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New research into volatile substance use in Far North Queensland has found the use of inhalants is a barrier to school attendance and employment - two of the keys to reducing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.
'The Government is committed to reducing the misuse of inhalants which will help people to better engage in their communities, bolster school attendance levels and make it easier for people to remain in the workforce.'
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Dignity, diversion, home and hope: a review of interventions for volatile substance misuse in regional north Queensland report, released this week, found connection between young people using inhalants and feelings on suicide. 'Among other findings was that there was a strong connection between young people misusing inhalants and feelings of suicide, disassociation and disillusionment. This group was generally considered to be the most disengaged and vulnerable of all young people accessing youth services.'
Minister Scullion said the Australian Government had funded a number of volatile substance use workers who sought to engage with young people in community to educate them about the dangers of activities such as petrol sniffing. These workers also educate retailers about safer storage and sales practices.