Police and the Department of Health are urging Territorians to be mindful of the health and social risks caused as a result of consuming methylated spirits.
It comes after police in Wadeye were called out to and attended eight incidents involving people drinking methylated spirits this week.
Five people were taken into protective custody due to intoxication and one to the clinic for medical treatment, all in relation to methylated spirits consumption.
It is believed the methylated spirits was bought on the black market, indicating a person or persons had purchased methylated spirits and brought it into the community to be sold for a profit.
Methylated spirits is not available on supermarket shelves in Katherine and can only be bought by asking staff.
It is an offence pursuant to the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 (NT) to drink methylated spirits (maximum penalty 20 penalty units = $3140) and to sell methylated spirits for drinking (maximum penalty 100 penalty units = $15,700, or 12 months imprisonment).
Drinking methylated spirits is a significant health issue, and can lead to significant harm or death, authorities say.
Police urge people not to drink methylated spirits.
If you see or know of someone drinking methylated spirits, take steps to ensure they are safe by getting them to medical treatment and calling police.
Police have urged all retailers of methylated spirits across the NT to review their security and selling arrangements for methylated spirits to ensure it is not being used for human consumption, noting that it is probable a person or persons are purchasing quantities of methylated spirits to transport into communities and sell for a profit.
It is an offence pursuant to the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulations 2014 (NT) for a retailer to sell methylated spirits if they fail to ensure the methylated spirits is stored in a part of premises to which the public does not have access.
If you are aware of the consumption of methylated spirits call police on 131444 or in an emergency, such as a life threatening situation, call 000 for police and ambulance.
If you have information on the illicit sale of methylated spirits call police on 131444 or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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