A concerned Kellyville resident called Hills police after finding a pile of aerosol cans dumped at the side of the road.

Daiy Telegraph reports teenagers are risking death in a bid to get a high from aerosol cans in a dangerous practice called “huffing”.

Inhaling volatile substances because of their intoxicating effect is called huffing, sniffing, or bagging.

Hills police are urging parents to keep a check on children for signs of substance abuse and contact their GP if they are worried.

Hills Local Area Commander Supt Rob Critchlow said: “The practice of ‘huffing’ or inhaling volatile chemicals is so dangerous it is mind-boggling anyone would do it.”

Residents in the area have reported finding discarded and empty Rexona cans for about three months but called police after a handful turned into a pile of cans along with numerous socks.

Dr Bronwyn Milne, from the Department of Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital Westmead, said inhalant use “was a concern”.

“They are depressants but young people use them to get an immediate high, but it is only for a few seconds.”

She said the unit was seeing young people who had suffered seizures and blackouts, chest pains and irregular heartbeat.

Abusers can get addicted and it can cause long-term brain damage.

She said signs friends, family and teachers should look out for were loss of motivation, teens who were more irritable and angry, memory trouble, changes of mood, anxiety and depression. There is help around. Seeing your GP is a good first step, talk to the school counsellor or parents.”

She said information was available from the Australia Drug Foundation adf.org.au or Helpline 1300 858 584

Supt Rob Critchlow said: “We need parents to be vigilant for warning signs in their children such as changes in behaviour, large numbers of spray cans or other items in the bin or dumped nearby.

“Primarily, we are concerned about the health of the young abusers, but also they can become involved in crime by shoplifting the items or behave in a dangerous manner while intoxicated.”

He asked anyone with information concerning “huffing”to call the Hills Youth Liaison Officer on 9680 5399.

A spokeswoman for Unilever, which manufactures Rexona, said: “We take the misuse of aerosols very seriously and continue to engage with local authorities and community organisations working to address the issue.

“All of our products are clearly labelled with guidelines detailing how to use aerosols safely.”

■ Sores and irritated skin around the mouth and nose that may look like minor burns or a rash

■ Confusion, disorientation, irritability and inability to focus

■ Nausea and vomiting

■ Headaches and vision problems

■ Tremors or shaking, muscle weakness

■ Extreme fatigue

■ Depression, despondency and isolation

■ Other immediate effects, can be slurred speech, uncoordinated movements, aggression, hallucinations and unconsciousness

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  • So scary that kids are even aware to try these things :(


  • In wonder how people think to even try this stuff.. yet another possible drug that is easy to get your hands on. We have to be so watchful of our children these days :(


  • Yucky, i just hate any kind of drug/ drug taking


  • Paint sniffing was been very common overseas (Ireland for example) more than 10yrs ago. Petrol and paint sniffing has been regulated in certain parts of Australia – Alice Springs for example, I’m guessing aerosols deodorant, hairsprays etc will be monitored in the same way knives are – need to be a certain age to purchase them. Sadly if people want to get high they will find a way – kids used to stock up on vanilla essence when I was at school


  • The other scary thing is that some of these signs can also be explained away by changing hormones in teens and could be overlooked or dismissed by those close to them.


  • Incredibly sad and dangerous – ‘huffing’ is just awful.


  • I don’t understand why they do it if the high only lasts for a few seconds? And with the awful side effects?


  • wow these things will be regulated? who knows but this is a problem for youth these days. i don’t really understand what this is either.


  • far out – how the heck can they do that ? I didn’t even know it was a thing!!


  • This dangerous activity has been around for awhile. It’s incredibly dangerous so it’s great to see more awareness brought to it.


  • That is just terrible. What morons!


  • Why is it that people regardless of age can’t be responsible with these things


  • OMG!!!!


  • I read this elsewhere and I find it so concerning. I’m not aware of it in our neighbourhood, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I will use this as a reminder and a teaching moment to my teen son of the dangers of this behaviour.


  • Very concerning indeed !! Hopefully my kids never fall into this behavior. Think informing and warning our kids for the negative effects is important.


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