For parents, families, communities

Targeted education for parents and families should include information about:

  • health effects of volatile substances
  • basic first aid and care for an intoxicated person  (e.g. assessing danger to the person and others, letting the person rest in a quiet safe place with fresh air, making sure the person can breathe, when to call emergency services)
  • how to monitor an intoxicated person during and after recovery (e.g. managing symptoms, what to look for, making sure the person eats and drinks, when to call emergency services)
  • who to contact if the situation is dangerous (i.e. the people in the community who are responsible for safety such as police and other authorised people)
  • services that can help a person recover (e.g. counselling services, residential rehabilitation facilities, youth and activity programs).

(National Health and Medical Research Council, 2011)

For more information about working with parents and family members, see the Working with parents and families page of this website.

It is important to ensure that broader education strategies aimed at families and communities are discreet and do not inform other young people who are not using volatile substances. Discretion is also needed to avoid overemphasising the issue, as it may provoke a feeling of shame for communities and create resistance in discussing the issue.

For more information about working with communities, see the Working with communities page of this website.