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Regulation and control


Australian National Council on Drugs (2014)

Mandatory treatment: position paper.

Canberra: Australian National Council on Drugs

Brady M (2014)

Law reforming lawyers and Aboriginal social controls: the case of the Western Australian Aboriginal communities act.

Australian Indigenous Law Review; 17(1): 38-46

Karam J, Sinclair G, Rackstraw L (2014)

Dignity, diversion, home and hope: a review of interventions for volatile substance misuse in regional North Queensland.

Canberra: Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

This report documents current volatile substance misuse (VSM) interventions in central, north and Far North Queensland. It examines qualitative and statistical data to determine evidence-based local responses to address VSM. The report draws on data from the project, Youth empowered towards independence (YETI) and documents a set of practice principles within the local context.

The findings and subsequent recommendations, which are presented in the report, are aimed at identifying the services, and collaborative processes that were found to more effectively address inhalant use within the community.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Northern Territory Department of Health (2014)

Volatile substance abuse (VSA) management areas and plans.

Retrieved 2014 from

This web page provides information on Volatile substance abuse management plans in the Northern Territory and how to use volatile substances responsibly. Other information includes:

  • guidelines for contractors visiting communities
  • a list of communities with Volatile substance abuse management plans
  • powers vested under the Volatile substance abuse prevention act.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Entwhistle P, Entwhistle D (2012)

First review of alcohol and drugs (AOD) Indigenous communities project (2011-2014) May 2012.

Darwin: Amity Community Services

Gray D (2012)

Community-wide approaches to substance misuse.

In: Lee K, Freeburn B, Ella S, Miller W, Perry J, Conigrave K, eds. Handbook for Aboriginal alcohol and drug work. Sydney: University of Sydney: 331-342

This chapter is from the Handbook for Aboriginal alcohol and drug work and provides information for alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers on community-wide approaches to substance misuse, including:

  • engaging with communities to address drug and alcohol issues
  • what communities can do to prevent or limit drinking problems.

Abstract adapted from the University of Sydney

John Scougall Consulting Services (2012)

Keeping people safe: an evaluation of the Nyoongar Patrol Outreach Service.

Perth: Australian Policy Online

Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (2012)

The chroming report: a Government framework for children-in-care.

Brisbane: Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian

This report, produced by the Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, provides information on the services available to children in Queensland who are 'chroming', a form of volatile substance misuse. This report provides information on:

  • how and why the report was produced
  • what chroming is and the associated health effects of chroming
  • case studies
  • analysis of service delivery and issues relating to service delivery
  • current service delivery framework
  • recommendations for future direction.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Senior k, William I, Chenhall R, Cunningham T, Nagel T, Loyd R, McMahon R (2012)

Developing successful diversionary schemes for youth from remote Aboriginal communities.

Canberra: Criminology Research Advisory Council


d'Abbs P, MacLean S (2011)

Petrol sniffing interventions among Australian Indigenous communities through product substitution: from skunk juice to Opal.

Substance Use & Misuse; 46(s1): 99-106

Maclean SJ, D'Abbs PHN (2011)

Five challenges for volatile substance misuse policy and intervention in Australia.

Drug and Alcohol Review; 30(2): 223–227

Marel A (2011)

Contested domains: regulating responses to volatile substance misuse in the Alice Springs town camps.

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology thesis, University of New South Wales: Sydney

Midford R, MacLean S, Catto M, Thomson N, Debuyst O (2011)

Review of volatile substance use among Indigenous people.

Perth, WA: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

Putt J (2011)

Review of the Substance Abuse Intelligence Desks and Dog Operations Units.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs


Cairney S, Dingwall K (2010)

The mysterious practice of petrol sniffing in isolated Indigenous groups.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health; 46(9): 510-515

Gray D, Wilkes E (2010)

Reducing alcohol and other drug related harm.

Canberra: Closing the Gap Clearinghouse

This resource sheet provides an overview of approaches to reducing alcohol and other drug related harm amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Included is information on what is currently known about these approaches and what information needs to be developed in this area. This resource sheet was produced as part of a series by the Closing the gap clearinghouse to disseminate information which could be used to help develop solutions to 'close the gap'.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Nicholas R (2010)

An environmental scan on alcohol and other drug issues facing law enforcement in Australia 2010.

Hobart: National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund

Roxon N, Snowdon W, Macklin J (2010)

Australian Government tackles petrol sniffing in remote WA.

Retrieved from

Senate Community Affairs References Committee (2010)

Combined Australian Government response to two Senate Community Affairs References Committee reports on petrol sniffing in Indigenous communities.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Australian Government introduced the Petrol Sniffing Strategy (PSS) in 2005. This report is the government's response to Grasping the opportunity of Opal: assessing the impact of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy (2009), and its companion 2006 report, Beyond petrol sniffing: renewing hope for Indigenous communities.

The 2006 report contained 23 recommendations: 16 were accepted by the government; six were noted; and one gave rise to further consideration. The 2009 report contained 18 recommendations: 11 were accepted by the government; 6 were noted; and one gave rise to further consideration. Recommendations from the reports included: raising awareness in communities of the availability of assistance with the supply of Opal fuel; the expansion of the areas covered by the PSS eight point plan; a communication strategy in advance of future Opal fuel rollout; improved data collection on substance abuse including petrol sniffing by Indigenous people; consistent, longer term funding for programs under the PSS; the establishment of safe houses for those at risk of harm from intoxicated sniffers; rehabilitation facilities for petrol sniffers; and legislation to mandate the supply of Opal fuel.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (2010)

Cost benefit analysis of legislation to mandate the supply of opal fuel in regions of Australia: final report.

Adelaide: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (SACES) was commissioned by the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) to investigate legislative options and to undertake a cost benefit analysis to mandate the supply of Opal fuel in regions of Australia. The SACES report follows an investigation by the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs into the impact of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy introduced in 2005. The Committee determined that while the introduction of Opal fuel under the Petrol Sniffing Strategy had been effective in reducing petrol sniffing, in the absence of voluntary agreement on the part of all relevant stations the Australian Government should draft legislation to mandate the supply of Opal in the Petrol sniffing strategy zone.

SACES found that the Commonwealth probably has the power to legislate to establish a ban on regular unleaded petrol (RULP) in prescribed areas accompanied by the provision of subsidised Opal (without an explicit compulsion to stock Opal). The sale of premium unleaded petrol (PULP) would be controlled where necessary by a Minister should it come to be seen as a contributor to sniffing. Importantly, the scheme outlined also allows a Minister to grant exemptions to a ban or controls where appropriate. Where potential gaps in the scope of the Commonwealth legislation exist, relevant States could refer powers to the Commonwealth.

The SACES report identified three scenarios: the Central scenario based on an 80% reduction in sniffing; the High impact scenario based on an erosion of voluntary Opal supply; and the Diversion scenario based on inhalant substitution. SACES found that under all three scenarios the benefits of mandating the supply of Opal outweighed the costs. Further, in the Analysis Area excluding Darwin (Darwin is not considered to have a petrol sniffing problem) the surplus of benefits over costs are greater. While regional variation in the benefits over costs exists in the Central scenario, all regions return benefits over costs.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Last updated: 24 November 2016
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