Caring for people who sniff petrol or other volatile substances: a quick reference guide for health workers

This quick reference guide contains information about how to care for people who deliberately become intoxicated by inhaling vapours from solvents, gases or aerosols (often called sniffing, bagging, huffing or chroming). People sniff for different reasons, just as people get drunk for different reasons. Sniffable products include petrol, paint stripper and other products used in building and plumbing, glue, nail polish remover, fuel gas, lighter fluid, spray paint and other spray cans.

This guide is a summary of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) consensus-based clinical practice guideline for the management of volatile substance use in Australia(the full guideline). It is designed for quick reference by general practitioners, nurses, Aboriginal health workers, alcohol and other drug workers, and allied health professionals. Use the full guideline if you need more detailed information.

The clinical guideline provides mainly consensus-based recommendations, because there is not enough high-level evidence to make evidence-based recommendations. The guideline also provides practice points on some additional topics that were not included in the clinical questions answered by the guideline.

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