Reducing Harm

Action on addiction

The risks of Solvent Abuse - VSA are serious and death can be random with some dying at the first attempt or after many attempts, however it is important to keep in perspective that the majority of those who try it will not become addicted and will come to little or no harm as a result.

Psycholgical addiction can develop when the user needs their product to function in daily life, feeling that they cannot cope without it.  Prolonged use means tolerance may develop, requiring more and more to achieve the same effect i.e. the same desired ‘high’. 

Physical dependence is considered rare, although users have recounted withdrawal symptoms including shaking (sometimes referred to as ‘rattling’) and sweating until they get their next dose of a volatile substance.

Withdrawal symptons can also happen when discontinuing solvent abuse when effects are usually mild.  Nevertheless for some the experience can cause extreme symptoms of tremors, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, irritation and aggressive behaviour.

Unfortunately there are no known ways of reducing the harm of Solvent Abuse - VSA as the chemicals in the products once abused become very unpredictable.  There is currently no medical substitute, abstinence is the only way.  

Risk of fire - Those abusing volatile substances should consider the vulnerability that they place on themselves and others due to the risk of fire or explosion when in a confined space with flammable products.

Retailers - should not underestimate how they can help to reduce the incidence of Solvent Abuse - VSA by ensuring their staff are aware of the potential risks of aerosols, solvents and gases once abused; they play an important role in the supply of these products in particular to young people and have access to laws that can enable them to say no to a sale in certain situations.

Parents & Carers - We have a booklet available that can help parents have an informed dialogue with their children to encourage prevention, enable early identification and referral pathways to specialist services available.  It also helps a parent to manage better by getting things in perspective and by learning coping skills to deal with the thoughts, feelings and emotions that occur when dealing with the suspicions or knowledge that their child is participating in Solvent Abuse - VSA.

Teachers & Educators - Our information, factual and anecdotal has not been sensationalised or glamourised in anyway to avoid inadvertently causing influence to chiildren and young people. We advise anyone delivering preventative eductaion on Solvent Abuse - VSA, be sensitive to its contents and ensure that suitable support is provided. Please feel free to contact Solve It and we can offer advice and support.






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