29 Mar 2012

Coroner wants fresh look at solvent addiction

10:52 am on 29 March 2012

The Wellington coroner is calling for the Government to take a fresh look at how it deals with solvent addiction, following the death of a Lower Hutt teenager.

Garry Evans has released his findings into the death of Nikora Birch, who died from butane toxicity.

Nikora Birch is one of 28 people to have died from inhaling the gas Butane in the past five years.

In his findings, Mr Evans says Nikora Birch was sniffing at least a can of the gas a day and was trying to hide it from his family.

He is recommending that the Government take a fresh look at reducing supplies and the policing of substance abuse.

The Drug Foundation is welcoming the call, saying says the biggest difficulty is that the gas is easily available to drug users, as it is found in household products.

The Ministry of Health says it will consider the recommendation when it receives the report.