Volatile Substance Misuse (VSA)

Also known as Chroming, Sniffing, Huffing, Tooting.

Volatile Substances

  • Aerosols
  • Gasses
  • Glues
  • Ket
  • Solvent based products

Former Legal Highs

  • Party Pills
  • Spice
  • Snapchat/Strawberry Meth (these are just 2 of the many names these pills would be sold under).
Former Legal Highs now reclassified as illegal (26/05/16) still available just like Illegal Drugs, they have gone up in price and are stronger!

Laughing gas put me in a wheelchair...

A young woman from Bristol has been left unable to walk after inhaling laughing gas.

Doctors have told Olivia Golding the nitrous oxide has led to her spinal cord and nervous system being damaged. 

She's sharing this warning so others to take the dangers seriously.

Read more: https://bitly.ws/3gfEL

Via ITV News West Country

itv news logo


Life is too precious - Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Schoolboy, 11, dies after trying social media 'chroming' challenge at sleepover

A heartbroken family have told how a schoolboy died after taking part in an alleged social media craze.

Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington, 11, died on Saturday March 2 after taking part in 'chroming', a dangerous craze which is gaining attention on social media. The schoolboy is said to have suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.


Now his heartbroken nan, Tina Burns, is urging social media giants to 'do more' to protect children.


Chroming, also known as Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA), involves intentionally inhaling volatile chemicals from everyday products to achieve a high. These chemicals are commonly found in items like glues, paints, spray deodorants, and fuels, emitting fumes that can harm the brain and cause various side effects upon inhalation. 

Recent reports of an 11-year-old named Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington from Lancashire tragically passing away after participating in the TikTok challenge 'Chroming' highlight the dangers associated with this activity.

Chroming entails inhaling household items such as aerosol sprays and solvents, posing serious health risks like dizziness, nausea, headaches, loss of balance, unconsciousness, seizures, and potentially fatal consequences. 

Apart from physical harm, chroming can also worsen mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and addiction, turning what may appear as a harmless game into a perilous habit. It is crucial to understand the significant risks of chroming and decline any invitations to participate, prioritising your well-being over peer pressure or curiosity. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance misuse, seek help from trusted individuals such as adults, youth workers, or doctors to receive the necessary support and guidance. If you encounter discussions or instances of chroming, ensure your safety by staying away and informing someone who can help promptly. 

Support and advice services are available for individuals dealing with 'Chroming' or other drug related concerns; do not hesitate to reach out for help when needed. 

In case of an emergency, always dial 999. 

For assistance with substance misuse problems, Evolve offers support services for young people, adults, and professionals, including counselling and lifestyle support. 

To connect with the Evolve team, call 07449477737 or email alison@evolvenorthwest.com

Key Facts & Figures

Deaths involving volatile substances registered between 2001 and 2016.
in 2016 there were 69 helium related deaths.
In 2016 there were 94 Volatile Substance Misuse deaths recorded in the UK.
VSA Facts
  • In 2016, there were 64 deaths related to volatile Substances registered in Great Britian; over 80% of these volatile substance Misuse (VSA) deaths were male.

  • There were 834 deaths involving volatile substances registered between 2001 and 2016. 

  • The mortality rate has remained similar throughout that time period, with 1 VSA-related detath per million population in 2016. 

  • Residents of Scotland and North East England had an increased risk of death related to VSA, when compared with Great Britain overal.

  • There were 69 deaths involving helium  in 2016 and 509 helium deaths in total between 2001 and 2016. 

  • Helium-related deaths have increased over time, with a mortality rate of 1 per million population in 2016.