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Sep 8, 2007

Blogging is addictive

Wake up early today and couldn't resist posting something here ... Oh my, blogging is so addictive ... Hahaha ... maybe just for now lah.

Talking about addiction, i read an article before ... Nowadays, there is a way to camouflage glue sniffing, without attracting attention ... Wait, let me see if i can find the article ... Ah, here it is:

Coke can camouflage

Kids avoid detection by sniffing glue out of drink cans and bottles; social workers are seeing more teen abusers

By Jessica Lim and Jamie Ee Wen Wei

SOME teens who put a soft drink can to their lips may not be gulping, but sniffing - glue, that is.

The can is the new method of camouflaging the deadly habit.

Glue-sniffing seems to have made more headlines recently, despite figures from the Central Narcotics Bureau showing an average of 160 inhalant abusers caught a year between 2001 and 2005. It did not have more recent figures.

The small numbers suggest that what used to be a scourge in 1987, when arrest figures hit over 1,000, has been beaten down.

But social workers and counsellors say that recently, they have been dealing with more glue-sniffing youngsters.

A 14-year-old girl who drowned in a canal in western Singapore in April was discovered with chemicals in her blood which suggested she had been glue-sniffing before she died.

The coroner ruled that the chemicals did not contribute to her death, but noted that glue-sniffing can cause headaches, dizziness and clumsiness.

Teen Challenge executive director Sam Kuna said that in the past six months, he has received about five calls from parents whose children are glue-sniffing.

Last year, he did not get a single call.

'Glue-sniffing was associated with school dropouts or youth-at-risk; now, even school-going kids with intact families are experimenting with it,' he said.

Pastor Andrew Choo of Andrew and Grace Home said that all 40 of the girls in the home had tried glue-sniffing. Just two weeks ago, he received two new cases of teenage girls with glue-sniffing problems.

'In more serious cases, we put them through cold turkey,' he said.

Teen glue-sniffers told The Sunday Times they do it for two reasons: It is a social activity, and it is cheap.

A 100ml tin of extra-strength wood glue - commonly used by abusers - costs about $2.

So they buy a tube at provision shops where they are readily available, squeeze contents into a receptacle, then in groups of four or five, get high.

They do it along staircases of HDB flats, on the upper deck of double-decker buses, even in school toilets.

Plastic bags are obvious.

So, they squeeze the glue into cans or plastic bottles, which lets them 'do it any time, even when walking along the road in town'.

What has not changed are the risks: A 'high' still can lead to death.

Counsellors at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) say glue-sniffers are at high risk of Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, caused by cardiac arrest. First-time abusers have died this way.

After a session of repeated inhalations, the heart is irritated and its rhythm becomes abnormal. Death occurs on the spot.

Continued sniffing can damage various organs, including the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys.

Inhalants can also damage the brain and nervous system, causing personality changes, memory loss, learning and balance problems, and visual disturbances.

An 18-year-old who would give his name only as Willy took his first whiff when he was 14, when a few older teens offered it to him.

He felt a burning sensation in his chest and started coughing violently. But by the next day, he had finished a whole tube. Soon, he was using up to three tubes a day, smuggling them into school in his socks.

'I felt high all the time, like I was flying,' he said. 'I also hallucinated and played real-life Counter Strike with my glue-sniffing buddies.'

But substance abusers hit a real low once they stop.

Another teen, a 17-year-old boy who wanted to be identified only as Hong Xiang, said that in between tubes, 'I felt like there was nothing to look forward to. I even felt suicidal and was short-tempered and easily irritable'.

He added that he became 'very blur' and took a long time to answer questions.

Yet he persisted, liking the 'light-headed feeling', until police nabbed him following a tip-off two months later.

They found him on a flight of stairs in an HDB block in Jurong, mumbling incoherently, and checked him into the IMH, then to a boys' home for a year.

Under the Intoxicating Substances Act, it is an offence to sell an intoxicating substance to any person who is likely to misuse it. Offenders can be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for up to two years or both.

Shopkeepers are also required to keep a register of all buyers of glue products listed under the Act.


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