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Campaign to highlight solvent abuse

PUBLISHED: 22:00 23 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:57 02 March 2010

SUFFOLK schoolchildren are today being targeted by an education campaign aimed at highlighting the dangers of solvent abuse.

It comes at a time when it has been claimed youngsters as young as ten are playing "Russian roulette" by sniffing glue, paint and other household solvents.

SUFFOLK schoolchildren are today being targeted by an education campaign aimed at highlighting the dangers of solvent abuse.

It comes at a time when it has been claimed youngsters as young as ten are playing "Russian roulette" by sniffing glue, paint and other household solvents.

A national report carried out by Childline and the National Children's Bureau (NCB) has found the problem of solvent abuse kills more children than drugs.

The study also claimed the issue does not receive the attention it once did, although a Suffolk County Council spokesman denied this was the case here.

He said: "We welcome this report, which, although not new, is a timely reminder of the dangers to young people of solvent abuse.

"As the report suggests, many try solvents because they are easily available in the home. The reality, however, is that one sniff can kill.

"In Suffolk this problem hasn't been forgotten. Guidance about all types of drug and alcohol abuse, including glue sniffing is delivered in schools. We also have a comprehensive programme of education and prevention work, which is carried out by Norcas."

Tibbs Pinter, substance misuse officer for Ipswich Borough Council, said he is part of a team working to boost awareness of the problem.

He added: "I'm sure most young people do not 'glue sniff' or take drugs and lead relatively healthy and fulfilling lives. We'll be looking at protecting their futures by providing appropriate information and education about the problems of solvent misuse, drugs and alcohol."

The report found that many children started sniffing glue, nail varnish or correcting fluid from an early age because these substances were so easily available in the home.

Report author Simon Blake, from NCB, said: "Volatile substance abuse continues to cause death and harm to many.

"With children playing Russian roulette with their lives it is no longer tenable to ignore volatile substance abuse.'

The report, Dangerous Highs, analysed more than 350 calls to the ChildLine helpline about solvent abuse.


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