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Sniffing petrol has grown to be a devastating social problem in many remote comminutes in the aboriginal community. The effects of petrol sniffing are not only evident on the individuals that engage in it but also the entire families to which such individuals hail from. Its effects are also perpetrated by the level of social upheaval that is present in the aboriginal community (Australian government, 2007). This study proposes a program designed with the aim of reducing the incidence and impact of petrol sniffing in a local area in the Australian aboriginal community by portraying viable inter-sectoral actions that can reduce the prevalence of petrol sniffing. More specifically, it highlights the importance of undertaking a multifaceted approach to deal with the prevailing issues that force most young people to engage in this vice. This is especially true because addressing the underlying factors that drive most of the aboriginal youth into this vice; like limited access to education, poor community structures, boredom, unemployment and the likes cannot be solved by a single person or institution (Preuss, 2005).
Aims of the project
Petrol sniffing has been noted to have severe psychological and health concerns to the community, families and the individuals (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010, p. 306). This program aims to reduce the effects, severity and combined social effects that already threaten the very fragile bedrock the aboriginal community thrives on (Preuss, 2005). Essentially, the program to be developed is generally aimed at reducing the extent of petrol sniffing in the aboriginal community.
The practical approach to address the problem of petrol sniffing in Australia's aboriginal community rests in a community initiated framework. It is obviously impractical for other players to come from outside the community and impose a structured framework that's going to work in the aboriginal society. Initiative therefore needs to be started from within the community itself. Despite immense willingness among the aboriginal community in totality to eradicate petrol sniffing, it is important that their desires and efforts are directed towards a structured framework.
Due to the eminent need to direct the community's efforts in building a structured framework to deal with petrol sniffing, it is important that an outstation be built in a secluded place to deal with petrol sniffers; especially those who would be willing to give up the addiction. At the outstation, a program fully run by the community would be undertaken to educate, prevent and rehabilitate the youth against this ill. This will be the framework to which the entire community program is going to petition the youth of the community to refrain from sniffing petrol. The program will be run by volunteers who'd be willing to take care and educate chronic petrol sniffers on its effects.
The program will however need to be undertaken by the support of the family because this unit will be relied on to identify petrol sniffers in the community and recommend them for the program. Essentially, if there is a petrol sniffer within a family; family members would recommend him/her forthe program. Victims would be admitted for a month. The program will be specifically run by members of the aboriginal community who will also engage the youth in hunting expeditions, fruit gathering sessions and other alternative activities. As part of the rehabilitation process, the elders will educate the youth on the effects and problems associated with petrol sniffing. This will help the youth expand their knowledge on the subject and also help them make informed choices on their lives. In addition, towards the last week of the program, the youth will be shown alternative activities they can engage in; instead of petrol sniffing. Alternative programs will involve discos, sports, film nights, and cultural activities that relate to the aboriginal community.
Supply Reduction and Harm Minimization
An alternative substance needs to be introduced to replace the existing petrol type with the "high" effect. This strategy will be used to substitute substances that have a high chemical composition that's harmful to the users. In essence, users will be provided with petrol that will not make them high. A good alternative would be to introduce the low aromatic petrol called Opal to existing users (Preuss, 2005). This technique has an almost immediate effect because it seeks to settle the psychological crave to sniff but not exactly harming the body system.
The general community needs to collaborate with all stakeholders in the community to curb this vice. Special attention needs to be made to bring commercial entities, private stakeholders, community elders and the government on board. However, most importantly the youth would be expected to support the program at least by being willing to give it a try.
Who will be Consulted about the Project
This program adopts a multifaceted approach because no one strategy can comprehensively address the problems that face the aboriginal petrol sniffing community. In this regard, consultations have to be made with existing stakeholders in the organization to ensure they support the program the best way they can. The family unit and community elders are two groups the program will rely on because they will essentially identify the petrol sniffers and rehabilitate them respectively. Partnership from commercial entities will also have to be forged because alternative youth activities like dancing, sports and film nights will require their logistical support.
Capacity to Be Built Within the Community
This program will be majorly community initiated and therefore the entire community will be empowered to take control of the ills that go on underneath their watch. The breakdown of the program into family involvement, empowers family members to refrain from shying to point out petrol sniffers in their midst and encourage the abusers to seek help from the program. The program will therefore enable the community to develop a sense of initiative, and also petition them to offer support and operational help to the program.
A non aboriginal member of the community should be consulted regularly; say, two times a week. This will provide a check to the existing program due to their external woorldwide views inputs (Preuss, 2005). In addition, non aboriginal community members will also help in initiating communication with the government; at least on levels the authentic aboriginal community members would not be willing to go. The input of the government should also be factored in to ensure the program runs in accordance with existing country laws. Their support would be highly guaranteed because the success of this program will also compliment their efforts to maintain a peaceful community.
The introduction of a community comprehensive approach is expected to shift the existing paradigm and boost community intervention at tertiary, primary and secondary levels. The identification of petrol sniffers in the family is a mild approach to help addicts get the necessary intervention through the community program; thereby not necessarily making them feel like criminals, but part of the community. This strategy is different from a government-like intervention that would arrest addicts; or any other extreme measures governments take (Australian government, 2007).
The introduction of Opal fuel as an alternative fuel sniff has had a good success rate in other existing contexts. The same is also expected in this scenario. In fact, this method has been identified to have a success rate of up to 80% (Australian government, 2007). Relatively, the introduction of Opal is expected to decrease the prevalence of petrol sniffing in the community by similar margins. The diversionary activities like outreach education and other broad range activities is expected to make the youth preoccupied with other activities that will be of benefit to them; as opposed to petrol sniffing. This is consequently going to decrease the factors that drive the youth into the vice.
The communication and education strategies are also expected to show the youth the right way of life because it has been established that one of the primary reasons why the youth engage in petrol sniffing is because of a lack of knowledge and sometimes, misinformed choices are made out of misinformed knowledge (Preuss, 2005). The community is also expected to be more integrated through overall participation in the program. This outcome is highly expected because it has been widely established that the aboriginal community has never been cohesive in dealing with the growing number of petrol sniffing youth (Preuss, 2005).
The above petrol sniffing prevention program is practical and most people in the aboriginal community can have a role to play in it. The crucial pillars to this program rest on the fact that the program is multifaceted, has a high community involvement, has a good cross cultural relationships support and has a necessary foresight beyond the implementation of the program. This program may also be complimentary to other initiatives of preventing petrol sniffing in other communities. However, it should not be assumed to be a blueprint to which all other petrol sniffing programs can be addressed. The program is also exclusively related to the aboriginal community and can never be replicated either. This program is therefore a most viable structure to which the aboriginal community can reduce the prevalence of petrol sniffing among its youth.