Canada

Hairspray abuse plagues northern town

A Deline drug and alcohol counsellor says people have been drinking hair spray in his community for at least 20 years. Donald Yukon should know... he used to do it himself.

He says people consume hair spray because it's cheaper and more available than alcohol.

Police in Deline are drawing attention to the increasing numbers of people drinking hair spray to get high. R.C.M.P. recently intercepted a package containing 20 full bottles of hair spray that were going to be bootlegged.

The package had a street value of over $1,000.

One local Mountie is proposing that a by-law be put in place to limit the amount of hair spray in Deline households.

Yukon says he has some other ideas on how to get people to stop.

"Actively promote awareness you know through workshop and radio - what happens if you drink hair spray? - and what it does to your body -- all the negative things," he says. "Through the legal system is pretty hard. Get the leaders to back alcohol and drug workers. It's got to be done within the community."

Police also warn hair spray can have long term effects such as, internal bleeding, kidney and liver damage, respiratory problems and even death.