Highlands & Islands

Concerns over rise in solvent abuse levels in Inverness

Concerns have been raised about the level of solvent abuse being seen in parts of Inverness.

The city's Community Safety Partnership has warned shops against "reckless sales" of butane gas lighter fuel.

It said it should not be sold to people who frequently attempt to buy single cans of gas, or multiple cans at one time.

It is illegal to supply the lighter refills to people under the age of 18.

The safety partnership involves public bodies including Highland Council and NHS Highland.

Chairman Jim Ferguson said: "Reports have been received by the partnership's members of a very worrying level of abuse, using what appears to be large numbers of gas lighter refills, which must surely raise the suspicions of shopkeepers as to their intended purpose."

Dr Margaret Somerville, chairwoman of the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, said: "Solvent abuse isn't a thing of the past.

"Butane is the most commonly misused substance and can be lethal. Death can occur on the first or 100th episode.

"We urge users not to put their life at risk and to contact the NHS Highland Harm Reduction Service for help and advice."

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