While it may seem appropriate to provide information or education about volatile substance use (VSU) to everyone, it is important to consider the audience when deciding what information, if any, should be provided.
Information or education about VSU needs to be targeted and considered, to avoid raising the awareness of young people to a practice that they may not have previously been aware of. This is to reduce the risk of increasing interest and subsequent experimentation in VSU.
Information for parents and families should similarly be targeted towards those who require the information. For example, in a location where there is prevalence of VSU. Flooding a town or community with information about VSU where there is no issue can have the unintended consequence of causing panic among parents in a community.
Even where there is an issue, the information provided to parents, families and communities needs to be provided in a discrete manner to avoid creating shame and stigma for the user, their family and the community.
For this reason, community-wide education campaigns are not recommended.
For more information about what information/education should be provided, see the following pages of this website:
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Consensus-based clinical practice guideline for the management of volatile substance use in Australia
National Health and Medical Research Council. Guidelines for health professionals to identify, assess and treat people who use volatile substances in metropolitan, rural and remote communities across Australia. Part of a series of resources (NHMRC-1a, NHMRC-1b, NHMRC-1). See Chapter 9 - Education (pp. 85-90) for information to provide to users and families to reduce harm.
d'Abbs P & MacLean S, Department if Health and Ageing. Australian Government review examining literature about interventions designed to address volatile substance use. See Section 7.1 - Information and education on volatile substance misuse (pp. 58–60).
Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee - Inquiry into the inhalation of volatile substances: Final report
Parliament of Victoria, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee. See Part F - Education issues pertaining to volatile substance abuse (pp. 267-342).
d'Abbs, P. & MacLean, S., Department if Health and Ageing. Australian Government review examining literature about interventions designed to address volatile substance use. See Section 7.1- Information and education about VSM (pp. 58-61).
See other Information/education-related resources from the Resource Library of this website.