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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 November, 2003, 16:47 GMT
First 'solvent abuse' drugs worker
Kerry Maddock
Northamptonshire has become one of the first areas in the country to have a community worker dedicated to tackling solvent abuse.

While many advisers in Britain deal with issues surrounding all illegal drugs, Kerry Maddock will specialise in warning the children of the county about the dangers of solvent abuse.

Her role has been funded by the Kettering-based charity Solve-it, which was set up by Barbara Slinner, whose 15-year-old son Darren died after sniffing an aerosol.

Miss Maddock's job will take her to the schools and youth clubs of Northamptonshire where she will talk with the children about the consequences of solvent abuse.

It's reaching those young people who are vulnerable, who are more likely to abuse these substances.
Barbara Slinner, founder of Solve-It
Mrs Slinner said the project would be discussed at a national solvent abuse conference which takes pace in the county on Thursday.

"The outreach post is actually doing more than I wanted it to do," she said.

Widely available

"It's reaching those young people who are vulnerable, who are more likely to abuse these substances."

About 70 young people die from inhaling glue, aerosols and gases each year.

Miss Maddock said: "Solvents can be found in shops all over the place as well as in people's homes which makes them widely available to vulnerable children."

The conference takes place at the Diamond Conference Centre near Rushden.

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