Thursday, May 27, 2021

VSA Headlines - May 2021

 UK

Four year ban for [Londonderry] man who drove under influence of butane and tramadol: Officers observed that he appeared drowsy and his speech was slurred and a number of aerosol cans were seized from his vehicle.

'He was my bundle of joy' - heartbroken mum's emotional plea after 'beautiful young man' killed in car smash tragedy: Investigators and the coroner alike ‘could not rule out’ the possibility that Jordan had been under the influence of nitrous oxide gas, commonly inhaled from balloons.

Police warn of dangers of sniffing chemicals after aerosol cans found in woods: Abandoned aerosol containers have prompted a warning from police about the dangers of sniffing chemicals.

Formby man had more than 2,000 Nitrous Oxide canisters in car boot: The 24-year-old claimed he had not known that the boxes containing the canisters were in the car he had borrowed, but ... [then] ... admitted that he was being paid to be a courier.

Nitrous oxide canisters, knuckle dusters and knife among items seized by police after car failed to stop at sign: Searches prompted by a driver's failure to follow the highway code are alleged to have uncovered a range of suspected drugs paraphernalia, weapons and cash in Larne.

More than £170,000 worth of illegal cigarettes taken off the streets of Cardiff in one day: The Shared Regulatory Service and South Wales Police worked on the operation that also seized nitrous oxide canisters.

Alcohol seized and laughing gas cannisters found by Dorchester police: Alcohol was seized and empty laughing gas canisters were found as police targeted trouble hotspots in Dorchester.

London borough bans ‘laughing gas’ nitrous oxide over anti-social behaviour: Tower Hamlets’ mayor and council approved a Public Spaces Protection Order to ban the use of laughing gas across the borough, with officers able to issue a £100 fixed penalty notice or prosecute individuals, although it said enforcement will be a last resort.

Pendle Council call for action on 'highly dangerous' hippy crack: Councillors will debate a call for government action on 'highly dangerous' nitrous oxide canisters.

Consultation launched in Sandwell to 'crack down' on nitrous oxide use: Health chiefs in Sandwell have put forward proposals for a "crack down" on nitrous oxide use to make the borough a safer place to live.

Other stories concerned with nitrous oxide use and related antisocial behaviour came from East Lothian, Fife, Merseyside, and Workington.

IRELAND

Councillor calls for action to stem widespread nitrous oxide ‘laughing gas’ use among young people ahead of summer: Immediate action is needed to stem widespread nitrous oxide use among young people in the summer, a South Dublin County Councillor has warned.

NETHERLANDS

Municipality of Amsterdam to ban laughing gas: Joining a long list of municipalities and cities across the Netherlands, Amsterdam has decided to ban the sale of nitrous oxide - more commonly known as laughing gas - at events, bars, and nightclubs in the capital.

CANADA

New funding can’t come soon enough to address First Nations opioid and methamphetamine crisis: Equitable and sustainable funding support continues to be a priority for the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) and National Youth Solvent Abuse Program (NYSAP) workforce, who work in communities and treatment centres.

USA

Brown City man allegedly huffed Dust-Off before causing wrong-way crash that killed one (MI): A man charged with second-degree murder allegedly told investigators he huffed Dust-Off before driving the wrong way on the highway and colliding with another vehicle, killing a Sterling Heights man. 

How addiction to WhipIts nitrous oxide killed my life partner: During the pandemic, [she] acquired thousands of cannisters as smoke shops delivered them to her doorstep. The paper then published a follow-up editorial piece: Addictive, deadly nitrous oxide meets legislative inaction.

Taylorsville man fired numerous rounds at SWAT officers, hit nearby cars, homes (UT): Officers arrived to find [he[ was impaired from "huffing" aerosol cans and had assaulted his parents, both in their early 70s, the charges state.

Rialto Mayor Pro Tem Scott praises bill, named in honor of his late son, that would address illicit distribution of nitrous oxide: The legislation, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Torres and co-sponsored by Rep. Aguilar, is named in honor of Scott’s son, who was tragically killed in a nitrous-involved car accident just one week after graduating high school in 2014. 

Man high on butane allegedly attacks Tamuning vice mayor (Guam): Authorities found the suspect with a bag filled with butane cans, court documents state.

Woman was ‘huffing’ aerosol duster inside rest room (PA): Township police charged a woman from Hanover Township with “huffing” aerosol duster cans inside a restroom stall at Walmart Supercenter.

MEXICO

His first movie was shortlisted for an Oscar. What’s next for Mexico’s overnight star? There is a scene near the end of the film “I’m No Longer Here” (“Ya no estoy aquĆ­") in which the lead character, a stoic Mexican teenager named Ulises, walks along a highway in New York City, huffing paint thinner.

PHILIPPINES

Rugby-sniffing laborer nabbed; 5 suspected ‘pushers’ fall: Police arrested a 35-year-old laborer for allegedly sniffing rugby while five other suspected drug personalities were busted in separate anti-drug operations in Eastern Visayas towns.

AUSTRALIA

Chromed-up dad riots through Bendigo (V): A terrified woman managed to escape her car moments before its roof caved in during a paint-sniffing father’s Bendigo rampage.

Queensland retailers urged to lock up aerosols amid chroming spike: A Mount Isa youth service has been sending staff to meet business operators, begging them to lock up or move deodorant cans to help lower rates of volatile substance misuse (VSM).

Schoolteacher wants sales of deodorant cans restricted in Australia to stop kids chroming: An Australian school teacher is calling for the sale of deodorant cans to be restricted to stop kids from chroming.

Coles and Woolworths are forced to lock up their aerosols as children young as seven openly sniff fumes to get high in this Outback town: Coles, Kmart and Woolworths have locked up their aerosol products to stop children as young as seven sniffing them to get high in an Outback town.

Friday, April 30, 2021

VSA Headlines - April 2021

In a new paper, Global emissions of VOCs from compressed aerosol products, authors Yeoman and Lewis argue:

“... in the UK, 6.1% of anthropogenic VOC emissions were from aerosols in 2017, more than were released from gasoline passenger cars. Should low- and middle-income economies grow consumption per capita in line with recent trends, then we project global aerosol consumption may reach approximately 4.4 ± 0.96 × 1010 units year–1 in 2050. Should existing national and international policies on aerosol product formulation remain unchanged, and VOCs remain the dominant propellant, compressed aerosols could account for a global emission of approximately 2.2 ± 0.48 Tg year–1 in 2050.” 

“… for very many personal care and household cleaning products, a clear solution would be product de-aerosolization.”

In the news this month, could a creative new recycling scheme in Cardiff inspire others around the country to raise money for charity? Cardiff Rivers Group (CRG) is collecting spent nitrous oxide canisters and will recycle every 300kg they collect with their local European Metal Recycling depot. The money raised will help fund CRG's ongoing clean-ups and other charities' work in the city. Read the full story here.

And a new exhibition from Gilbert & George opens to the public with the use of nitrous oxide gas featuring in Ballooning (2020). Read more about the exhibition here

Other news headlines this month include:-

UK

Shocking moment newlywed hit-and-run killer ‘inhales laughing gas’ minutes before killing dad-of-two: CCTV footage captured him sucking on a balloon thought to contain nitrous oxide as he drove a pick-up truck just before hitting a restaurant owner.

Teen mowed down pensioner waiting for cab outside working men's club: Judge Paul Glenn said: "You had consumed a canister of nitrous oxide. That often results in short-lived feelings of euphoria.

Gas sniffing woman sparks evacuation emergency at Greenock flats: [She] risked blowing herself and her neighbours up by trying to light a cigarette whilst sniffing fumes — with at least 70 butane canisters strewn around her.

Man holds up Lincoln trains for 45 minutes after stealing from Poundland and wandering onto the railway tracks: Lincoln Crown Court heard how [he] took two canisters of the gas from behind the counter of the Poundland store in High Street in Lincoln, before barging a member of staff out of the way before leaving without paying.

Man accused of driving under influence of butane and tramadol fails to attend court: Prosecution claimed during defendant made admissions to having inhaled aerosols and when asked if the substances in his system could have impaired his driving replied: 'Nah'.

Not laughing now: Thieves jailed for stealing nitrous oxide from hospital: Two men have been jailed for stealing canisters of nitrous oxide from a hospital in Norfolk.

Laughing gas or balloons seized by police in Caldicot: Police seized a number of nitrous oxide canisters as well as cannabis in Gwent over the weekend.

Blackburn litter-pickers clear up hundreds of 'laughing gas' canisters: Members of the Keep Blackburn Tidy group asked for support when they were left unable to recycle the metal canisters at their usual point. 

Underage sales of nitrous oxide to be targeted in police crackdown: Neighbourhood police say they have found 'laughing gas' bottles in increasing number of locations across city.

Fake fags shame for Bolton's corner shops: ... In some cases, canisters of nitrous oxide or laughing gas, believed to be on sale for recreational drug use were also confiscated.

Other stories concerned with nitrous oxide use and related antisocial behaviour came from DorsetDunfermline, EssexLeicestershire, Merseyside, and Warwickshire

IRELAND

Concerns over 11-year-old children using nitrous oxide canisters: There is serious concern as children as young as 11 years old are using nitrous oxide canisters for a temporary high.

Councillor reiterates call for action on ‘silver bullets’ nitrous oxide use: A South Dublin councillor is reiterating his call for more action to be taken on the use of nitrous oxide in local communities as he says it “continues to plight our communities.”

FRANCE

Teenager dies after inhaling his deodorant: In the Doubs region of France, a 15-year-old was found dead on 11 April in his bedroom with a bottle of deodorant in his hand.

NETHERLANDS

Mayor wants to introduce an alcohol ban for Amsterdam parks: The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, is looking to introduce an alcohol and laughing gas ban for parks in the Dutch capital, in the hopes that this will prevent parks from having to be closed to the public. 

Amsterdam lawmakers vote to restrict sale of laughing gas: A majority of politicians in the Amsterdam city council have voiced their support for a ban on the sale of laughing gas by catering and hospitality businesses, and also at events.

USA

Man arrested on suspicion of inhaling balloon full of nitrous oxide while in car (CA): A man was arrested on suspicion of inhaling a balloon full of nitrous oxide while driving in his car in Canyon Country. 

Police arrest Santa Rosa man after butane explosion rips through parking lot: Police said during their investigation they learned [he] bought several packs of butane canisters and mishandled them, causing the explosion inside his vehicle.

SINGAPORE

Kids of convicted offenders: Charity programmes help them break cycle of crime: Risa (not her real name) started sniffing glue when she was 13 to find out "what was so great about drugs" that it consumed her mother's life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

VSA Headlines - March 2021

The BBC covered concerns from the Royal College of Psychiatrists this month that cuts to addiction services for young people with drug and alcohol problems in England mean many are missing out on specialist help. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says eight out of nine regions in England have made real terms reductions in funding since 2014, and 37% overall. Full story here.

A new paper was also published by Oomens et al: Case report of an acute myocardial infarction after high-dose recreational nitrous oxide use: a consequence of hyperhomocysteinaemia? in European Heart Journal - Case Reports, Volume 5, Issue 2.

UK

Chorley girl's heartbreaking tribute to 'amazing daddy' after laughing gas death: [Her father], originally from Preston, inhaled around 35 balloons of nitrous oxide in the space of 50 minutes just before his death. [A friend said} “I think he was sniffing lighter gas too but with lighter gas he would hide it because he didn’t want us to know as we would have had a go at him.”

Teen arrested for dealing nitrous oxide canisters: He was arrested and released pending further enquiries. (Coventry)

Four men inhaling 'hippy crack' handed Covid-19 fines: There are issues with nitrous oxide use across borough. (Nuneaton & Bedford)

Nearly 400 laughing gas canisters seized at [Breightmet] post office shop: The Best One shop was visited by officers from Bolton trading standards on December 10 last year.

[Another Bolton] shop loses licence after more than 600 laughing gas canisters discovered: A total of 26 boxes of nitrous oxide canisters were found. 

Laughing gas is for sale on the high street in Plymouth: A store near the city centre sold us canisters on the pavement in broad daylight after we pre-ordered them by phone. The shop is allowed to operate a collection service under lockdown rules but is closed to walk-in customers.

Car full of people sniffing gas amongst those breaching rules: A car full of people sniffing gas were among hundreds of people officers had to deal with over the weekend for breaching coronavirus regulations. (Lancashire)

Gabalfa and Llandaff North group want your help in collecting gas canisters: The group are looking to clear the streets of Nitrous Oxide canisters to raise money to clean the banks of the River Taff.

Angry London woman makes nitrous oxide cannisters left on the street into decorations: Fed up with finding nitrous oxide cannisters outside her home, one woman turned the litter into bunting.

Other stories concerned with nitrous oxide use and related antisocial behaviour came from BradfordDorset, East LothianFife, FlintshireLancashire, SwindonWarwickshire, Wiltshire, and Winchester.

BCGA issues new guidance on the dangers of nitrous oxide: The new guide underpins BCGA’s call for a ban on retail sales of the gas, which would make it only available to those purchasing it for legitimate use such as in medicine, dentistry, or catering.

IRELAND

Fears over use of 'hippy crack' in Blessington: Concerns raised over glue sniffing and inhaling of nitrous oxide gas.

USA

Body found near Monroe shopping center Tuesday: Foul play is not suspected. His body was found behind some bushes, with multiple “dust cans for huffing” nearby, a spokesperson said.

Dust spray maker can't dodge suit over DUI death (MN): The makers of a compressed gas cleaning spray must face the builk of a suit over a woman's death in a collision involving another driver who allegedly inhaled the spray and became high, after a Minnesota federal judge clipped a public nuisance and deceptive trade practices claim, but allowed the rest of the suit to go forward. 

'Sad case.' Aerosol abuse, not police, led to death in back of Kennewick patrol car (WA): [He] was sitting in a Kennewick Starbuck's parking lot when he was seen inhaling a chemical found in aerosol cans. 

Member of Fresno raisin giant family sentenced in hit-and-run crash that injured cyclist (CA): ... Police found empty canisters of nitrous oxide in [his] Yukon. 

ND lawmakers looking to increase “huffing” penalty: North Dakota lawmakers are looking to increase the penalty provision for repeat offenders caught inhaling vapors or “huffing” to get high.

KENYA

Drugs in motherhood: My entry into drug-abuse was gradual: I started sniffing glue when I was a girl. 

AUSTRALIA

Warning labels coming to everyday item to stop deaths: Paddy Ryan died at a house party last year – now after a long fight by his parents, SA will introduce warning labels for BBQ cylinders.

[Man's] rampage through Bendigo city after huffing paint fumes (Vic): A man high on paint fumes went on a “rampage” through Bendigo's city. 

Aerosols taken off shelves in Karama, as youths chrome: While there has been recent reports of chroming, statistics overall show a drop in VSA offences by youths over the past three years in most of the NT.

Chroming issues at Gapuwiyak: Police have seen a spike in volatile substance abuse-related incidents in the East Arnhem community of Gapuwiyak. 

Chroming on Health Department's radar with services in place to help people: The NT Health Department is working with community members and organisations to address issues around volatile substance abuse. 

NEW ZEALAND

Former addict says nitrous oxide still being sold in Christchurch: [She] knew her addiction had hit rock bottom when she woke up and couldn't move her hands or legs.

CCTV to see bus hub trouble not turned on: Youths fighting, drinking, and huffing aerosols are causing headaches at Dunedin’s central city bus hub. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

VSA Headlines - February 2021

 UK

On 28th January, PHE published their annual Substance misuse treatment in secure settings report for 2019 to 2020. There were 102 adults in treatment for solvents (up from 85 in 2018-19 and 65 in 2017-18) and 44 young people (up from 30 in 2018-19 and 34 in 2017-18). The median age of young people in treatment for solvents within secure settings remained constant at 16.

"Use of solvents has increased to 4%, the highest level since these statistics were first reported in 2015 to 2016 (1%). The proportion of young people in treatment reporting other drugs has decreased to 4% from 5% in the previous year."

Other headlines included:

Man completely banned from Southend-on-Sea High Street for 3 years: Essex Police's PC Nicholas Baldwin said: "[He] has repeatedly been found in public places in Southend sniffing cans of butane gas, which has a detrimental impact on himself and the local community."

Laughing gas and cannabis dealer who targeted 'impressionable' Newcastle students is jailed: [He] ran a busy drug dealing business focused on halls of residence accommodation in Shieldfield.

Shop owner claimed he had thousands of laughing gas canisters to sell to 'Polish bakers': The owner of the shop in Brieghtmet, Bolton had his licence revoked.

Four Shisha bars in Newham choose laughing gas over lockdown: Newham police fined four Shisha bars thousands of pounds for violating lockdown laws last night. The force say they also seized 13,000 canisters used to distribute nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas.

Reports of other raves and parties involving nitrous, littering, and concerns about use came from CambridgeCounty Durham, Lancashire, LiverpoolNottinghamPlymouth and York

NI

West Belfast man jailed for two years for stealing £40K from elderly friend: [His] defence lawyer outlined continued problems with alcohol and solvent abuse which had impacted on his mental well being.

SCOTLAND

Canisters containing nitrous oxide found in Inchinnan: Police have warned about the dangers of nitrous oxide after several canisters have been found in Renfrewshire. 

IRELAND

Nitrous oxide ‘silver bullets’ everywhere: The father of Alex Ryan Morrissey has again warned people of the dangers of nitrous oxide canister misuse, detailing the devastation that his family has endured since his death last year.

SPAIN

‘Laughing Gas’ gang busted on Costa Del Sol: The National Police has dismantled an international criminal gang who were importing and then distributing nitrous oxide, better known as ‘laughing gas’, for use in private parties and discos in Spain, with four males aged between 17 and 28 years of age being arrested.

USA

Nitrous Nation: Hippie crack. Whippets. Laughing gas. A casual party drug endures.

'Multiple alcoholic beverage containers' and laughing gas canisters littered scene of triple fatal New Year's Eve crash (CA): Although there are no criminal charges related to the nitrous oxide found at the scene and in Teasdale's possession, recreational use of the gas canisters that some refer to as "whippets" or "hippie crack" is illegal in California.

Man ‘huffing air’ while driving hits teen in Idaho Falls, say police (ID): Police say an Idaho Falls man allegedly huffing air canisters ran over a teenager, sending him to the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Kan. man sniffing aerosol can jailed after fight with officers (KS): Law enforcement authorities are investigating a suspect on multiple charges after altercation with police during an arrest.

Man resists arrest for DUI of inhalants (AR): The Arkansas City Police Department arrested an Ark City man Tuesday afternoon after he allegedly resisted arrest while under the influence.

Woman cited for unlawful possession of inhalants (OR): A Sutherlin woman was cited for unlawful possession of inhalants on Monday.

Dothan drug prevention non-profit raises awareness for “whippets” (AL): The 334 Prevention Project is known for its drug- and alcohol-use prevention programs and for educating school students on the dangers.

AUSTRALIA

Cops warn of petrol, aerosol sniffing resurgence in remote NT: Territory police say there has been a spike in the number of youths petrol and aerosol sniffing in parts of East Arnhem. 

Gold Coast teenager rushed to hospital after suffering reaction to chroming: A teenager has been rushed to hospital after experiencing a bad reaction to chroming at the Broadwater Parklands on the Gold Coast.

Drivers affected by chroming sparks Brisbane City Council plea: There have been 23 reports of so-called “volatile substance abuse.

E-dealers sell legal 'nangs' laughing gas canisters on Gold Coast while police powerless to act: E-dealers are cashing in on a burgeoning nitrous-oxide canister grey market with “nangs” delivered to the door within an hour. 

'Like the plague': Woman's 'disturbing' find in park: ... while there is a concerted effort to ensure the health risks associated with inhaling nitrous oxide are relayed to Australian teens, there is little consideration of the environmental impact the canisters are having, which are often left behind in public places by those inhaling the gas. It is believed up to 15 tonnes of canisters, which are made of zinc-coated steel, end up in landfill in Australia every year.

NEW ZEALAND

Nitrous oxide soars as Christchurch suppliers offer same-day delivery services: An “impossible to enforce” law is allowing recreational laughing gas use to soar in Christchurch, and students say it is thanks to same-day delivery services posing as catering supply companies.

NAMIBIA

Homeless sniff glue to forget hunger: Some of the homeless children in Windhoek say they have turned to sniffing glue with the hope of forgetting their problems, including hunger.

INDIA

Child rights body and NCB team up to combat drug abuse among children: JAP notes that school-going children who use substances are  mostly using legal but harmful substances in the form of tobacco and/or alcohol. However, the out-of-school children, especially those on the streets or slums and vulnerable populations, are at risk of experimenting with more hazardous substances, both "licit as well as illicit" in nature. 

Check CCTVs around schools to check drug abuse by kids: NCPCR, NCB to police

"According to a study conducted by the NCPCR with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, the common drugs used by children and adolescents were tobacco and alcohol, followed by inhalants and cannabis.

"The mean age of onset was the lowest for tobacco (12.3 years), followed by the onset of inhalants (12.4 years), cannabis (13.4 years), alcohol (13.6 years), proceeding to the use of harder substances (14.3–14.9 years), such as opium, pharmaceutical opioids and heroin, and substances through injecting route (15.1 years).

"A study conducted by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights on substance abuse by children on the other hand found that all children in conflict with the law were drug abusers.

"It was also seen that 95.5% of children in the child care institutions consumed drugs, and so did 93 % of the street children.

"Another study by the ASSOCHAM Ladies League on “Situational Analysis of Street Children in Metro Cities”, covering 2,000 children, revealed that children in metros were victims of one or other substance use, including inhalants (35%), alcohol (12%), cannabis (16%), chewing tobacco and gutkha (16%) and smoking (21 %), said the report.

"The five states in India with the highest number of children that need help for inhalant use problems are: Uttar Pradesh, 94,000; Madhya Pradesh, 50,000; Maharashtra,40,000; Delhi,38,000; and Haryana, 35,000; all other states together account for 2,01,000 inhalant users among children."

Friday, January 29, 2021

VSA Headlines - January 2021

This January we remember Barbara Skinner MBE, founder of Solve It, who has died at the age of 70. 

Barbara's full obituary is carried in the Northamptonshire Telegraph

UK

A drug use survey completed by 16,000 students at UK universities and carried out by The Tab found that 12.1% of respondents most commonly used nitrous oxide. 

"Out of the following options – weed, ketamine, cocaine, MDMA, Xanax, nitrous oxide, speed and hallucinogenics – 44 per cent of students (6,908 respondents) said they used weed most often. The next most popular drug is cocaine, with 1,959 votes, followed by nitrous oxide (nos/laughing gas) with 1,905, ketamine with 1,842, and then hallucinogenics with 1,163. The least popular drugs are speed and Xanax with just 495 and 576 votes respectively."

Read more at The Tab, here.

Other headlines this month include:

[Coventry] Man found with laughing gas was ready to supply to users: [He] pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a psychoactive substance (nitrous oxide) which he intended to supply to another for its consumption.

Suspected drug dealer arrested after being found with 100 nitrous oxide canisters in Jesmond: A 24-year-old man was found with £600 in cash and 100 laughing gas canisters but claimed he was delivering them for a catering business.

Police investigation launched after cargo of nitrous oxide canisters discovered in Ribble Valley: Police were called out yesterday after a large box of the so called 'laughing gas' canisters were found in Whalley.

Four people caught inhaling laughing gas in a car tell police they were 'just chilling': A group of people from different households were caught breaking lockdown rules by sitting in a car together and inhaling nitrous oxide, telling police they were 'just chilling'.

Getting serious about misuse of laughing gas: Tower Hamlets Council wants to introduce new legal powers to help it tackle the use of psychoactive substances and laughing gas.

Police urged to take nitrous oxide seriously: A police force has been accused of failing to take the issue of the recreational drug nitrous oxide seriously amid claims of a rampant problem among young people in a North-East town.

Horsham council plans crackdown on aggressive street sellers, buskers, alcohol and ‘legal highs’: It includes proposals to ban people from using ‘legal highs’ - such as nitrous oxide canisters.

Lockdown party organisers are slapped with £30,000 in fines for holding illegal floating raves on canal boats putting revellers in 'grave danger': [Police} found DJ decks, a bar and cannisters used for inhaling nitrous oxide.

Laughing gas warning after canisters found at Kelty Primary School: Police have urged parents and carers to warn their youngsters of the dangers of nitrous oxide after the discoveries.

4,750 ‘laughing gas’ canisters and a ‘large amount’ of illicit tobacco found at convenience store: Police and Bolton Council officers found a shop worker trying to hide tobacco inside a bin bag.

Fenland police recovered over 500 discarded nitrous oxide canisters in an area of one town: Fenland police officers are warning of the dangers of inhaling nitrous oxide.

Beverley residents perplexed by 'deadly' drug canisters littering town: Residents say the town's hidden drug problem is 'getting worse'.

Healthcare worker warns of dangers of laughing gas after cannisters dumped in Bolton: A healthcare worker who found a collection of laughing gas cannisters dumped on a residential road has warned of the serious dangers they present to users.

Police say they will be carrying out patrols at Wepre park today following recent Covid breach issues: Police have also said they will be patrol “remote hotspots”including Hope Mountain and Halkyn Common after “various reports of discarded items” including nitrous oxide canisters.

IRELAND

Growing concerns at increase in use of nitrous oxide cannisters: There are growing concerns across South Dublin around the apparent re-emergence and continued recreational use of nitrous oxide canisters.

BELGIUM

1 in 7 young Belgian drivers regularly take laughing gas before driving: One in seven Belgian drivers under 34 years old regularly uses laughing gas (or nitrous oxide) before driving, according to a study by the Vias road safety institute.

USA

Findings were published on Dec 15th from the most recent Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of substance use behaviors and related attitudes among teens in the United States. Among eighth graders, past 12-month use of inhalants has increased from 3.8% in 2016 to 6.1% in 2020, a 64% proportional increase, unlike 12th graders, who reported an all-time low use of inhalants.

Aerosol chemical found in blood tests of man who died in Kennewick police car (WA): When police arrived, they saw him using drugs, according to police. [He] was conscious when he was handcuffed and put in a patrol car. As officers were investigating, they noticed he was “experiencing an apparent medical emergency,” said a SIU release. A later news story confirmed: Tri-Cities man died in a police car after ‘huffing’ an aerosol cleaner, say officials: ... The release said his being detained played no role in his death.

Liquor bottles, candles and 'whippits' found in shed after fire that killed ex-Zappos CEO: Evidence found where the final fire started included discarded cigarettes, a marijuana pipe, liquor bottles, several candles and nitrous oxide containers known to be used for "whippits" to get high, Skau said. Hsieh also was using a propane heater that was found to have been partially disassembled when found by investigators.

Police say ‘huffing’ leads to several wrecks Monday morning (WA): “Huffing” — the breathing in of vapors to produce a high — reportedly led to several collisions, including one with a home on Sumner Avenue, Saturday morning.

Round Valley Whippit Round Up campaign brings awareness to dangers of use (CA): To combat environmental consequences and raise awareness about the health risks associated with use, Round Valley Indian Health Center (RVIHC) Human Services Department in partnership with departments Yuki Trails, Path to Wellness and Round Valley Crisis Line have developed the Whippit Round Up.

INDIA

Substance abuse among street children of Guwahati: We often experience seeing adolescents and young children walking on the streets or sitting in some isolated places of Guwahati with glue bottles essentially stuck to their nostrils.

Teens in Warangal get ‘high’ on glue-sniffing: Parents a worried lot as the addiction is fast catching up among them in several mandals of Warangal Rural, Jangaon and other districts.

AUSTRALIA

Blame game, boiling tensions and criminal charges overshadow housing plea at 'tent city': [One interviewee] who was released from jail in early 2020, admits she has a history of alcohol and solvent abuse, and poor tenancy, but claims she is clean and determined to get her life on track for the sake of her family.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

VSA Headlines - December 2020

Using data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales, this month the ONS published their annual report Drug misuse in England and Wales for the year ending March 2020.

"Overall drug use continued to remain stable, with around 1 in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 years having taken a drug in the past year. However, there were differences between age groups. Drug use was much more common among younger adults although, again, the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds taking drugs was similar to the previous year."

In terms of the volatile substance, nitrous oxide, specifically:

"In the last year, 2.4% of adults aged 16 to 59 years and 8.7% of 16- to 24-year-olds had used nitrous oxide, this is equivalent to around 796,000 and 549,000 individuals respectively. This made it the second most prevalent drug among young adults aged 16 to 24 years (after cannabis) and the third most prevalent for adults aged 16 to 59 years (after cannabis and powder cocaine).

"Similar to NPS, the use of nitrous oxide was particularly high for young adults and the prevalence rate was more than three times higher than the wider 16 to 59 years age group. While the level of nitrous oxide increased compared with year ending March 2013 for both age groups, use has remained at the same level for the previous four years." Read the full report here

The research no longer includes other volatile substances. 

Other headlines from around the world this month include:

UK

Drug seizures up more than a third in Suffolk: ... the number of seizures of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and new psychoactive substances (synthetic drugs designed to mimic the effects of other illegal substances) almost doubled from 84 total seizures, which included 15 nitrous oxide doses and 191 of other new psychoactive substances, to 162 total seizures, including 108 nitrous oxide doses and 301 of other new psychoactive substances.

Shops raided in crackdown on sale of illicit tobacco and hippie crack: The crackdown on the sale of illicit tobacco and hippie crack continued this week [in Bolton] as more shops were raised.

Here's how to report nitrous oxide canisters in Dudley borough - as problem surges: A safety campaign has been launched encouraging people to report nitrous oxide canisters after a rise in use of the dangerous substance across the Dudley borough.

Sheffield teens are taking ‘cheap’ and ‘accessible’ substance with potentially fatal consequences: Young thrill seekers in Sheffield are turning to a ‘legal’ drug for a short buzz – but how damaging can it be for both users and the environment?

Laughing gas is now almost as popular as cannabis – but drug use isn’t the real problem: Drug use doesn’t cause too many problems for individuals beyond the usual embarrassing moment while under the influence – the main threat lies in our outdated policies.

The laughing gas killers: Chilling final moments of student, 21, as he's knifed to death in random attack by gang who walk away inhaling balloons filled with nitrous oxide - as thugs are jailed for total of 51 years.

Former Charlton ace Madelene Wright admits ‘mistakes’ after being filmed ‘inhaling from balloon’: Following the incident, Charlton Athletic later confirmed Wright’s registration had been cancelled and she would no longer play for the club.

Other reports on nitrous oxide use and littering came from BuckinghamshireCoventry, HertfordshireLiverpool and Worcestershire

BELGIUM

Lockdown ‘nightclub’ closed down in Brussels warehouse: Around 100 people were reportedly present at the event in Laeken, which included a disco, a shisha bar, nitrous oxide and alcohol, and a shuttle service had even been organized to take the participants to the party.

RUSSIA

Blow for balloon-abusing Russian party animals as Putin bans sale of laughing gas & reintroduces drunk tanks to sober up revelers: Partygoers and recreational drug users won’t be laughing any more, after Russia adopted new measures banning widely-abused nitrous oxide gas. 

USA

Trouble may be brewing in response to D.A.'s reforms (CA): A former Los Angeles County prosecutor -- who now represents the family of a man killed in a crash by a driver allegedly under the influence of nitrous oxide -- is fighting moves by Gascon to drop great bodily injury allegations in that case and at least one other.

Manitowoc woman arrested after huffing keyboard cleaner (WI): A Manitowoc woman was arrested on Monday after she was found unconscious and twitching in a vehicle.

Man charged with 5th DUI after crashing mother's care into mailboxes (TN): [He] was charged with ... when he crashed his mother’s vehicle into a wooden pole and admitted to huffing Dust-Off compressed air.

Utah man charged with trying to kill his grandparents after huffing canned air (UT): A Utah man has been charged after he allegedly assaulted his grandparents while high on fumes from canned air.

GUAM

Man, accused of violence when he sniffs butane, arrested in Yigo attack: A man has been arrested after he allegedly attacked two boys known to him.

PHILIPPINES

Ex-street dweller spreads kindness: ... Poverty, he said, forced him to beg. Sniffing from a plastic bag containing solvent was his way to forget he had an empty stomach.

CHINA

China needs to get serious about the growing abuse of laughing gas, experts say: Chinese experts have called on the country to step up control of the production and sale of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, amid signs that an increasing number of people are recreationally abusing the common industrial and medical substance.

FIJI

President lays out legislative agenda for 2021: [including] the Volatile Substances Abuse Control Bill. 

AUSTRALIA

Fitzroy Crossing in crisis: Fitzroy Crossing communities in Western Australia’s Kimberley region are in crisis, facing a lack of social and support services to curb the use of volatile substances by children in community.

Natasha Fyles defends Health Department response to damning coronial findings — and other findings before it: The Northern Territory Health Minister has disputed a coronial finding that inaction by health authorities contributed to the deaths of three young people in remote Indigenous communities, while defending herself for not yet reading the damning findings in full.

Opal fuel back in Doomadgee as petrol sniffing fears increase: The Indigenous shire of Doomadgee, in north west Queensland, is in the process of swapping from unleaded fuel to a low aromatic variety designed so it cannot be sniffed to get high.

Friday, November 27, 2020

VSA Headlines - November 2020

Public Health England have published the latest NDTMS data for Substance misuse treatment for adults: statistics 2019 to 2020. This reports that 309 adults are currently in treatment services for "solvent" use. The figure in 2018-19 was 314.

The ESPAD Report 2019 — Results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs was also published this month. Headline data relating to VSA was as follows (p15):-

"Lifetime use of inhalants was reported by 7.2 % of the students, with large differences between countries. The countries with the highest proportions of students who had tried inhalants were Latvia (16 %), Germany and Croatia (15 % each). The lowest rate was found in Kosovo (0.5 %). No gender differences were observed. The trend in the use of inhalants shows a steady increase until 2011, with a decrease observed thereafter. The gender-specific curves from 1995 to 2019 reveal a progressive narrowing of the gender gap, which has disappeared since 2011."










The UK did not contribute data to this latest report. 

Other headlines this month include:

UK

Inquest into death of Stonesfield painter in 'sexual experiment gone wrong': An inquest into the 64-year-old’s death took place at Oxford Coroners’ Court, where the cause was given as asphyxia associated with inhalation of butane gas.

'Paranoid' man subjected his girlfriend to prolonged attack at their home in Leeds after inhaling butane gas: A man subjected his partner to a prolonged violent attack at their home in Leeds during a paranoid state after becoming addicted to inhaling butane gas.

Leicester man who filmed himself raping girl jailed: Meeting later in a park, he bought alcohol and nitrous oxide for the girl and a friend and took them back to his flat.

Butane gas causes maisonette fire in Tottenham: Fire crews battled for more than an hour to subdue a maisonette fire caused by 'misused' butane gas in Tottenham.

Drug dealer ran 'Party Supplies' enterprise selling nitrous oxide across Newcastle: [He] was caught with MDMA and police intercepted a delivery of 6,000 canisters of laughing gas to his property.

Stash of laughing gas, cash, balloons and a knife seized: Two men have been arrested after police stopped a car in Radcliffe Road, Southampton.

Suspected drug dealer quizzed after dramatic raid at Grays home: Officers searched the home in Grays and seized class A and B drugs, and nitrous oxide cannisters.

Police update after laughing gas canisters seized in Prescot: A man who was arrested by police after officers seized 384 laughing gas canisters from a vehicle in Prescot has been released under investigation.

Thousands of illegal cigarettes and 'laughing gas' canisters seized in Bolton raids: In one visit to a shop in Breightmet, more than 4,500 “laughing gas” canisters were found.

Nitrous oxide cannisters found by police in Gillingham after car stopped in Lower Rainham Road: Officers searched the vehicle and discovered 2,000 nitrous oxide cannisters, a knife and drugs paraphernalia.

Halifax Attacks – Students Found Themselves Under Siege: A graphic video filmed from Wood Court showed t[a group of young men] attempting to break down one flat’s door on Friday, having allegedly set their fire alarm off and attempted to force entry after asking for the drug nitrous oxide, commonly known as “balloons”.

More campaigns in the works around the dangers of laughing gas: St Helens Borough Council will continue its efforts to tackle the use of laughing gas, with future campaigns targeted at over 18s.

Other stories relating to nitrous oxide were reported in LancashireLeicestershire, South EssexWorcester, and Wrexham.

USA

Fugitive who blames glue sniffing for sex crimes gets prison time (NY): [He] pleaded guilty in Schenectady County court to one count of first-degree sexual conduct against a child, blamed mental health issues and sniffing glue for his behavior during sentencing.

Mother to share personal story about son's hazing death in TED talk tonight: [Her son] died after ingesting nitrous oxide in a fraternity hazing case. See the talk here

Owners of businesses tied to DTLA explosion strike plea deals (CA): In a report released earlier this year, the Fire Department determined the “excessive quantity” of nitrous oxide and butane containers inside Smoke Tokes fueled the fire.

OVI suspect huffs aerosol can in front of officers (OH): Officers recovered four aerosol cans from the passenger compartment. They arrested the man for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Casper man arrested after huffing spray paint, ‘dancing’ in strangers’ yard (WY): According to the affidavit, [he] showed several signs of being severely intoxicated including fidgety behavior, incoherent speech and thoughts, an inability to stand without falling and falling asleep while standing.

Whippets, whip-its, or laughing gas: The drug UT students are inhaling (FL): “When I take whippets, it feels like a headrush,” said David, a 21-year-old UT senior who requested to remain anonymous under the name David. “Feels like the world stops in that moment.”

KENYA

The baby stealers: Somewhere, Rebecca's son is 10. He could be in Nairobi, where she lives, or he could be somewhere else. He could, she knows in her heart, be dead. The last time she saw him, Lawrence Josiah, her firstborn son, he was one. She was 16. It was about 2am one night in March 2011 and Rebecca was drowsy from sniffing a handkerchief doused in jet fuel — a cheap high on the city's streets. She sniffed jet fuel because it gave her the confidence to go up to strangers and beg. 

TAIWAN

Nitrous oxide added to controlled substances list: Stink tactics: To deter recreational use of laughing gas, the government would require producers to add sulfur dioxide to orders for some clients, the EPA said.

FIJI

COVID-19: A woman aged 19 with two girls aged 17 and 14 years were found sniffing glues during curfew hours.

3 men and 2 juveniles allegedly found sniffing glue during curfew hours: Police have arrested three men in their 20s and two juveniles who were allegedly found sniffing glue in a parked bus. 

AUSTRALIA

BP pledge to deliver no-sniff petrol: BP has pledged to secure a supply of non-sniffable petrol in vulnerable remote communities despite plans to close the refinery responsible for producing the fuel.

High noon for 'nangs' as Labor moves to regulate sale in WA: The sale of nitrous oxide in small silver bulbs – often misused as a party drug and commonly referred to as "nangs" – could soon be regulated in WA.

Friday, October 30, 2020

VSA Headlines - October 2020

This month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its annual report on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales“The number of deaths due to drug poisoning registered in 2019 remains at a similar level to 2018*. Almost half of all drug related deaths involved opiates such as heroin and morphine. However, cocaine deaths rose for the eighth consecutive year to their highest level." 

* 4,393 deaths registered in 2019 and 4,359 registered deaths in 2018.

Data on deaths related to volatile substance abuse (VSA) are not included in the report. The latest data can be found in the ONS report, Deaths related to volatile substances and helium in Great Britain: 2001 to 2016 registrations.

Other headlines this month include:

UK

Butane sniffer jailed for under age sex with girl: [He] met the girl in the centre of Barnstaple where they started using the gas.

Nitrous Oxide

Laughing gas 'can cause paralysis', warns Wales' top doctor: Laughing gas is "not just a bit of harmless fun" and can cause paralysis, Wales' chief medical officer has warned.

Gang who stole canisters from hospitals at start of lockdown due in court: The sentencing of four men in a Norfolk-based gang who stole canisters containing pain-relieving gas from hospitals at the start of the coronavirus lockdown is due to take place today.

Basingstoke man arrested on suspicion of dealing nitrous oxide: The 32-year-old man is suspected of possessing cannabis with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of the psychoactive substance nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas.

Man arrested and 20,000 canisters of Nitrous Oxide seized after police raid in Fallowfield: Inhaling the colourless gas via balloons has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Knuckle duster, hammer and drugs seized as police step up anti-social behaviour patrols across Preston: A quantity of class A and class B drugs were seized, along with a large quantity of nitrous oxide canisters.

Nitrous Oxide awareness campaign coming to local schools: Tamworth Borough Council and Tamworth Police are reaching out to local schools to join an awareness campaign about the increasing use of a recreational drug, Nitrous Oxide (N2O or Laughing Gas).

Labour councillor calls for more to be done to tackle laughing gas: St Helens Borough Council also launched its ‘N2Othing to Laugh About’ campaign in the summer to raise awareness of the dangers of using the drug.

MP Robert Buckland issues stark warning after nitrous oxide canisters are found on the streets: He spoke out after canisters were found on the streets and at beauty spots in and around Swindon.

Fears over laughing gas canisters found around Fife: A Cupar councillor has voiced concerns over an increasing amount of disposed nitrous oxide canisters found around Fife.

Authorities 'making too much' of Nitrous Oxide abuse, [Leeds] Councillor claims: ... “Would we even be aware of the problem if it wasn’t for the little canisters that are left?"

Spelthorne Borough Council demands stricter fines for sellers of laughing gas: However, some councillors believe the war on drugs is lost and they should be legalised.

Booze and laughing gas could be banned in Bromley parks: The measures to curb perceived anti-social behaviour are just some being considered in a wide-ranging consultation launched by Bromley Council, for which it is currently encouraging public feedback on.

Other warnings about the use of nitrous oxide also came from Bishop Auckland and Somerset. Concerns regarding littering relating to nitrous oxide also came from Wiltshire

IRELAND

Local drugs taskforce warns about dangers of 'laughing gas'.

USA

20-year-old driver allegedly huffing aerosol cans kills urgent care worker (MO): A Missouri man was allegedly huffing inhalants when he lost control of his SUV and fatally mowed down an urgent care worker in front of the clinic, authorities said.

Man inhales gas duster in Rally’s drive-thru line (OH): Rally’s workers saw the man “huff” the gas duster several times while waiting in the line. Then he passed out in the driver’s seat of a minivan. His vehicle was still running.

Nitrous Oxide Seller Whip-It! to Pay $50K for Not Warning Minors, SD DA Says (CA): A $50,000 civil judgment was announced Wednesday against a nitrous oxide distributor for failing to verify its products were not sold to minors and failing to provide state-mandated health and safety warnings, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

BRAZIL

Teen dies after inhaling deodorant gas during challenge: A 12-year-old teenager died after participating in the “deodorant challenge” on Tuesday in Aracaju, in Sergipe.

INDIA

Substance abuse & how to tackle it among youngsters: According to the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), approximately ... 1.18 crore people use sedatives and inhalants and about 4.6 lakh children and 18 lakh adults need help as a result of inhalant use.

TAIWAN

Taoyuan to crack down on misuse of laughing gas: The Taoyuan City Government has drafted a regulation to prevent the inappropriate use of certain gases, especially laughing gas, the Department of Public Health said yesterday.

Taiwan includes medicinal nitrous oxide in Trace & Track system: In order to manage the distribution of medicinal nitrous oxide and prevent it from being used for recreational purposes, the medicinal nitrous oxide has been included in the trace and track system of medicinal products according to Pharmaceutical Affairs Act since October 1st, 2020.

JAPAN

3 Japan teens allegedly inhaling gas nabbed over apartment fire after explosion: Three teenagers in Fukuoka Prefecture were arrested on Oct. 27 on suspicion of causing a fire after gas from portable cylinders they were inhaling exploded when they lit a cigarette at an apartment.

AUSTRALIA

Inquest into deaths of Territory children known to sniff solvents, skip school: The family of a 12-year-old boy was told he was "too young" for rehabilitation three times in the year leading up to his death from petrol sniffing, the Northern Territory coroner's court has heard.

NT petrol sniffing inquest hears impassioned pleas for truth on last full day of evidence: The family of a 17-year-old girl who died by suicide five years after she began petrol sniffing say her loss to them is unimaginable.

NT mental health boss agrees he didn't 'understand' legal obligations, inquest hears: Three NT children known to sniff petrol were denied adequate treatment because health staff, even at the top level, didn't "understand" their legal obligations — repeating the same mistakes raised during a 2017 inquest, a court has heard.

NT coroner told 'indifference' from health department 'may have resulted' in youth petrol sniffing deaths: The Northern Territory coroner has heard recommendations made three years ago appear to have had "absolutely no influence" on health authorities dealing with petrol sniffing, and their "indifference" may have resulted in the deaths of more young people.

NT Government departments vow to help vulnerable children as petrol sniffing inquest continues: Government department heads in the NT have repeated promises to retrain staff, improve their record-keeping and coordinate support for children who sniff solvents.

NEW ZEALAND

Teen died accidentally while experimenting with huffing butane: [The] Christchurch teen died accidentally from huffing. A coroner and his family want to warn others of the dangers of using butane. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

VSA Headlines - September 2020

Re-Solv's Dan Gibbons participated in an interview about Nitrous Oxide with the MP Rosie Duffield on Times Radio on 31st August. Re-Solv's short informational video about nitrous oxide can be viewed here

UK

Death of 'talented and adored' 18-year-old possibly linked to nitrous oxide: The death of a talented and adored son and brother was “most likely” related to drug use, an inquest heard. Mum calls for campaign to highlight dangers of nitrous oxide.

Butane-sniffing driver jailed for high speed crash which killed mum-of-two: A solvent sniffing driver has been jailed for killing a woman passenger in a high-speed head-on crash on a country road.

Addict jailed for Camelon flats gas incident: A heroin addict whose usual drug deliveries were disrupted by coronavirus risked blowing up a block of flats when he tried to instead sniff household gas.

Tens of thousands of ‘laughing gas’ cartridges seized at Suffolk port: The shipment had been bound for a wholesale company based in Rutland, in the East Midlands, which was given notice of the hearing and chose not to contest the application.

Police discover 6,000 nitrous oxide cannisters in boot of M6 crash car: Police arrested a man on suspicion of supplying drugs then discovered 15,000 more nitrous oxide canisters in Birmingham storage unit.

Secret auction keeps millions of whipped cream chargers off the streets: The nitrous oxide 'laughing gas' which fuels the canisters is now in demand as a street drug and can be deadly.

Hospital gas canister raiders to be sentenced: The gang stole canisters containing nitrous oxide from Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Willington Hospital in Manchester, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital and hospitals in Bishop Auckland and Darlington.

Driver seen inhaling suspected 'hippy crack' from a balloon while behind the wheel on a busy road: The motorist who filmed the scene suspects the balloons may have contained nitrous oxide - also known as ‘hippy crack’.

Police seize knuckle duster and gas cannisters in West Bromwich arrest: West Midlands Police say he was also in possession of nitrous oxide canisters, where were also seized.

Warning signs across Rotherham over 'legal' but dangerous 'laughing gas' craze: Now Rotherham Council is to erect signs across the borough warning of the potential consequences of misusing the substance.

Crackdown on deadly 'party drug' in Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley: Safer Wyre Forest's N 2 Othing to Laugh About campaign is looking to stop dangerous nitrous oxide use in the area.

No laughing matter: Deadly ‘hippy crack’ craze sweeps Scotland as teens seek ‘quick lockdown highs’ with canisters dumped in parks & beaches.

Nitrous oxide continues to be in the news with warnings about use coming from BarrowCambridgeshire, LeedsOswestryNottinghamshire, and Sefton.

Concerns regarding antisocial behaviour and/or littering relating to nitrous oxide came from BuryGloucestershireLancashire, LeicestershireLichfieldMarket Harborough and Richmondshire.

Southampton restaurant Iroko Lounge is shut for 2 months for 'worst' Covid-19 breach in Hampshire: Hundreds of nitrous oxide canisters were also found on the floor.

John Bishop: Jack Whitehall once paid me for a gig in laughing gas.

‘It was poor judgement’: Man Utd star Greenwood apologises for inhaling laughing gas.

Love Island fans spot ‘hippy crack’ laughing gas canisters in Molly Mae and Tommy Fury’s flat during night in with Maura: Fans flooded the comments to point it out.

GIBRALTAR

Importation of products containing nitrous oxide restricted; GSD calls for further legislation: GSD MP Elliott Phillips called on the Government to review legislation on nitrous oxide canisters, commonly known as laughing gas, amid concerns the drug is being misused.

IRELAND

Deadly laughing gas ‘imported by Eastern European criminal gangs’: Eastern European crime gangs are suspected of the mass-importation of 'laughing gas' canisters being sold on Irish streets for as little as €1, and which have been linked to the deaths of at least two teenagers.

Risk of nitrous oxide use: Dr Elizabeth Ogunjimi, Psychiatry Registrar at the HSE Youth Drug and Alcohol Service, highlights the risks — including of death — associated with the use of nitrous oxide, also known ‘laughing gas’ or ‘hippie crack’.

One in four drug users at festivals now get high on laughing gas - TD: Legislation must be introduced to limit the sale of nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’, Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins has said.

'Shameful Oliver Bond rave highlights need for crackdown on nitrous oxide 'laughing gas' says TD: Empty cannisters of the drug - known as 'hippy crack' and 'laughing gas' littered the children's play area of the flats in the aftermath of all-night street party that left fearful residents 'too scared to even look out their windows'.

FRANCE

France may ban 'laughing gas' sale to minors as usage grows: France may soon ban the sale of nitrous oxide capsules - known as “laughing gas” - to minors, as national health body Anses launches a study into the chemical’s increased use and possible neurological side effects.

USA

Plea hearing set for driver in fatal 2019 ‘huffing’ crash (WI): A plea hearing is scheduled to be held next month for the 37-year-old Wausau man accused of causing a fatal crash last year.

Man In Custody After Huffing Aerosol Chemicals, Ramming Car Into Police Car (OK): A suspect was arrested late Tuesday night after huffing aerosol chemicals and ramming his car into a police cruiser during a standoff in Northwest Oklahoma City. 

Naples woman arrested after smashing into EMS truck, inhaling aerosol, deputies say (FL): Deputies arrested a Naples woman after she was allegedly driving under the influence.

A driver was arrested for allegedly pulling a 'Dukes of Hazzard' stunt by jumping over a rising drawbridge (MI): Police told WDIV they suspect the driver was under the influence of "whippets," or canisters of nitrous oxide sometimes used as inhalants.

Mother and son huffing air dusters arrested after hit-and-run crash (WI): A 57-year-old Manitowoc woman and her 34-year-old son were arrested Wednesday afternoon after police suspect they were involved in a hit-and-run crash in which someone was hurt and also suspect they were huffing air duster cans.

Detroit's Whippit Problem: 25k Nitrous Cartridges Found Across Two Zip Codes (MI): Nitrous oxide use is a growing problem in Southwest Detroit, where volunteers say they've found nearly 25,000 whippit cartridges in less than a month of cleanup.

INDIA

Street children high on drugs need swift rehabilitation in pandemic time: In the second month of the lockdown, three minors barely in their teens fled from a quanrantine centre in search of intoxicants after seized with severe drug withdrawal symptoms.

BANGLADESH

Steps needed to curb rising juvenile delinquency in Chittagong: Akbarshah police station OC Mostafizur Rahman said that some homeless teenagers, after becoming addicted to sniffing glue, have taken to mugging to meet their addiction needs.

CHINA

Chen, J., Huang, Y., Chen, H. et al. Nitrite inhalants use, sexual behaviors and HIV/syphilis infection among men who have sex with men in Chongqing, China. Infect Dis Poverty 9, 127 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00748-6.

FIJI

Sodelpa MP, Adi Litia, says that according to the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council, 1,634 cases of drugs and substance abuse in schools was recorded in 2019 and this was an increase in 16% compared to 1,058 cases in 2018 ... National Substance Abuse Advisory Council records in 2018 were alarming as 118 cases of marijuana possession, 11 cases of drug dealing, 95 cases of homebrew, 301 cases of glue-sniffing were recorded in schools.