1 in 75 people have used methamphetamine in the past year.
According to data from the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey overall methamphetamine use has been in decline over recent years however, among those regularly using methamphetamine, 50% of users reported ice as the form of the drug used.
The increase in ice use has also seen an increase in helpline calls, hospital and addiction rehabilitation admissions, and methamphetamine related deaths.
If ice is a problem in your life, know that ice addiction recovery is possible.
Ice use is a problem for someone I care about.
Friends and family can play a helpful role, and significantly impact a loved one’s ice addiction recovery. It’s important to not only know how to support and intervene with the person you care about, but to also understand how to get support for yourself and know where to find help.
Reach out for support: If you want to help someone you care about who is struggling with an ice addiction remember: the sooner you reach out for support for yourself and for them, the better the outcome will be. You might start by discussing your concerns with your family doctor. They can offer insight, and refer you to other support services, such as the free Family First Step Program provided by Arrow Health.
Communicate: Connection with you is a crucial factor in an addict’s willingness to seek help and find recovery. Do your best to keep the lines of communication open. It’s important to have an honest conversation about the problem. Whilst the initial conversation may be challenging, if you stay calm and caring it can lay the groundwork for ongoing communications which your loved one can rely on and trust.
Guidelines for a conversation with an ice addict:
To lay the groundwork for trust and communication, try to have a conversation expressing your concern, support, and love for them. Focus on how they are doing, rather than what they are doing.
- Choose a time when the person using ice is either not under the influence of ice or other drugs or when they are less high. Avoid starting the conversation when they are on their way out of the house.
- Set the stage thoughtfully. Instead of asking them to come to you, offer to go to them or meet in a place where they are comfortable. In difficult conversations, frequent eye contact can increase anxiety and feel more confronting so consider sitting/walking beside them.
- Plan what you want to say. Do your best not to lecture. You should listen more than you speak in this conversation, and any questions you ask should reflect your concern about how the person is,; in terms of their work, their friends, etc. A good approach is a gentle question that urges them to talk, such as “How are things going at work?”.
- Don’t make assumptions, and try to refrain from speaking any judgmental thoughts. Your goal in this conversation is to strengthen your relationship by showing that you care. Talk about what you’ve observed – that the person is out a lot, seems unhappy, appears to have lost interest in hobbies.
- Be trustworthy and supportive. Let them know you are available to listen and that you care.
You may want to consider seeking the support of an intervention program. This is a program that works with families to help guide people in active addiction toward admitting their problem, realising they need help and agreeing to enter a treatment program.
Going forward, remember that it’s important to take care of yourself too. Remind yourself often that you cannot fix this person; only they can take the steps needed to reduce or eliminate their use of ice. Be sure you take time for your own happiness and well-being.
I have a problem with ice use.
If you are ready to seek support for your ice use, here are some first steps you can take.
- Go to a detox facility until you’ve moved past your primary withdrawal symptoms. Detox and Withdrawal programs are medically supervised and designed to create a safe space to enter the early-recovery phase.
- You can stop using ice on your own although it is difficult. The best approach is to find a place to retreat to for a few days, and ask for help from sober friends and family.
- Once you have detoxed you can join an inpatient rehabilitation program. This is designed to assist you with moving forward on your recovery journey.
- Outpatient rehabilitation programs are also available for those unable to commit to an inpatient program.
Ice addiction recovery is possible even though it can feel overwhelming to consider giving up ice. Remember you’re not alone. Help and support are available. Contact a rehabilitation facility near you, or ask your friends, family, or your GP to help you find a program that can help you change your life for the better.