Friday, February 26, 2010

Hong Kong: Adolescent Drug Use On The Rise

From the Hong Kong Information Services Department:

A survey recently made public by the Narcotics Division shows an increase in teenage drug use. During the 2008-2009 school year, students at 100 schools completed the survey which focused on drug abuse. Based on 158,000 surveys or 20% of the student body, researchers noted the following trends:
  • Among secondary students aged 12 or below, 4.6% said they had abused drugs. Four years ago only 2.4% claimed the same.
  • 30.7% of primary school students had used inhalants.
  • 36.2% of secondary school students who used drugs claimed to have used at friend's home while 25% had used in their own home.
In response, the government has allocated $3 billion for the Beat Drugs Fund. The Fund is an arm of the Narcotics Division that oversees efforts to stem drug abuse and raise awareness. The nearly tenfold increase in funding, indicates the governments increased commitment to fight a growing drug culture since the Fund started in 1996. Other tangible measures include community mobilization programs, establishing more counseling centers, and hiring more social workers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Middle School Says 'No' to Inhalant Abuse

From the Ottumwa Courier:

"Kids don’t understand the potential deadly consequences this behavior can result in, and it just scares me to death,” said Dan Maeder.

The principal has good reason to fret after two recent inhalant abuse incidents put school officials on high alert. The administration, led by the school's principal, is advocating efforts to educate the student body about the dangers associated with huffing.

While education is key, the principal noted a potential barrier to the administration's efforts- peer pressure. "A lot of kids worry about ‘ratting out’ their friends,” said Maeder. “But in a potentially deadly situation, saving a friend’s life should be the priority."

School Passes Random Contraband Search

From the Springfield News-Sun:

Police officers and their canine partners locked down an Ohio school for ninety minutes to search for drugs and contraband Wednesday morning. K-9 dogs suspected nearly 20 lockers contained drug or weapon residue. A subsequent search yielded neither but highlighted the administration's efforts to keep the school safe.

School Superintendent David Estrop said, “I know that the use of prescriptions [sic] and inhalants is increasing in popularity among some of the students,”. He continued, “Obviously that’s a concern. We’re going to continue to look for tools that we can use to address that.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Update on Hit and Run Case in California

From the Hi-Desert Star in California:

An update from an earlier blog post regarding a hit-and-run case in California:

On September 16, 2009 the 57-year old driver ran his 1996 Mazda pick-up truck into a 51-year old Danish photographer, fatally injuring him. The driver “is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in injury or death.”

Witnesses report that the driver struck the photographer and then “went over the man and spit him out into the gutter.” An off-duty officer called police and then began CPR.

Police soon received a second call regarding another nearby crash. A witness had seen the accident, saw the driver inhaling from a can, took his keys, and called 9-1-1. When police responded they found the same pick-up truck involved in the first accident and the driver was “slumped over the steering wheel of the car” and “kind of out of it.” The driver failed a field sobriety test. Five cans of computer duster were found in the pick-up.

The driver’s wife claims that “her husband takes prescription drugs, but she said he uses the aerosol cans in his construction business.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Death Strikes Twice in 24 Hours

From the Otago Daily Times:

A Saturday death marked the first of two inhalant-related incidents in New Zealand within less than 24 hours. The victim's mother did not know her daughter was using inhalants in the time leading up to her death but there was one warning sign. Approximately two weeks earlier, she found nine empty cans of flyspray in her daughter's room. When she was confronted, the victim claimed the insecticide was meant to ward off flies.

Her daughter's death has emboldened the mother to speak out about inhalant abuse. Local authorities said the death is part of a larger trend with children as "young as 10" abusing the household items. One doctor pointed the only solution: "Continued education and other preventive measures are essential to help curb an extremely dangerous practice."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Doctor: Inhalant Abuse Worst for Brain Functioning

We all know inhalant abuse is bad. However,this doctor has scanned over 55,000 brains and says inhalant abuse damages the brain function worse than any other drug. Using a SPECT scan, he noticed decreased blood flood to the brain which inhibits one's ability to process. The SPECT scan produces a 3-D image of organs to examine how they function.

Specifically, he references a brain scan from a 17 year old inhalant abuser who had used inhalants for 8 months. Admitted for hallucination, the scans revealed decreased blood to several areas in his brain.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Man Convicted in Huffing Accident

From the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming:

A man convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide received an 18-20 year prison sentence for a 2009 accident involving a 78 year-old woman. The accident, which resulted in her death, occurred last spring as the defendant was on his way to meet family at a local mall. He passed out after huffing a can of computer duster in the moments leading up to the crash. At the scene, police found two cans of duster inside the defendant's truck.

The jury found the 24 year-old guilty after less than two hours of deliberation in the death of the victim.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Inhalant Related Legislation in Illinois

From the Bloomington Pantagraph in Illinois:

Legislators in Illinois are looking at changing the state law aimed at those individuals repeatedly arrested for inhalant related offenses.

Under the current law “a judge can send an offender for jail for 30 days” but the concern is that 30 days is not long enough for someone to get help for their addiction. The pending legislation would “increase the maximum sentence to up to a year for someone's second huffing offense” and could include mandatory treatment.

The legislation is House Bill 3869. It has been approved by a House Committee but still needs full House and Senate consideration.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mephedrone Abuse

The article highlights a frightening new trend in teenage substance abuse: Mephedrone.

Click here for more information.

3rd Time Man Found Passed Out Behind the Wheel

From the Durant Daily Democrat in Oklahoma:

For the third time this month a man has been arrested for allegedly huffing computer dusting spray while in a vehicle.

Earlier this week a police officer noticed a car stopped in the middle of an intersection. He approached the car and saw a man passed out behind the wheel while holding a can of computer duster. As he attempted to wake the man up, the car sped off. Police chased the car into a parking lot of an apartment complex and arrested him for “suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and eluding police.”

The previous day and again earlier this same month, the man had been found, by police, passed out behind the wheel of his car with a can of computer duster in his lap.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Inhalants in Singapore

From Channel News Asia from Singapore:

Towards the end of the article, an interesting inhalant related note:

“Back home, there's another trend - more youths aged below 20 nabbed for inhalant abuse last year. They made up three quarters of such arrests. To tackle this, the bureau said it will go straight to the root of the problem. It will advise shopkeepers on controlling the sale of inhalant products and organise talks in schools.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Increase in Inhalant Use in Ohio?

From the News Herald in Ohio:

The article outlines a few key findings from the Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Interestingly, "the only other non-alcohol drugs to have any increase besides prescription drugs were crack cocaine (3.4 percent to 3.7 percent) and inhalants (3.3 percent to 5.7 percent.)"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Case on Toluene Abuse in India

In our Google Alerts this am we came across an interesting case of Toluene Abuse in India.

In the case it notes "The commonest source is typewriter erasing fluid and thinner which contains toluene" That synopsis can be found via the link here.

Accident in Kentucky Blamed on "Intervention"

From WKYT in Kentucky:

A man flipped his truck this weekend after huffing from a can of compressed gas while driving.

His vehicle hit a barrier and then flipped and he admitted that he "had seen someone on the show 'Intervention' do it, and wanted to try it for himself."