Tackling the supply of products

This can be approached in several ways.

• Product elimination—some products are particularly dangerous, and have satisfactory substitutes, but not all volatile substances can be eliminated.

• Product modification—there are three possibilities: changing the formulation of the product to remove the intoxicating substance, adding a chemical to make the product unpalatable, and modifying the container to make misuse difficult.

• Warning labels—these may be helpful, although labelling draws attention to the potential for misuse.

• Education for suppliers—retailers need information and advice about a product's potential for misuse. This is difficult, as the many products are sold through many retail outlets.

• Legal controls on the sale and supply of misusable products—these exist in many countries but are difficult to enforce. Tackling the demand for products

• Legal controls—in Japan, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea VSA is an offence. However, this is not so in most countries because the criminalization of users of volatile substances is considered counterproductive.

• Information and education—this can be provided through public advertising, leaflets, helplines, and schools. Early education about volatile substances is essential; these products are in most people's homes and therefore (unlike illegal drugs) they can be accessed by very young children. Because many parents are unaware of the misuse potential of household products, information should also be targeted at parents.

All these strategies should be considered; as the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs pointed out, ' "good practice" will constitute a layered series of alternative or multiple strategies rather than any one master stroke'.(24)

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