In recent years there has been growing attention on the use of crystal methamphetamine in Australia and the significant harms related to its use. In April 2015, the Australian Government established a National Ice Taskforce to provide advice to Government on the impacts of ice in Australia and actions needed to address this growing problem. The Final Report of this Taskforce stated that “The first priority must be supporting families, workers and communities to better respond to people affected by ice.” (Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce, 2015). As part of a co-ordinated response to this recommendation from the National Ice Taskforce, the Australian Government Department of Health funded development of Cracks in the Ice, an online toolkit to provide information about ice for the Australian community.
The Cracks in the Ice Community Toolkit is available online at: www.cracksintheice.org.au.
Prof Steve Allsop
National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University
Dr Nyanda McBride
National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University
The aim of Cracks in the Ice is to improve access to evidence‐based information about ice, raise awareness about the potential harms associated with its use, and provide information about how community members can access services and/or support. The toolkit provides aims to provide general information for Australian community, as well as user-specific information for families and friends of individuals using ice; health professionals working across a range of sectors; parents, teachers and students; and community groups.
An expert advisory group was established to oversee the project and provide strategic advice. Phase 1 of the project includes the following activities:
- Scoping and content development for the online toolkit
- End-user consultation: online surveys will be conducted with end users (i.e consumers, carers, parents, representatives from community organisations) to scope information needs, and inform the initial design and development of the portal.
- Graphic design, layout and front end web development
- Website launch and dissemination of hard‐copy materials
Research staff were recruited and scoping and content development commenced in 2015. Initial end-user consultation was conducted with a community sample in January 2016 (n=451) to understand information needs about ice to inform development of the toolkit. On the basis of this feedback, ongoing scoping and content development, and consultation with external experts, a beta-version of the Cracks in the Ice online toolkit was developed. A hard-copy companion booklet was also developed. Beta-testing was conducted in July/August 2016 to seek feedback from the community (n=41) on the layout, visual appeal, usefulness of information and ease of navigation of the beta-site and booklet. Revisions were made to the toolkit on the basis of this feedback, including the addition of new images and infographics and functionality to improve navigation. The Cracks in the Ice Community Toolkit was launched on 3 April 2017 by the Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt, and is available online at: www.cracksintheice.org.au.
K.E. Champion, N. Newton, C. Chapman, M-E. Brierley, L. Stapinski, F. Kay Lambkin, N. Nair, B. Shaw, S.Lawler and Maree Teesson.. Development of an online toolkit to provide evidence-based information about crystal methamphetamine: Cracks in the Ice. 2016 NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use Annual Colloquium, Sydney, December 6. (Invited presentation).
M. Brierley, K.E. Champion, N. Newton, C. Chapman, L. Stapinski, F. Kay-Lambkin, B. Shaw, S. Lawler, N. Nair & M. Teesson. Dissemination of evidence-based resources about crystal methamphetamine: Cracks in the Ice. Poster presentation at the Society for Mental Health Research Conference, Sydney, Australia, December 2016.
M. Brierley, K.E. Champion, N. Newton, L. Stapinski, C. Chapman, F. Kay-Lambkin, N. Nair, B. Shaw, S. Lawler & M. Teesson. Development of an online toolkit to disseminate evidence-based information about crystal methamphetamine. Oral presentation at the e-Mental Health International Conference, Newcastle, Australia, November 2016.
K.E. Champion, N. Newton, C. Chapman, L. Stapinski, F. Kay-Lambkin, N. Nair, B. Shaw, S. Lawler, M. Brierley, S Allsop, N. McBride & M. Teesson. Developing an online toolkit to disseminate evidence-based information about crystal methamphetamine: Findings from an online Facebook survey. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Annual Symposium, Sydney, Australia, September 2016.
K.E. Champion, M-E. Brierley, C. Chapman, L. Stapinski, F. Kay-Lambkin, S. Allsop, N. McBride, M. Teesson & N. Newton. Cracks in the Ice: Overview of the co-development process and beta-testing feedback. Report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health Drug Strategy Branch, December 2016. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre: Sydney.
The Cracks in the Ice toolkit has been developed to provide trusted, evidence-based and up-to-date information across three key areas: ice itself (“What is Ice?”), its physical and mental health effects (“What are the effects of ice?”) and where and how the community can access support and/or treatment for issues related to ice (“Staying Safe”). The toolkit provides user-specific information for families and friends of individuals using ice; health professionals working across a range of sectors; parents, teachers and students; and community groups.