Rexona deodorants have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory in response to a spiralling rate of inhalant abuse by the town's children.
Supermarkets have voluntarily agreed to sell Rexona from behind the counter because of its popularity among children trying to get high. Other brands of aerosol deodorant remain on the shelves.
The Central Australian Youth Link Up Service (CAYUS) has collected almost 500 used cans of deodorant from public places in Alice Springs in the last fortnight. CAYLUS manager Blair McFarland says the situation is out of control and a large number of young children are involved. "[There are] lots - like more than 50 kids under 12 - who have been referred to welfare because of their sniffing," he said.
"[Police] went to Billy Goat Hill one night and there were 100 kids up there. Maybe not all of them were sniffing, but that's where we've found 460 cans so far." Mr McFarland says the situation has worsened because the Youth Street Outreach Service (YSOS) was closed. "Without a YSOS to give us the heads up, we didn't hear about it until after Easter and by then there was a huge cohort of kids sniffing," he said.