Volatile substance abuse (‘VSA’) is a very real problem in the UK, affecting both young people and adults. It is used experimentally, ‘recreationally’, chronically, and as part of a poly-substance habit – and it can kill. There are approximately 45 deaths a year in the UK from VSA, and the proportion of adult deaths is growing. Re-Solv has recently launched communityforrecovery.org, the first national support network for VS-users and those who support them.

VS-users need access to the same quality of service provision as Class A and other drug users. To achieve this, service providers must be VSA-trained, so that they have the knowledge and confidence to recognise and treat this form of substance misuse. The popularity of VSA among young people also means that youth workers, educators and care-providers would also benefit from a good understanding of VSA.

This website will:

  • give you the information you need about VSA
  • help you recognise signs and symptoms
  • increase your understanding of the motivations behind this form of substance abuse
  • consider VSA in the broader context of poly-substance use
  • explore how communities can respond effectively to instances of VSA.

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This training resource was published in September 2013

Reviewed: January 2016

Next review date: January 2017.