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Young People and AOD 

For Young Person in the process of developing their own identity, alcohol and other drugs are used for a variety of reasons including: 

  • providing pleasure; 
  • normal risk-taking behaviour; alleviating boredom; 
  • satisfying curiosity; 
  • facilitating social bonding; 
  • attaining peer status; 
  • or as an escape or coping mechanism. 

It is important to note not every Young Person who uses alcohol and drugs is dependent or exhibits challenging behaviour. 

A Young Person using alcohol and other drugs can present with a range of behaviours, these behaviours can be confronting and distressing for family, community members and allied health and community workers. Below we have provided a range of resources and tools to support you to Young People.

Volatile Substance Use - Information For Young People, Retailers and Services

What are volatile substances?

Volatile substances also known as inhalants or solvents, are substances that are sniffed or breathed in through the nose and/or mouth to give the person using the drug an immediate high.

There are four main types of inhalants:

  • Volatile solvents
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Gases
  • Nitrites

What are the effects of volatile substances?

Most volatile substances have an immediate effect. The high usually only lasts for a few minutes. Users sometimes keep on sniffing to prolong the high, in some cases this can lead to loss of consciousness, brain damage, and even death.















(Information from

For young people

Inhalants by headspace:

For retailers

Retailer Information Sheet by Amity Community Services:

Retailer information sheet A

Retailer information sheet B

Responsible sale of solvents by Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS)

A Retailer's Response to Inhalants by Dovetail

For services

Understanding Inhalants by Dovetail

Caring for people who sniff petrol or other volatile substances: A Quick Reference Guide for Health Workers - Dovetail Queensland

Youth Outreach Fact Sheet - Dovetail Queensland

Inhalants: what you need to know - Dovetail Queensland

Review of volatile substance use among Indigenous people - HealthInfonet

Northern Territory Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Project Final Report

This report captures a year of consultation work across both the youth and AOD sectors providing insights into the current concerns and opportunities in this field and recommendations stemming from this consultation for collaborative models of care, community education and workforce development.

The report also highlights the opportunity for the Northern Territory Government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to provide a clear and cohesive approach to supporting young Territorians through policy, funding and partnerships with the NGO sector and the broader community.

While various local, Territory and Commonwealth government departments have invested in a range of consultation projects, there is an extant need for a commitment to an over-arching, coordinated model that provides long-term, sustainable guidance to build on past work and produce future thinking, planning and advice.

This report provides insights into the Youth AOD sector as it stands, highlighting promising practices and puts forward recommendations for a pathway for a collaborative government, community and sector approach for managing the current endemic Youth AOD issues in the NT.

Please download the report here

Adolescence Mind is Under Construction Resources

These resources are compiled by Sudha Coutinho B.App.Sc.OT from her presentatiopn Under Construction : There’s a lot going on! - Adolescent Development and the Impact of AOD and trauma as part of the AADANT Youth AOD Forums 2020.

Short Videos

Dan Siegal The Adolescent Brain 

Under Construction: Alcohol and the Teenage Brain

Nuggets by Studio Film Bilder 

Got A Lot Going On - Yarn Safe Music Video | headspace


The Adolescent Brain: A second window of opportunity - A compendium.
Edited by Nikola Balvin and Prerna Banati. Published by UNICEF.

What is Trauma-Informed Care?
University at Buffalo - Buffalo Center for Social Research


How Trauma Can Affect Your Window of Tolerance
The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine

Survival Loop
Beacon House

The 3 R’s Reaching the learning brain
Beacon House

Traditional vs Trauma Informed Language
Beacon House

NT Youth Alcohol and Other Drugs Directory

This directory is presented in 5 regions:

With categorised support options:

  • Early interventions and counselling
  • Outreach and specialist services
  • Day programs and residential rehabilitation

Alcohol and other drug services working with Young People also have limited capacity across vast regions, so developing holistic support systems are important. In order to provide stability across all aspects of a Young Person’s life, all support options should be:

  • in discussion with a Young Person’s family,
  • accessed in conjunction with local youth and health services,
  • coordinated with a case manager, where suitable and all other support services working with the Young Person.

Full Directory Download - click here

NT Youth AOD Monthly Zoom Meeting

If you are a service in the NT working with Young People with AOD concerns from across the NT join us for our monthly zoom meeting.

This is a place to connect, access support and peer connections, articulate challenges, and collectively problem solve.

Meetings are held the second Wednesday of every month. Please see meeting schedule below for upcoming meetings, times and video link.

We encourage all levels of workforce to join and understand community service work is busy and so attendance is not required every month.

If you would like to speak to our project officer about these meetings or would like more information, please contact Britt Guy or call 0499 980 600 Monday-Wednesday.

Meeting ID and Passcode for the meetings is as follows:

Meeting ID: 849 0185 9787

Passcode: 604283

Date Time Location
Wednesday 10 March 10:00AM Zoom -
Wednesday 14 April 10:00AM Zoom -
Wednesday 12 May 10:00AM Zoom -
Wednesday 9 June  10:00AM Zoom -

Free Online and Phone Youth Counselling Services for Young People in the NT

Emerging Lessons Learnt from Online Engagment

As our world changed rapidly in 2020 due to COVID-19 most of our communication and services moved online. For those supporting clients with AOD concerns this has required a complete rethink on how one-on-one service delivery can be achieved for clients.

At AADANT we have been meeting with the NT Youth AOD Services sector fortnightly on Zoom. Through these conversations, key learnings have emerged about online engagement with young people.

Case Studies - Remote NT Youth Services sharing their stories

As part of the AADANT Youth Program in 2020 we visisted the NPY Women’s Council and Thamarrurr Indigenous Youth Corporation to capture the voices of young people and the services that support them. These short films were shared across the NT as part of the Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Forums in November 2020.

The case studies were to created to make sure young people’s voices were in the centre of participants thinking and to remind services and workers in attendance of the vast needs across the NT outside of the regional towns.

NPY Women’s Council 









Thamarrurr Indigenous Youth Corporation 










Professional Development


Under Construction: Cannabis and the Teenage Brain

Youth Support and Advocacy Service - Youth AOD Toolbox

Open Doors - Perspectives on Working with LGBTIQAP+ Sistergirl & Brotherboy Young People - click here

Dots and the Brain - Neuroplasticity

Trauma and the Brain from Youth AOD Organisation Dovetail - click here

Care Planning for Resilience from The Centre of Youth AOD Research and Practice - click here

Responding to inhalant use in Queensland - click here

Managing Disclosure in Therapeutic Relationships: Video by Dr Karen Hallam, YSAS Melbourne - click here


Training in telephone counselling for AOD - click here

Tip sheet on supporting clients through COVID-19 Tips for Alcohol and Drug Workers - click here

Emerging Minds Supporting children during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic - click here

We will be updating this page with information, support and resources for young people living in the Northern Territory. Please return often to see the latest updates.