Minister calls on a roundtable over chroming

By Juliano Oliveira

The Queensland’s Health Minister Steven Miles has called on a roundtable with cosmetic industry, retailers, community-based services and clinicians to discuss potential responses aiming to tackle the practice of chroming in the state.

Manufacturers are being urged to reformulate their products to stop disadvantaged young people from inhaling them to get high. Unilever, one of the world’s largest companies in the sector of beauty and personal care, has shown willingness to participate in the discussions.

“Unilever to their credit contacted me and have acknowledged one of their products contains a high level of butane which makes it a common choice for chroming. I very much welcome their cooperation. I have responded to Unilever and invited them to participate in the roundtable”, said the minister.

The minister affirmed that the state’s government invests approximately $112 million a year in specialist drug and alcohol treatment services to make sure” Queenslanders struggling with addiction have somewhere to turn”. “Just like we did with petrol reformulation it may be possible for manufacturers to change their product to make them less intoxicating. Most importantly we need to support these young people”.

Queensland Health’s specialist youth state-wide support service, Dovetail has developed and promotes a range of inhalant resources, including fact sheets on effective responses and a Retailers Guide to help manage access to inhalants. Dovetail provides training and assistance to workforces, communities, service providers and other groups.

Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said he looks forward to working with Queensland Health and the outcomes of the Roundtable. “We have to understand these young people in the context of their everyday life and why it results to their use in everyday inhalants,” Mr Frkovic said.

“This is a coordinated approach across government agencies, retailers and manufacturers. All three pillars in the harm minimisation approach are required which includes both supply reduction but as importantly demand and harm reduction.”