The VSA (Volatile Substance Abuse) Program is an eight-week program offering a therapeutic approach to volatile substance users. The program focuses on health issues, counselling, support structures, future goals, life skills and recreational/relaxation activities. The program is designed to identify individual strengths through enjoyable activities, such as music, art, rock climbing, walking, riding and swimming. The program also includes education, provision of life skills, group and individual counseling and advocacy. We aim to assist clients in a safe and supportive environment.
The Volatile Substance Abuse Program has three main components; educational sessions, life skill sessions and recreational sessions. Educational sessions cover the Sniffing and the Brain Flipcharts, petrol/inhalant education (including denial, withdrawal, avoidance and relapse), the effects of cannabis and alcohol, relationships and family violence and goal planning. Life skill sessions are run in the afternoons and include practical activities on health and hygiene, STI education (provided by guest speakers), shopping, banking, budgeting and nutrition. Toward the end of the week recreational sessions are held which can include cultural activities in neighbouring communities and natural areas, organised outings, sports skill sessions and games, barbeques and cooking lessons.
What are volatile substances?
Volatile substances is a broad term, covering volatile solvents (petrol, glue, paint thinner, correction fluids and felt tip markers), aerosols (spray paints, deodorants, hair spray, insect spray and air fresheners), gases (butane gas and gas bottles) and nitrates (video head cleaners and room deodorisers).
We have a mobile team of workers who travel to communities and also work with young people in rural areas who are affected by petrol sniffing and/or other drug issues. At the moment our team is led by Luke Kuiha and Matthew Ah Mat, who both have extensive working at at-risk juveniles in remote areas, both within Australia and overseas.
How can we help you or your community?
Training - Our team can come out to your community and deliver training on substance misuse, or we can train you on how to educate your own people. We use a 20-hour short course called 'Introduction to the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Misuse', which talks about the effects alcohol and other drugs can have on you, your family and your community. The course teaches you about what you can do to stop sniffing or drinking, or what you can do to help someone else stop, and what will happen ito your body f you keep doing it.
Referrals - We can assist you or someone you know to get accepted into our 8 week VSA course at CAAPS.
Diversionary programs - If your community could benefit from a diversionary program for young people who are suffering from susbstance misuse, we can help you to implement that. We can also help you to apply for OPAL fuel, or for brokerage funding which could help you to purchase equipment, organise activities for young people or run new community projects.