SNIFF TREND LURES YOUTH
THIS is the sad reality of Townsville’s chroming epidemic – up to 35 empty deodorant cans scattered in a filthy drain beside a shopping centre.
Local retailers were forced to lock up Rexona aerosols in early 2013 following a spate of thefts but, as this picture shows, addicts have merely found alternative brands to get high.
And the sad fact is many of the city’s worst chromers are a core group of children aged between 11 and 17.
Child Protection Investigation Unit officer- in- charge Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles described the youthful group of chromers “the new lost generation”.
“The kids who significantly abuse these volatile substances often end up with extensive court records, have delayed learning, and their behaviour and motor skills can be seriously affected,” he said.
“They struggle with normal things and have outbursts, sometimes violent, and the effects can be permanent.
“The cognitive changes can be quite dramatic.”
Many of the children have zero supervision at home and use substances to alleviate boredom.
heavy, and sometimes permanent, cost.
Inspector Roger Whyte said users sought out discrete locations but would only move on when police arrived.
“It is a problem. They just seek out another secretive location,” he said.
Insp Whyte said it was unusual to find so many spent aerosols in one location.
On any given day, police respond to numerous calls about children chroming volatile substances in parks, dimly lit carparks, stormwater drains and so on.
The worst of those affected may end up at the Townsville
They struggle with normal things and have outbursts, sometimes violent, and the effects can
SEN SGT DAVE MILES
TRAGEDY: Evidence of chroming in a drain near Castletown shopping centre.