National Directions On Inhalant Abuse


The National Inhalant Abuse Taskforce (NIAT) was established by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy (MCDS) to consider existing initiatives, programs and strategies to address inhalant abuse in Australia and to make recommendations for a national response to inhalant abuse. Inhalant abuse is an issue in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Australia. Inhalant products are cheap and easily accessible by young people. ‘Chroming’ (inhaling spray paint) and petrol sniffing are two forms of inhalant abuse that are currently common in Australia, with the practice of chroming being more common in urban and rural areas, while petrol sniffing is more common in remote Indigenous communities. Over an 18-month period, NIAT has extensively researched and investigated programs and interventions and consulted a wide range of stakeholders in relation to inhalant abuse in Australia. NIAT believes that a comprehensive and sustained national approach is required to address inhalant abuse in Australia and has, therefore, developed a National framework for addressing inhalant abuse in Australia (‘the framework’) which is supported by a number of specific recommendations. The framework is structured around six strategic areas, namely: information resources; research; prevention; treatment; supply reduction and legislation. The framework is designed to sit within the structure provided by the National Drug Strategy (NDS) and reflects the three main tenets of the NDS: demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction. Key features of the framework and recommendations are: improved access to information on inhalant abuse through the establishment of a National Inhalant Abuse Clearinghouse and the development of carefully targeted information resources; development of national treatment guidelines that explore the full range of treatment options for inhalant users; increased private/business sector involvement in inhalant abuse initiatives; reducing the supply of abusable products by supporting the widespread use of Opal fuel and exploring options for the modification of commonly abused inhalant products to deter abuse; establishment of a national coordinating group under the auspices of the MCDS to provide strategic guidance and to monitor the implementation of the framework and recommendations.

Copyright Information

Commissioned by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Prepared by Drugs Policy and Service Branch, Victorian Department of Human Services. Published by the Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Melbourne, Victoria. © Copyright State of Victoria 2006. This publication is copyright, no part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968. Also published at and Authorised by the State Government of Victoria, 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Printed by GT Graphics, 34 Stanley Street, Collingwood, Victoria