asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people have been admitted to hospital for treatment as a result of glue sniffing; and if he will make a statement on its effect on health.
Information on hospital admissions for such treatment is not available centrally. I am advised that the effects on health depend upon the nature of the volatile chemicals inhaled, the method and duration of inhalation, how long it has been practised, possible interactions with other substances taken and, in addition, on psychological and environmental factors. Acute effects from short-term use are usually reversible but may be severe, and even, in rare instances, fatal. Chronic effects may include damage, which may be irreversible, to bodily organs and the nervous system. Psychological dependence may develop but true physical dependence has only rarely been described.