There's a lot of talk about 'ice' at the moment. Ice is a form of the drug methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is an Amphetamine Type Stimulant (ATS) and when it has a crystal like appearance it is known as 'ice'. We’ve been hearing about ice through all forms of media. The government established the National Ice Taskforce whose report at the end of 2015 informed the National Ice Action Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to assist in reducing demand for methamphetamine and the harms that may arise from its use. It is essential that we address drug use and related problems through efficient and targeted strategies which include a strong focus on education. It is essential too that we understand the facts about methamphetamine, and any other drug, in appropriate context.
Any drug, including methamphetamine, has the potential to cause harm. In the school context, recent research shows that most school students in Western Australia do not use ATS (including methamphetamine). The Australian School Students Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSAD), which surveys alcohol and drug use among 12 to 17 year old students, shows that use of ATS has in fact, been decreasing over time. The latest results demonstrate a downward trend in the percentage of students who reported ever using ATS – from 16.5% in 2002 to 5.2% currently.
That said, methamphetamine, as all other drugs both illegal and legal, including alcohol, can cause significant problems and must all be included in drug education programs in schools to assist young people in understanding that drug use has consequences and any drug use has the potential to cause harm.
The National Ice Action Strategy outlines that drug education needs to be provided in schools to ensure students gain access to accurate information about ice and other drugs. Drug education also ensures students get the opportunity to improve their ability to make safer choices, to build resilience, to extend their social and emotional awareness, and to strengthen their connection to school which encourages help seeking behaviour.
This section of our website has been funded by and developed in partnership with the Department of Education to support schools in drug education. It will provide staff, parents and students with up-to-date information about methamphetamine and other drugs and a range of teaching resources aligned to best practice in drug education. Links to services that can offer help and support for anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s drug use are also provided.