The ‘sticky’ problem – A ‘short escape from the harsh realities of life’

The children look like school students but they come looking for glue in normal clothes, says a market vendor in Suva. Picture: PHILLYTRIB

Young people indulge in glue sniffing because of peer pressure and they get hooked because it removes them — for a short period of time — from the harsh realities of life.

This, according to former addicts who shared their experiences and said they were grateful to have gotten out of the addictive activity.

The Fiji Times decided to delve into the issue after receiving reports and also encountering several groups of young people openly sniffing glue in different parts of the Capital City.

A 29-year-old who used the pseudonym “Sera” said the high from glue sniffing often led to hallucinations.

“I was sniffing glue for about four years,” she said. “The only reason I got into sniffing glue was because my friends were doing it.”

Sera said sniffing glue made her feel happy, but it was a very short-lived high. She said some of the effects on her friends made her think about how the glue was affecting her body.

“The glue can either be eaten — taken in through the mouth — or inhaled, and I have seen how some of my friends would try to drink water or eat after their ‘trip’ but everything would come back out because of the glue that was in their system.

“In order to stop sniffing glue you have to have strong willpower and I am thankful that I do not do that anymore.”

Sera said ever since she stopped sniffing glue, she looked and felt much better. Another former glue sniffer who used the pseudonym “Jim” said he started sniffing glue ever since he became a street kid.

“I’ve been a street kid for about four years now,” the 16-year-old said.

“One day I went home, and no one was there, so I ended up on the streets.

“Sniffing glue made me feel high, but it would last for about 10 to 20 minutes.

“When you remove the can from your nose, everything goes back to normal.”

“Jim” hangs out with 14-year-old “John”, another former glue sniffer. “It’s been three years now since I’ve been on the streets,” said John.

“I also sniffed glue because that was what the kids I hung around with did.”

Both Jim and John have stopped sniffing glue and hope to get off the streets and back into school soon.

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