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Solvent Abuse: What is it, how Does it Work?


Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 Solvent Abuse: What is it, how Does it Work?

The facts:
more than one person a week dies
from volatile solvent abuse between 70-100 each. When you think of drug-related deaths, images of Leah Betts spring to mind, rather than those of deodorant bottles. However glue sniffing kills many more people than ecstasy, just without all the press coverage. These are not street drugs, the average home has 30 kitchen and bathroom products that can be abused, and it is the very fact that all of these substances are legal and have legitimate uses that allows users to argue that they are doing nothing wrong.

The products to be aware of include: butane gas cigarette lighter refills, liquefied domestic gas, solvent based adhesives, deodorant aerosols, pain relief sprays, Abusable products aerosol air fresheners, hairspray, other aerosols, some typewriter correction fluids, petrol, certain paints, paint thinners & removers, dry cleaning agents, petrol lighter fuel, nail varnish & varnish remover, some shoe & metal polish, and plaster remover.

The numbers:
In 2001 VSA was responsible for seven times the number of fatalities than those related to ecstasy. A huge impact on public health is young peoples use of solvents and inhalants after cannabis and alcohol these are the substances most commonly used by 15- to 16-year-olds in the EU, and found that one in seven 15- and 16-year-olds in Britain sniff solvents to get high

How do people die?
Sniffing solvents may cause intoxication similar to the effects of alcohol. So a sniffer may become drowsy, confused, aggressive, may take more risks than they would when sober, and so on. Accidents are, therefore, quite common and sometimes fatal.

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