From The Age (May 31):
Several teens attempted to board a Salvation Army bus but displayed a worrying lack of coordination. ''They were all falling over and became aggressive, starting fights with one another. We knew they were drug affected, but didn't really know what was going on.''
Dazed and confused, the Australian teens walked into help. An alert individual asked the group, numbered at 20, what they were using and they handed over a can of butane. Minors cannot buy spray paint or glue, however butane has no such restriction. Users obtained the drug because it is accessible, cheap, and provides a sustained high. The youth said it cost $4.
What the teens did not know about are the unplanned consequences of their risky behavior. "Some have even set their mouths on fire when they have inhaled and then lit up a cigarette,'' a Salvation Army representative explains. He went on to say 55 percent of overdoses in Britain are inhalant-related.