Prevention and education

Programs that have been successful in preventing harms from volatile substance use (VSU) have used a broad, multi-pronged approach that includes reducing access to supply, reducing demand and reducing harms [23342].

The Central Australian Youth Link Up service (CAYLUS), based in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, is one example of a successful program in preventing VSU. The program was initially started to prevent petrol sniffing in 2002 and has gone on to provide a wide range of services for young people by working with communities [30967]. Successful programs such as CAYLUS, support communities to reduce accessibility to VSU and at the same time incorporate strategies that provide alternative activities for young people which create a sense of belonging [23342].

The South Australian program Makin’ Tracks is another example of a program which was also introduced to address VSU in some remote communities. Evaluations of this program have found it was very successful, and this program is still developing strategies with communities across South Australia [39636].

An important part of reducing the harms from volatile substance use (VSU) is to provide information on the risks of volatile substance and why sniffing solvents is dangerous to health [20888]. These can include community-based drug education programs or health information targeted towards people at risk of using volatile substances [21948].


Key resources



Rain Meets Creek, Creek Meets River, River Meets Sea by William Miller

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