Inhalant abuse creating concerns
AN ALARMING rise in youths abusing inhalants, including deodorants, in areas of the Cairns CBD like the vacant Courthouse Hotel comes as no shock to Street Level Youth Care volunteers.
Co-ordinator Roy Edwards said current reactive law enforcement policies were not enough to deter juveniles from engaging in the dangerous act.
“It’s definitely happening, it’s definitely on the increase and, yes, we’re now getting it in town as well as the suburbs,” he said.
“The problem is that with substance abuse like inhalants, there’s no specific charge.
“You can arrest people for stealing (the deodorant) and give them bail conditions, but they are breaking them straight away. “It doesn’t worry them.” Mr Edwards, who regularly spends his nights running a food van for itinerant youths across Cairns, believed tougher penalties were needed, as well as social programs to keep kids on the straight and narrow.
“Parliamentarians need to make some sort of specific legislation to make it illegal,” he said.
“They do it with other substances that are a problem, so why not this one?
“It would be difficult, but there has to be some way of wording it to make it work
Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates said Cairns Regional Council clean-up crews were moving into the Cairns Art Gallery yesterday to remove graffiti left by vandals.
“Our officers said they will make more regular patrols,” he said.