction in health-related harms which is likely to have been achieved through reduced usage.

"However, some areas of concern have remained or emerged since the Act, such as the supply of NPS by street dealers, the continued development of new substances, the potential displacement from NPS to other harmful substances, and continued high levels of synthetic cannabinoid use among the homeless and prison populations."

Other VSA headlines this month include:-


Football fan inhaled fatal amount of gas prior to car crash: A driver who died after crashing into a parked car had inhaled a fatal amount of gas prior to the incident.

Mother believes cause is 'unexplained': The mother of a boy, 13, found with butane in his blood says his death is unexplained due to a lack of evidence. A pathologist said it was not possible to give a definitive cause while a coroner gave a narrative conclusion of "sudden death of a person exposed to significant amounts of butane".

BMJ: Laughter isn’t always the best medicine: Recreational inhalation of nitrous oxide (N2O) is under-recognised in the UK, with potentially serious health risks.

Sixth consecutive annual fall in drug seizures revealed: For the first time, figures for New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) have been included, with 1,523 seizures in the past year. The 1,523 NPS seizures were made up of 858 of synthetic cannabinoids, with other NPS accounting for 448 seizures, NPS powders 135 seizures and nitrous oxide 96 confiscations.

'We are in an experimenting epidemic' says charity as poll finds two in five Northamptonshire teens knows someone who has tried solvents or gases: The data, compiled by county-based charity Solve It following a poll of 1,376 youngsters aged between 15 and 17, highlights the extent of what's been called an "experimenting epidemic".

Man spotted sniffing solvents in Nuneaton library: The county council said a zero-tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour is in force.

Dangerous and can kill’ - Police find evidence of drug taking beside Suffolk village hall: Police have warned of the dangers of drug use after finding empty canisters of laughing gas by a Suffolk village hall.

Dozens of 'laughing gas' canisters litter Cambridge street: It is illegal to sell or import nitrous oxide for human consumption.

Hundreds of ravers descend on Great Cheverell: An illegal rave which saw hundreds of people descend on a village near Devizes caused traffic chaos and left a huge clean up job of debris including needles, cannisters and balloons used for taking nitrous oxide.

Picture shows Harlow car park 'littered with nitrous oxide canisters': A witness claimed that there were hundreds of the canisters.

Worries after gas canisters found in Sainsbury's car park: Concerns have been raised about drugs use in the car park of a town centre supermarket.

Worrying laughing gas 'epidemic' in Fairford (Gloucs): A resident in Fairford has described the use of so-called ‘laughing gas’ canisters in the area as an “epidemic”.


Ireland's not-so-black market of Laughing Gas: Brazen Irish retailers are selling dangerous nitrous oxide gas online — by using major Irish music festivals to encourage party-goers to stock up.


19-year-old dies after inhaling deodorant spray to get high: A 19-year-old died after inhaling deodorant spray to get high, according to a new case report, and doctors who treated the man in the Netherlands are using the case to highlight the fatal consequences of inhaling chemicals.


Driver who hit Girl Scouts, killing four, was 'huffing' chemicals, police said: The Wisconsin man who struck a Girl Scout troop while they were picking up trash on the side of a road, killing three children and a parent and injuring a fourth girl, admitted that he was inhaling chemical vapors before the crash, police said Monday.

Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) Responds to Girl Scouts' Death in Huffing and Driving Accident: "Too many people think that inhaling products to get high is harmless," said Rob Slone, President of the Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) Board of Trustees. "We see too often the dangerous and deadly effects of huffing and driving," Slone said. "By continuing to proactively educate people on how deadly huffing can be, we can save lives—and ACE is dedicated to this critically important objective."In the Spring of 2019, ACE will be distributing an updated version of its Inhalant Abuse Prevention Kits. Since 2002 it has provided individuals, teachers, and state education departments with the resources and information they need to prevent abuse.

Family loses 34-year-old father of 2 during walk along Collins Avenue (FL): [The man responsible] was likely under the influence of "whippets" inhalant drug when he veered off Collins Avenue onto the sidewalk, and ran over the Pelleg family.

Driver charged with killing 11-year-old girl at taco stand in Los Angeles while high on nitrous oxide (CA): A man has been charged with killing an 11-year-old girl at a Los Angeles taco stand while he was allegedly driving under the influence of nitrous oxide last year, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Greeley man accused of attacking couple with meat cleaver after huffing computer duster sentenced to 13 years prison (CO): A couple were attacked while loading their car for fishing trip.

Huffing claims lives in Racine County (WI):  However, it wasn’t the huffer themselves that died, it was an accident caused by the person who was huffing.

Norfolk man arrested for huffing, child abuse (NE): A two-year-old child was found in the back seat of a man’s vehicle Sunday afternoon after he was observed slumped forward in the driver’s seat.

Omaha officials warn of new huffing trend among teens (WA): Lincoln police took to Facebook with a warning for parents after multiple teens stole air horns in an attempt to get high. One of those teenagers ended up in a hospital.

Other VSA-associated arrests took place in OH, UT and WI. (NB - many US stories are now inaccessible due to new GDPR legislation.


Serious Need for Culturally Relevant – Land Based Treatment Centres: “The abuse of alcohol, solvents, opiates, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine is a serious concern amongst our leaders. This is a critical time for the health of our First Nation citizens.”


Drug Abuse: Maiden de-addiction policy ‘glimmer of hope’, but implementation a challenge (Srinagar): ... The draft policy seeks “laws needed for restriction of sale of solvent containing compounds especially to minors. There should be special directions to teachers and parents to supervise the use of solvent containing products by children and adolescents”.


New legislation, the Inhalant Act, could curb ketum misuse and glue sniffing menace: The proposal to ban the growing of ketum and introduce the Inhalants Act is timely as it could help tackle the misuse of the plant and combat glue sniffing menace respectively.


Teenager from NSW dead at Schoolies end of year celebrations on Gold Coast: The Sydney teenager who fell to his death from a Gold Coast balcony in the early hours of Thursday morning had reportedly been ingesting nitrous oxide before he died.

New plan to keep East Arnhem petrol sniffers on country and close to family (NT): A new plan to combat petrol sniffing in East Arnhem Land is being discussed with government officials this week, with the central aim of keeping kids on their home country for treatment.


Glue sniffing street children of Ethiopia: He looked no older than 12 years old. He was sitting on the floor of the veranda of the Ethiopian National Theatre with other street kids.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

VSA Headlines - October 2018


Heartbreaking last message from mum, 35, who accidentally gassed herself to death while pregnant with fourth child – after post-natal depression battle: An inquest ruled [she] accidentally killed herself by inhaling gas, having done so as a 12-year-old to get 'a high'.

Popular Dereham sportman’s death was “drug-related”, inquest hears: Assistant coroner for Norfolk Johanna Thompson said the medical cause of death was “cardiac arrhythmia due to cocaine and volatile substance toxicity”.

Former Ayrshire heroin addict turns his life around by becoming a priest after a decade of being in and out of prison: "I had friends who took drugs and grew out of it, but I have an addictive personality and what started out as solvent abuse progressed to eventually becoming a heroin addict.”

Limehouse shop permanently closed after selling illegal ‘laughing gas’: A convenience store in Limehouse caught selling almost 13,500 canisters of illegal nitrous oxide has closed after it was stripped of its licence to sell alcohol.

A man from Longfield has been arrested after canisters found in car: [Police] searched the vehicle and found 80 canisters, suspected to have nitrous oxide in them, two mobile phones and £155 cash.

Police seize nitrous oxide during Wilmslow Road raid: The premises was reportedly 'openly selling' the drug to local residents.

Notorious graffiti artist caught selling laughing gas at Lockdown Festival: Police found 1,500 canisters in his tent and in his car.

Shrewsbury police crack down on laughing gas craze: Police in Shrewsbury have pledged to crack down on the use of nitrous oxide in the town.

'Nitrous oxide is no laughing matter' warns police: Police and the Safer Vale Partnerships are warning youths not to inhale nitrous oxide.

Lincolnshire laughing gas dealer 'too old for this': A judge has told a man who was caught with 472 laughing gas canisters at a music festival he is "too old for this".

Police to ramp up patrols in Honiton park after empty ‘hippy crack’ canister boxes and used balloons are found: In total, the empty boxes would have contained 120 canisters containing nitrous oxide - known as laughing gas or ‘hippy crack’.

Mellor residents concerns over nitrous oxide use after careless littering in Village Hall car park: Pictures show several empty canisters strewn across Mellor Village Hall car park, as well as burst balloons and discarded fast food takeaway bags.

Concerns over youths' growing nitrous oxide use: An area of Chepstow has become a haven for young people who want to buy and inhale nitrous oxide, according to a local town councillor.


Use of laughing gas oon the rise at festivals: Dutch festivalgoers are increasing partaking in the use of nitrous oxide, a legal but potentially harmful pastime, according to event producers' association VVEM.


Up to 8 years is possible sentence for unlicensed driver who killed 2 in crash near St. Cloud (MN): An unlicensed driver with a history of “huffing” chemicals could be sentenced to up to eight years after admitting to killing two people in a wrong-way crash near St. Cloud.

Teenager high on "Whip-Its" killed [70-year-old woman] in car crash (CA): We are told, this is the first accident like this in Kern County; where someone driving high on "Whip-Its" caused a fatal collision.

Man convicted in US 2 ‘huffing’ crash, homicide loses appeal (WA): A Sultan man whose vehicular homicide conviction included allegations of huffing computer cleaner while driving has lost his appeal.

Walmart not liable for death from huffing dust spray: Walmart isn’t liable for the death of a Texas woman who allegedly died in a store parking lot after huffing 60 cans of aerosol dust-remover purchased at the store during nine separate trips over a 27-hour period.

60 lbs of laughing gas uncovered during I-87 traffic stop (NY): A routine traffic stop by Hudson Valley police ended with authorities discovering 60 pounds of Nitrous Oxide.

Other VSA-associated arrests took place in NJ and OH. (NB - many US stories are now inaccessible due to new GDPR legislation.


Two injured after huffing explosion at home in Hamilton East: Two people have been burnt after a butane cannister believed to have been used for huffing exploded at a house in Hamilton.


South Korean Teenagers Exposed to Dangers of Vietnamese Drug Balloons: Narcotics known as “happy balloons” are being exposed to South Korean teenagers without any discretion, and regulative measures are being called for.


Inhalants most common drug among street children: Inhalants are coming out to be the most common form of drug amongst street children. In some cases, medicines, especially sleeping tablets and painkillers are also used by the children, experts from All India Institute of Medical Science said.

Psychiatrists raise alarm over misuse of solvents: Psychiatrists and counsellors have urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to put a serious check on  on misuse of solvents like whiteners.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

VSA Headlines - September 2018

This month saw the publication of Key Findings in Adolescent Drug Use, the latest Monitoring the Future report from the USA. Reporting on solvent abuse - or inhalant abuse as it's known in the States - studies of school children in grades 8, 9 and 10 show the following:-

“For the three grades combined, annual use declined significantly in both 2012 and 2013, held steady in 2014 and then declined further in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, 8th graders showed a significant increase, while 10th and 12th graders showed a continued decline.”

Looking at the issue with eighth graders in more detail:-

"Eighth graders, who consistently have the highest prevalence for inhalants, accounted for all of the increase in inhalant use in 2017 (their annual prevalence was up by 0.9 percentage points to 4.7%) and all of the increase in the index including inhalants. Until 2017 inhalant use had been in a steady decline in all grades for roughly a decade or more, so this year’s possible reversal of that trend bears watching."

The report also noted a decline in perceived risk:-

"The decline in perceived risk is worrisome, and it resumed after 2015. In this case, the decline in perceived risk between 2001 and 2008 did not translate into a large surge in use, but it may leave future class cohorts at risk for a resurgence of inhalant use."

Other headlines from around the world this month include:-


Coroner warns about dangers of inhaling gas after death of 16-year-old Co Armagh boy: A Coroner has warned young people about the dangers of inhaling gas after a 16-year-old Co Armagh boy "paid the price with his own life".

Mercedes driver high on gas who mowed down boy, 13, as he waited to cross road walks free: [He] sent a boy flying through the air as he appeared 'not on this planet' behind the wheel in Gateshead.

It’s a really bad idea to take laughing gas while driving: People are taking nitrous oxide balloons while they drive, even though inhaling the substance can make users unconscious.

Police seize laughing gas canisters at Swanley illegal rave: Police raided an illegal rave being held in a warehouse and seized a large amount of canisters of nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas, a court heard.

Calls for action over nitrous oxide 'drug abuse' in Rubery: Police in Rubery are stepping up patrols in a bid to combat people buying and taking nitrous oxide to get high.

Dumped: Hundreds of nitrous oxide capsules found in Newport park: More than 300 empty canisters used to inhale nitrous oxide were found dumped in a park in Newport.

Concerns after potentially lethal nitrous oxide cannisters found in Worcester: Concerns have been raised after potentially lethal ‘laughing gas’ cannisters have been found across the city, including a near a primary school.

Police to patrol Lowndes Park in Chesham in bid to crack down on 'laughing gas' abuse: Officers are set to descend on Lowndes Park, near Park Road, after noticing a rise in silver nitrous oxide canisters – known as laughing gas – littered in the beauty-spot.

Residents' warning after 'laughing gas' canisters found littered around Burnham-on-Sea parks: "If it could do this to our dog imagine what it could do to a person."

Jude Law’s son inhales ‘hippy crack’ at Notting Hill Carnival moments before pal collapses: Jude Law’s son has been pictured attempting to help a female friend who collapsed after the pair used the so-called ‘hippy crack’ at Notting Hill Carnival.

Five men found with 'laughing gas' in this South Derbyshire car park: South Derbyshire's Mercia Safer Neighbourhood Team spotted the men with the illegal substance in a car park in Willington.


Longford defendant with 'aerosol addiction' stole 12 cans of deodorant from Dealz: A woman who appeared before last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act was convicted and fined €105 following a hearing into the matter.


Police in Zakynthos raid warehouse with laughing gas, arrest owner: Police on the island of Zakynthos announced on Friday they had seized 14,760 ampules of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) during a raid in a warehouse in the area of Ammoudi.


'Casdorph the Destroyer' allegedly beat mom bloody with 'heavy duty' spatula (WV): Cops were called to a St. Albans, W. Va., home late on Sept. 13 to find [the] 30-year-old sitting outdoors with silver spray paint covering his mouth and hands while brandishing a metal bar.

Grandfather is stabbed to death with a machete during his granddaughter's first birthday party (MI): A man was fatally stabbed with a machete at least 15 times by an alleged drug user getting high on laughing gas.

Casper man denies child abuse, huffing charges (WY): The man accused of striking an infant after huffing air duster this summer pleaded not guilty to two charges Thursday afternoon in Natrona County Circuit Court.

Vancouver woman was allegedly inhaling fumes during pursuit (WA): Wild chase ends with wrong-way crash in downtown Centralia.

The festival party drug that uses balloons (GA): Go to a rave, concert, festival, club, bar or house show and you might see people with balloons. “What are those for?” you wonder.

Metro Police Looking For Concertgoers Getting High Off Laughing Gas (TN): Metro Park Police said they don't want a problem they've noticed in the last few weeks to balloon out of control: concertgoers getting high off of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas.

'You stomped me,' man tells now-fired Knoxville police officer in dashcam video (TN): A man who was huffing cans of gas duster behind a South Knoxville store claimed a rookie Knoxville Police Department officer repeatedly stomped on his neck after shocking him with a Taser, records show.

Other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL IN and OR. (NB - some US stories are now inaccessible due to new GDPR legislation.)


Petrol sniffing addict kills mother, dumps body in septic tank: A petrol sniffing addict is believed to have killed his 63-year-old mother and dumped her in a septic tank.


Hanoi police detain music fest organizer after drug deaths: Witnesses said security was lax at the festival, that there were not enough security guards and the nitrous oxide balloons were sold publicly at the venue.


Glue sniffing still an issue: With the many hard drug cases nowadays, it’s important that we don’t deter our attention from the fact that children are still sniffing glue.

Hanoi police detain music fest organizer after drug deaths: Witnesses said security was lax at the festival, that there were not enough security guards and the nitrous oxide balloons were sold publicly at the venue.


Cops to issue notices to shops selling whitener to minors (Aurangabad): The city police have decided to take stringent action against shops to curb rampant sale and misuse of whitener, especially since minors are getting addicted to the liquid solvent.


Sex drug known as ‘poppers’ may soon be placed in the same category as heroin in Australia: An inhalant drug commonly used for sex and short recreational highs could soon be outlawed in Australia.

Bush therapy works for troubled youth: "... we get kids as young as eight-years-old sniffing, they’re already drinking, smelling dope and that’s before they even become a teenager."

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

VSA Headlines - August 2018

This  month, The Conversation published Volatile substance abuse – a problem that never went away, a new paper by Harry Sumnall and Sarah MacLean.

"Drug related deaths are now at their highest levels since records began in England and Wales. In 2017, there were 56 ecstasy deaths, each new tragedy generating headlines and leading to calls for action, such as the introduction of drug checking in nightclubs and festivals. But others are abusing a different range of substances, a problem that many people think largely disappeared in the 1980s and has been ignored in all the headlines ..." Read the full paper here.

News headlines this month included:-


Returned to habit of sniffing air fresheners: A 38-year-old man found in a car in Portadown under the influence of something had returned to a habit of his teenage years of sniffing air fresheners, a court heard last week.

24-year-old woman shares warning on Facebook after laughing gas left her paralysed: Olivia Golding can no longer walk, and wants other people to learn from her mistakes.

Teen rushed to hospital after inhaling excessive levels of 'laughing gas': The youngster, who has since been discharged, was rushed to A&E after consuming a large amount of the nitrous oxide while out with friends in Warrington.

Shop under fire for selling 'hippy crack' gas canisters to children as young as 14: An off-licence accused of selling laughing gas to children as young as 14 was found to have nearly 13,500 silver canisters of the so-called “hippy crack”, police said.

Leeds NOS dealer caught with 360 Nitrous Oxide canisters in McDonald's car park: A court heard [he] admitted to officers that he had been selling Nitrous Oxide - also know as laughing gas - to others for £10 a time

Paramedic's purse stolen as thieves break into ambulance: Police said, aside from the personal belongings, canisters of oxygen and nitrous oxide and life support kits were taken.

60 hours' unpaid work for man who stole gas canisters worth £4.50: [The Procurator Fiscal] added the concern was that the product could be used for inhaling.

Hippy crack: how dangerous is nitrous oxide? Council workers pick up more than a million empty canisters on streets of one London borough.

Hordes of teenagers 'taking hippy crack en masse' in Tower Hamlets as police and council try to combat epidemic: Many east Londoners may be familiar with the sight of a pavement festooned with silver gas canisters or packs of bored teenagers having chemically-stimulated laughing fits.

Carnival war on knives - but police turn blind eye to hippy crack: On the ground in Notting Hill.

Illegal raves are being held in children's play areas in Gloucestershire and people have had it: Patrols were stepped up in Stroud at the weekend as Gloucestershire Police set about stamping out a recent spate of illegal raves and drug use around the town centre.

No laughing matter for Wapping residents threatened with violence by ASB thugs: On Wednesday morning the footpath next to the One O’Clock Club in the Gardens was littered with hundreds of discarded laughing gas canisters in one of the worst cases of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) related littering Love Wapping has seen in the last five years.

Parents warned to watch out for dangerous laughing gas paraphernalia in Flintshire: North Wales Police has been calling on residents to educate their children about the dangers of inhaling nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in recent weeks.

“Laughing gas” canister find on beach sparks health warning: A Montrose councillor has raised concerns after finding nearly 50 discarded canisters that previously contained a potentially lethal gas at Montrose Beach, leading to calls restricting the sale of the items.

Warning to parents as laughing gas canisters litter Abbey Wood (SE London): Laughing gas canisters are being found all over Abbey Wood and residents are not happy.

Dad and daughter find nitrous oxide canisters at Accrington park: A father and his young daughter discovered a number of nitrous oxide canisters as they enjoyed a walk at a popular beauty spot.

Sneaky truckers! Traffic cops use unmarked HGVs to catch thousands of drivers: ... Meanwhile, two DPD delivery drivers were seen inhaling nitrous oxide, often called 'hippy crack', in their parked van before driving off in Simmons Leasow, Birmingham.

Best theatre to see at Summerhall: Huff is a daring solo show by award-winning indigenous playwright Cliff Cardinal, which tells the wrenching yet darkly comic tale of indigenous brothers caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and struggling with the death of their mother.

The weirdest things we learned this week: bone flutes, zebra carriages, and laughing gas parties: In late-18th- and early-19th-century England, people really enjoyed inhaling laughing gas.


Pills mum started off sniffing nail varnish: [The 41-year-old] began sniffing nail varnish when she was a teenager and ended up using heroin, a court was told.


Ibiza officials to vote on a ban of laughing gas: The use of nitrous oxide could result in fines for revellers.


Two women fined for selling laughing gas: Two women were fined by the Famagusta court in Larnaca on Monday for negligent and reckless acts by selling laughing gas.


Gas lighter kills another Turkish teen: A Turkish teen has died after inhaling gas lighter, becoming the latest victim of a dangerous trend that experts issued warnings about.


Drowning Autopsy: Death not suspicious; huffing clues found (MI): Two containers were found in the vehicle which are typically used for cleaning keyboards or huffing. One container was empty and the other was half-empty.

Huffing suspect shot to death, shooter released (OK): One person is dead from a gunshot at the Super 8 Hotel near 31st and South Memorial.

DUI by ‘huffing’? (FL): Delray crash case spotlights potency of inhalants.

Casper police arrest man for huffing air duster, hitting baby (WY): A Natrona County man was arrested Friday after he allegedly huffed air duster and struck an infant.

Winslow man was inhaling Dust-Off before crash into house (ME): [The 49-year-old] is sentenced to jail and has his license and registration privileges suspended for three years after pleading guilty to three misdemeanor charges stemming from the crash.

Woman was huffing glue while riding a scooter before crashing into a Saugus Walmart (MA): A 35-year-old Lynn woman crashed her motorized scooter into Walmart while huffing glue, according to Saugus Police

Massena woman accused of huffing on railroad tracks (NY): A Massena woman was charged on Tuesday with huffing on railroad tracks, according to village police.

Chapel Hill ISD teacher arrested then fired (TX): East Texas Matters reports law enforcement suspects [he] was getting high by huffing out of the aerosol can found empty in his vehicle.

Naked man found doing jumping jacks in McDonald’s restroom, police say (TN): [He] had prior arrests for huffing, the court document said. Deemed a potential danger to himself and others because of his intoxication, he was arrested.

Shocking footage of former UCLA star exchanging gunfire with the LAPD emerges as mother feared he suffered 'psychotic break' after 'huffing laughing gas (CA): [His] mother ... said the 27-year-old had been 'huffing nitrous oxide' and had not slept or eaten in days.

Nashville dentist has license suspended for abusing laughing gas during work hours (TN): A Brentwood dentist lost his medical license due to accusations he abused the use of laughing gas.

Palm Bay Man Inhales Aerosol Duster at Staples in Melbourne (FL): A Palm Bay man was found unresponsive in his vehicle in a Staples parking lot after inhaling from a Duster aerosol can, according to the Melbourne Police Department.

Consumer alleges Sunshine Daydream, others failed to ensure nitrous oxide would not be used for illicit purposes (IL): A consumer who alleges he became addicted to a colorless gas used as whipping propellant for food-grade aerosols is seeking damages from businesses who sell the gas.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

VSA Headlines - July 2018

A new paper published in Schizophrenia Research, authored by Mustonen et al, and based on a longitudinal study of 225 participants suggests that inhalant use in adolescence increases the risk for psychosis. The authors conclude:

"Inhalant use in adolescence was independently associated with incident psychosis. The adverse health outcomes associated with adolescent inhalant use provide compelling reasons for implementation of policies to reduce the use of volatile substances in adolescents."

Read the full paper, Adolescent inhalant use and psychosis risk – a prospective longitudinal study.

Another new paper published in Neurology and authored by DeLuca et al suggests that inhaling paint and varnish fumes may increase the risk of multiple sclerosis.

"How this cocktail of MS genes, organic solvents and smoking contributes so significantly to MS risk warrants investigation.

"In the meantime, avoiding cigarette smoke and unnecessary exposure to organic solvents, particularly in combination with each other, would seem reasonable lifestyle changes people can take to reduce the risk of MS, especially in people with a family history of the disease."

Read the full paper, Genes, smoking, and organic solvent exposure: An alarming cocktail for MS risk.

Other news this month includes:-


The extraordinary true story of Garin Jenkins: solvent abuse, Jesus Christ and THAT picture: He defied the odds to make something of his life after it appeared he was going nowhere

Warning about inhaling 'lethal gases' after canisters found discarded in Broughton: More cannisters were found in the Old Warren area over the weekend, with police posting an image of the bag of the items to show the scale of the problem.

Drivers caught 'inhaling gas from balloon' and 'four times over alcohol limit' in Gloucestershire: Police have dealt with drivers alleged to have used 'gas from a balloon' and large quantities of alcohol this week.

Newquay police begin summer crackdown on teen boozing and drugs as officers reveal seized stash: Operation Exodus is in full swing in Newquay after police seized a stash of alcohol and nitrous oxide from teenagers on holiday.

Dangerous 'laughing gas' canisters left littered in a Bedworth park: Inhaling the gas can lead to fainting and even heart attacks.

Ipswich public space protection orders widened to tackle gang loitering and drug use: "Whilst the previous DPPO and existing PSPO can be used to address issues around street drinking, it fails to provide any redress to other, associated, issues such as solvent abuse, aggressive begging, rough sleeping, defecating or urinating in public."


Driver sentenced to 2 years in fatal pedestrian crash (WI): A Reeseville man accused of fatally striking a pedestrian after inhaling aerosol has been sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Man charged with killing 4 in high-speed crash (FL): Detectives say [he] had been huffing electronics-dusting spray shortly before the crash.

Driver might have huffed before wrong-way crash that killed 2 in classic car, police say (MN):  An alleged wrong-way driver is charged in a crash that killed two men test-driving a vintage car in central Minnesota.

Man huffed stolen dust cleaner at 2 Walmarts on day he died, Kenner police say (LA): [He was] accused of stealing dust cleaner and huffing the cans at two Kenner Walmarts before a confrontation with police. He later died at a Kenner hospital following a medical emergency.

Man accused of battering juveniles, slapping woman (NM): A San Juan County man is accused of battering two juvenile males and slapping a woman after inhaling from a can of pressurized air.

Clearwater mom charged with 'huffing' chemicals while driving 1-year-old (FL): Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested a Clearwater mother for huffing chemicals while driving with a 1-year-old in the backseat.

Indiana mother arrested after huffing glue near 3 kids (IN): Authorities have arrested a mother for allegedly huffing glue and possibly using fentanyl near her three children.

Deputy and K-9 partner recovering after crash while pursuing wrong-way driver (OH): Wilson said a new trend he sees is “huffing” and driving. “The effects of it wear off fairly quickly. Which is why people are huffing while they are driving.”

Batesville Police Warn of Huffing Dangers (AR): A warning from police in Batesville over a dangerous high more people are getting from a household cleaner. In the past month officers have seen a spike in calls involving people huffing air dusters.

New ordinance approved in Tulsa for aerosol spray paint (OK): Individuals under 18 can only possess or purchase aerosol spray paint if they are in the company of a teacher, employer, guardian or parent. Tulsa World reports the ordinance is the brain child of City Councilor Connie Dodson. She hopes this will help address the city’s huffing and graffiti problems.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in OHPA and WI while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FLIA, ILNY, PA, SD and TN. (NB - some US stories are now inaccessible due to new GDPR legislation.)


Police help Pikangikum youth build safer community: The five-year project funded by Public Safety aims to reduce youth crime and solvent abuse in the remote First Nation.


Srinagar tops list of drug addiction cases in 2017: ... drugs like cabbies, brown sugar and heroin were commonly used by drug addicts in Kashmir adding there were no checks on the menace. “Inhaling of Fevicol SR, glues, petrol, thinner, erasers are being used by the school going children," said Dr Yasir.


Rehabilitation centre gives hope to drug addicts (Swat): “I started glue sniffing and then got addicted to heroin at the age of 10.


PDEA vows to go after street kids using solvent: PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino led the launch of “Project: Sagip Batang Solvent” designed to rescue street children from the drug trade and drug abuse with sniffers of solvent as primary targets

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

VSA Headlines - June 2016


Blackburn woman, 37, had a history of solvent abuse: A woman who died after inhaling from a canister had a history of solvent abuse, an inquest has heard.

Birmingham shisha bar 'lets children inhale hippy crack': Children as young as nine have inhaled laughing gas provided by a shisha bar where the practice draws hundreds of youths at a time, police say.

Laughing gas canister dealers not bovvered by Council campaign: Photos taken by residents in Wapping show that the Council’s Nitrous Oxide – No laughing matter campaign is just a bit of a giggle to the people selling laughing gas canisters by the box load on our streets.


Vero Beach police identify man found dead in car parked off U.S. 1 in suspected overdose (FL): DeWitt said investigators found aerosol cans inside his vehicle and believe he overdosed while huffing. The three cans were all Maxwell Blast Away, typically used for cleaning electronics.

Cody psychiatrist convicted, sent to prison for DUI crash (WY): A Park County jury convicted [him] of a felony count of aggravated assault and battery and misdemeanor counts of driving while under the influence of a substance and unlawful use of a toxic substance.

Quinhagak Man Assaults Tribal Police Following Huffing Incident (AK): According to the report, Tribal police contacted [the] 32-year-old as he was “huffing” gas and attempted to take him into custody.

Brutal Police Officer Knew Nothing of Autism, Parents Say:  Suing the Buckeye, Arizona, police officer who beat up their autistic 14-year-old while he was playing with a piece of string in a public park, the boy’s parents say department brass justified it by saying the boy’s repetitive behavior indicated that he was “under the influence of an inhalant.”

Huffing and graffiti problem addressed with one ordinance (OK): A Tulsa city councilor says it's time to get tough on teenagers who mis-use spray paint and has now proposed an ordinance to regulate the sale of spray paint to juveniles.

Hollister City Council approves emergency ordinance limiting butane sales (CA): [The city attorney said] the ordinance would only regulate the quantity to 600ml for a 30-day period [and] would also require vendors to keep sales records on how it was sold and to whom.

Major retailers say they’ll phase out sales of paint stripper with chemical linked to dozens of accidental deaths (NY): Home Depot, Sherman Williams and Lowe’s all have announced that they will no longer sell products containing methylene chloride.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in FL and MI while other VSA-associated arrests took place in LA and WV.


Will ‘Mexico’s Corbyn’ clean up at the country’s elections? Jobs are scarce, solvent abuse common, conditions miserable. La Cuesta is a stark reminder that Mexico’s steady economic growth has bypassed its poor majority.


Glue sniffing, street fighting and crushing poverty – life on the margins of Russian life revealed in photographer’s incredible iPhone pics: Markov's bleak depiction of Russia's grittiest streets has sparked waves of backlash on his Instagram account.


Cannabis consumption rates surpass huffing paint in Japan for the first time: Cannabis consumption is on the rise on Japan. And while marijuana continues to be illegal and highly stigmatized, rates of cannabis use have surpassed the consumption rates of other inhalants for the first time.


Gutka-thinner inhalation rampant among school students in Trichy, say doctors (Tamil Nadu): Doctors speaking at the World No Tobacco Day, which was observed on May 31 said that the practice of inhaling gutka along with paint thinner after a certain process is predominantly done by students between 15 to 17 years of age. The feeling of instant and prolonged high, affordability and availability of gutka are considered to be the reasons for teenagers resorting to this practice


Fears terrifying, deadly LPG huffing craze could sweep country: New Zealand emergency services and health officials have warned Kiwis not to partake in a "dangerous", "idiotic" and potentially deadly craze that's sweeping Australia.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

VSA Headlines - May 2018

On 23rd May, David Hanson, Chair of the All Party Political Group on NPS and VSA moved a debate in the Commons on Psychoactive Substances: "The use of NPS is a small part of a much wider drug problem, but it is important. I wanted to bring air the matter in the House not to be critical of the Government but to raise an issue that I hope they will look at today or after the debate." Read the full text of the debate in Hansard.


Family's aerosol warning after daughter dies from inhaling deodorant: A family from Gloucester whose daughter, 12, died after inhaling aerosol spray from a can of deodorant have launched a campaign to warn other children and parents about the danger: Visit the Facebook page.

Teenager who killed two elderly best friends after inhaling 'hippy crack' at wheel of car is jailed for decade: [The 18-year-old] was seen holding a balloon to his mouth and inhaling gas before crashing into a car.

Hundreds of motor bikes roll into Exmouth for addiction charity: This year’s ride has raised more than £7,000 and organiser John Bramble, whose son Craig died from solvent abuse 17 years ago, said the support the family has had this year is ‘amazing’ and believes the event is getting bigger ‘year after year’.

Ringstead charity’s campaign to raise £30,000 in 30 days to mark 30 years: Solve It, which is based in Ringstead, raises awareness of the dangers of abusing solvents and new psychoactive substances (NPS). The charity needs to raise funds to ensure it can continue delivering the service into its 30th year.

CanadaHub brings five new productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: One-man show Huff from Toronto’s Native Earth Performing Arts is the tale of Indigenous brothers struggling with solvent abuse and the death of their mother, with more than a dozen characters portrayed by Cliff Cardinal.

Two delivery drivers are caught on CCTV ‘inhaling “hippy crack” while at the wheel of their company van: Shocking CCTV footage claims to show two delivery drivers driving off a busy main road then inhaling 'hippy crack' while at the wheel of their company van.

I found God after solvent abuse overdose: Writhing on his bedroom floor, his mind and body wracked with pain from a solvent abuse blackout, Andy Elmes said a quiet, desperate prayer, ‘God, if you’re there, help me.’

Luke Haines - I Sometimes Dream of Glue: Album reviews from Cherry Red, Brooklyn Vegan: Indie Basement and Soundblab.


White Buffalo Treatment facility celebrates grand reopening: The treatment centre, one of the few facilities in Saskatchewan which treats solvent addictions, is part of a national network of facilities providing a holistic form of addictions treatment to young girls between ages 12 and 17.

Long time Ka-Na-Chi-Hih employee retires: Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Specialized Solvent Abuse Treatment Centre’s Sarah Simon, in white jacket, celebrated her retirement with two of her children and the staff and clients at the Thunder Bay-based treatment centre. Photo by Rick Garrick.


Driver huffed air duster prior to fatal crash, police say (NM): New details have surfaced regarding a deadly pedestrian crash in Farmington last Thursday.

Driver who huffed, then drove wrong way on I-94, killing 3, gets 75 years in prison (WI): The driver charged with killing three Minneapolis men after heading the wrong way down Interstate 94 last summer in western Wisconsin was sentenced Monday to 75 years in prison.

Western Alaska teen injured in propane huffing incident, troopers say: A teenage Alakanuk girl was injured when a propane tank a group of young people were huffing fumes from caught fire, the Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

Temporary (hopefully) GDPR restrictions are limiting access to a number of US websites presently but reports of traffic incidents and other VSA-associated arrests have come in from AR, CAFL, MINE, NYPASCTN, VA and WY.


Solvent abuse a growing, but invisible,problem for Mexico City’s homeless: In Mexico, a growing problem of solvent abuse amongst the capital’s poorest residents has the government concerned. But not, it appears, the wider society.


Petrol sniffing education campaign to ramp up as NT police investigate death of 12 year-old boy (NT): Northern Territory authorities are set to ramp up an education campaign about petrol sniffing following the death of a 12-year-old boy in Arnhem Land this week.

Croc attack most likely cause of boy's death (WA): The boy ... had severe intellectual disabilities as a result of suffering from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. So severe was the boy’s solvent abuse that he was hospitalised following near-fatal episodes a number of times.

Remote youth organisation urges supermarkets to lock aerosol cans up, reduce substance misuse: An outback youth organisation is calling on national supermarkets chains to help minimise volatile substance misuse in Mount Isa, by placing inhalants like deodorant cans in locked cabinets.

Perth parents warned to be vigilant over nang abuse, delivery (WA): Parents are being urged to be vigilant after an increase in the abuse of nitrous oxide cannisters, known as nangs.


Huffing blast survivor and domestic abuser  set to be released from jail: [He] made national headlines, after he and [a] fellow teen suffered critical injuries when an LPG bottle they were huffing from exploded at a Mosgiel home in 2012.


Crackdown on drugs should be sustained (Kampala): The police on May 15 carried out a crackdown on sellers of what is widely thought to be aviation fuel to street children, ending years of inaction on a menace that continues to openly plague major towns across the country.


Glue-sniffing to ‘bear’ with life’s struggles: Not only adults, but children too fall prey to drug abuse, in order to cope with life’s realities. One of the most prevalent substances abused by many is glue.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

VSA Headlines - April 2018

£75,000 grant will help Stone charity tackle substance abuse: Stone charity Re-Solv has received a welcome cash boost of £75,000 from Lloyds Bank Foundation to help more people overcome the misuse of solvents and other household substances across the West Midlands.


Girl, 12, died from deodorant overdose after she inhaled an aerosol: The pathology report said she had died from a condition known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome which results from increased adrenalin leading to heart arrhythmia.

Teenage driver who killed two men in crash after inhaling laughing gas is jailed: [He] had inhaled a balloon full of nitrous oxide just moments before smashing into a van in Farningham, Kent.

Inquest hears how ultra-fit ex-army bomb expert was found dead at his home: An ultra-fit former army bomb disposal expert found dead at his home just days after his wedding may have taken poppers before he died, an inquest heard yesterday.

Man who threatened father with claw hammer after being caught sniffing aerosols avoids jail: A man who bit and threatened his father with a claw hammer after being discovered sniffing aerosols has avoided prison.

Revving up to raise funds for addiction charity: John and Wendy Bramble, the organisers of the event, started the charity bike ride four years ago after their son Craig lost his life to solvent abuse in 2001.

Nitrous Oxide cannisters thrown from car on Hog's Back after occupants seen 'inhaling and driving': "Obviously I couldn’t see their faces properly as they were covered with a balloon."

Public drug taking to be targeted by new community wardens in Royal Borough: After evidence of large quantities of the legal high nitrous oxide was found in car parks and public toilets in the borough, the council agreed to increase the size of its street warden team from 18 to 25.


Arkansas father pleads not guilty to battering 2-month-old; authorities say man acknowledged inhaling canned air: [The] man accused of injuring his 2-month-old son last year after deliberately inhaling canned air has pleaded not guilty to a felony battery charge.

Winona man was huffing propane before vehicle explosion last week (MN): A Winona man whose 1999 Chevrolet Blazer exploded on Prairie Island Road last week was huffing propane before the incident, Police Chief said Monday.

Dangers associated with huffing (IN): First responders and a local health expert wants to warn people about the dangers associated with huffing.

Serial huffer arrested for 18th time but still can’t be charged (MO): An man repeatedly arrested for huffing, was arrested for the 18th time on Thursday.  Then he was released for the 18th time because there isn't a specific law against "huffing".

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in MI (in Troy and Mount Pleasant) while other VSA-associated arrests and emergency call-outs took place in AR, CAIN, MAOHTX and WV.


'Huffing' aerosol dust remover no 'risk of danger' — motorist wins acquittal (ON): An Ottawa man who parked his car at the Carlingwood Mall to get high on the contents of aerosol spray cans — his girlfriend didn’t like him “huffing” at home — did not put the public at risk, a judge has ruled.


90 per cent of street kids in National Capital addicted to drugs, reveals MoS for Social Justice (New Delhi): While 21,770 of these cases are attributed to tobacco use and 9,450 can be linked with alcohol abuse, inhalants and cannabis do not fall far behind with 7,910 and 5,600 cases being reported in these regards respectively.

Bookseller sold intoxicants to minors, arrested (Delhi): A bookseller has been arrested from Jahangirpuri for selling intoxicants in the form of fluid tubes to children.


'Petrol sniffing' teens call in fake stabbing to cops (QLD): Reports of a person being stabbed to death were confirmed as a hoax when emergency services were called to a Urangan home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

VSA Headlines - March 2018

64 deaths from VSA in GB last year

New research published this week from the Office for National Statistics and National Records of Scotland shows that deaths caused by VSA are significantly higher than previously thought.

Re-Solv has had concerns for some years that VSA mortality has been underestimated since the loss of the annual St George's report in 2012, which drew on coroners' reports to provide detailed analysis. So this work by the ONS to really investigate the true extent of deaths caused by gases, solvents and other volatile substances across Great Britain is very welcome.

"In 2016, there were 64 deaths related to volatile substances registered in Great Britain; over 80% of these volatile substance abuse (VSA) deaths were males.

"There were 834 deaths involving volatile substances registered between 2001 and 2016.

"Residents of Scotland and North East England had an increased risk of death related to VSA, when compared with Great Britain overall." (Read the full report here.)

The ONS note that 27% of all VSA deaths involve more than one substance (volatile or otherwise) and/or alcohol. As always, if you are working in substance misuse services, please assess for VS-use. Our Guidance and Assessment tool is available to download or give us a call on 01785 817885 for additional information and/or support.

Other headlines this month include:-


Popular teenager died of misadventure, inquest concludes: A grieving family and a coroner have warned of the “devastating” consequences of inhaling lighter fuel following the tragic death of a 15-year-old boy.

Thomas Cook aircraft engineer died surrounded by 'hippy crack' canisters: A 23-year-old aircraft engineer suffocated to death in his family home after inhaling nitrous oxide while wearing a military-style gas mask.

Tributes paid to ‘local champion’ ex-Wrekin MP Warren Hawksley [who] became Director at the Staffordshire-based substance abuse charity Re-Solv in 1998.

Number of people killed by glue sniffing and hippy crack soars by 15% in a year to claim 64 lives: More than 500 people have died inhaling helium in the past 15 years as glue sniffing and hippy crack fatalities soar by 15% in 12 months, new figures reveal.


Grieving mother shares story of son’s deadly addiction to huffing (MO): A grieving mother is sharing the story of her son's addiction to huffing to warn others of the potentially deadly dangers.

Couple charged with child abuse, giving 5-month-old inhalant (TX): Port Isabel Police arrested a couple they say sexually abused a baby and gave the infant an air inhalant.

16-year-old Wyoming driver killed in crash near Pinedale (WY): Authorities are investigating excessive speed, drug use and possible huffing in the wake of a crash which took the life of a 16-year-old near Pinedale on Thursday.

She’s been arrested 10 times since September — twice in the Keys. Now a man is dead: A North Carolina woman arrested twice in January for allegedly huffing aerosol cans in Marathon is now reportedly facing a felony death charge in her home state.

Man shot by San Bernardino police after he crashes into vehicle, reportedly pulls firearm at officers (CA): A man who police said was acting erratically and huffing aerosol was rushed into surgery after he was shot by San Bernardino police officers Thursday night.

Other vehicle and traffic incidents caused by VSA were reported in FLIN and OR, while other VSA-associated arrests took place in FL, MOMN, Greensburg PASpringettsbury Township PA, SCTX and WI.

Huffers hitting up homeowners' HVAC units for Freon (TN): People are going around to homes and sucking the chemical gas used as a refrigerant in HVAC systems to get high. It's called Freon huffing.

Legislators seek to include aerosol spray duster in DWI law (MN): In February, the Fox 9 Investigators exposed a dramatic rise in overdoses - some of them fatal - from huffing cans of spray-duster. The chemical in the cans is not covered by Minnesota DWI laws, so lawmakers are now taking steps to change that.

Michigan House of Representatives passes bill targeting 'whip-its' (MI): On Thursday, March 8, Michigan's house of representatives passed a package of bills limiting the sale and distribution of nitrous oxide containers.


Glue sniffing, ‘safe’ drugs no trivial matter, says Sarawak minister: Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Hamzah said the state’s fight against drugs is not helped by federal lawmakers’ failure to support its push for regulatory laws to curb glue sniffing and the abuse of non-scheduled drugs.


Boy remained in care of drug-addicted parents (NT): A 12-year-old boy who died sniffing aerosol cans remained in the care of his drug-addicted, alcoholic parents despite numerous warnings made to child protection agencies.