The expansion of civil apprehension powers to deal with young people intoxicated by VSM has in turn generated a need for suitable facilities or agencies where persons apprehended can be released into care. In Victoria, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia, this may include a responsible family member or other adult, a health or welfare agency, or a designated place of safety. Detention in a police cell is either prohibited (Victoria, Queensland) or permissible only as a last resort (Western Australia, Northern Territory).

Drug treatment services are sometimes co-opted to receive people apprehended by police. In Gippsland, Victoria, the Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS) was funded to provide a place of safety. A rights and responsibilities document was developed by staff and clients to set ground rules for the operation of the facility. Nineteen young people were taken by police to the service after an episode of chroming during its operation between January 2004 and August 2005 when short-term funding expired (Murphy, 2005). As well as a crisis response, YSAS provided an ongoing program of activities for young people. Evaluation of the program (Murphy, 2005) identified many benefits including a reduction of visible chroming in public places, and improved communication and cooperation between local service providers including Indigenous organisations and police.

In Queensland, the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) evaluated the trial of 'places of safety' provisions in five sites (Crime and Misconduct Commission (Queensland), 2005a). The CMC gathered data on all VSM-related contacts recorded by police, places of safety, ambulances or hospitals at the five sites between 1 July 2004 and 31 March 2005. A total of 2210 such contacts were recorded, 1848 of them at places of safety. These contacts were accounted for by 316 clients, indicating a high rate of repeat admissions (with 50 clients having 10 or more admissions during this period). Of the 316 clients, 64% were Aboriginal and 60% were male.

The CMC concluded that, while the places of safety had succeeded in providing a service for youths affected by inhalants, they had not fulfilled their intended goal of providing a referral option for police. Only 120 referrals during this period (7% of the total) came from police, compared with 807 self-referrals and 806 referrals by outreach services.