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Monday, 21 January, 2002, 14:40 GMT
Two killed by butane abuse
Butane gas
Lighter fluid can be deadly if inhaled
Police in Fife are repeating their warnings about the dangers of substance abuse after the deaths of two teenagers who inhaled lighter fluid or butane gas.

An 18-year-old student died at his home in Kirkcaldy and a 16-year-old labourer from Levenmouth was found dead at his girlfriend's home in Methil.

Both incidents occured last week but details have only just been released.

Detective Inspector Alan Small said: "We would hope that this tragic waste of lives can now act as a salutary lesson for others, underlining the crazy risks that are involved in this area of abuse.

Solvent abuse is still with us and the potential for a young life to be lost remains just as scary today as it always has done

Detective Inspector Alan Small
"Cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and methadone tend to be the more newsy drugs, but sadly the subject of solvent abuse is one which continues to bubble away.

"It is never far from the surface but frequently forgotten, although always potentially, as in these latest cases, just as serious and deadly."

Anti-drugs campaign

In September last year Fife Police said they would "pursue indefinitely" the important themes of last summer's Know the Score anti-drugs campaign.

They released details of two 14-year-old boys were found inhaling the contents of butane gas cylinders in Dunfermline.

This followed two West Fife girls, one aged 13 and the other nine, being found inhaling solvents from a plastic bag.

Detective Inspector Small said: "Solvent abuse is most common amongst youngsters aged between 12 and 16.

'Scary' potential

"It can become common in a small, localised area like a school or estate and then disappear and this type of abuse does seem to go in and out of fashion," he added.

"Sadly several young people still die every month in the United Kingdom from solvent abuse, many of whom are actually first-time users.

"These latest incidents only serve to underline that solvent abuse is still with us and the potential for a young life to be lost remains just as scary today as it always has done."

See also:

08 Jul 98 | Latest News
Solvent deaths on the increase
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