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Whiff and a sniff

Shalveen Chand
Friday, May 23, 2014

IT was a little over three years ago when Akisi's story about her addiction to glue was highlighted by The Fiji Times.

Nothing much has changed since December 2010, except she is no longer a teenager.

At 22, Akisi says she is still involved in the sex trade and by her own reckoning, is more dependent on the substance.

Akisi says she started using glue when she joined the sex trade at the age of 18.

"I just can't let go off the habit. Every 15 or 20 minutes I have to take a whiff from my can.

"And yes, I always keep a spare can in my bag," said Akisi. "I don't think I will ever be able to let go."

On whether she might be in need of help, she said: "I think I am still all right, there's nothing wrong with me."

While talking, the smell of glue becomes stronger and easy to identify, as Akisi moves closer.

When asked why she hasn't given up despite knowing the dangers of using glue, Akisi said it was like smoking cigarettes, a habit she couldn't kick.

Despite health authorities in Fiji have warned that glue sniffing induces a state of hallucination marked by incoherent speech, inability to maintain balance and causes suffocation, it is still happening.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said police could not stop shop keepers from selling glue as it was not prohibited but they could ask them to be mindful of what they are selling the items for, or to whom.

Twice as much glue is reportedly sold from neighbourhood stores than hardware outlets.

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