Facts for parents, schools and students



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Is my child using drugs? It's not just about the drug Who can help? Using guest speakers


You can download parent fact sheets in a number of different languages.


What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an amphetamine-type stimulant. Stimulants speed up the function of the brain and central nervous system. Methamphetamine comes in three different forms:

  • powder or pills (speed) that can be swallowed, snorted or injected
  • a thick, oily substance (base) that can be swallowed or injected
  • crystals or coarse, crystal-like powder (ice) that can be smoked or injected.

Are students using methamphetamine?

Most school students do not use meth/amphetamine, including crystal methamphetamine (ice). 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 Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) has in fact, been decreasing over time. The latest WA results continue to demonstrate a downward trend in the percentage of students who reported ever using ATS, with a decline from 14.3% in 1999 to 3.5% in 2014.

Is there really a nationwide epidemic of methamphetamine use?

The latest figures from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) - which surveys around 24 000 Australians aged 12 and over every 2-3 years on their drug use, patterns, attitudes and behaviour - shows that the number of people using meth/amphetamine has been declining since 1998 - when recent use peaked at 3.7% - and has continued to decline to 2.1% in 2013 and to 1.4% in 2016.

Although the number of people using this drug has remained stable between 2010 and 2013, concerns have been generated by the fact that an increase has been shown to have occurred in the number of meth/amphetamine users who are choosing to use the purer, more potent form of this drug - crystal methamphetamine (ice) – which has the potential to cause more severe problems. (Use of ice by those using meth/amphetamine was shown in the NDSHS to have increased from 22% in 2010 to 57% in 2016.)

So, these figures do not reflect a nationwide epidemic of methamphetamine use but they do indicate an increased use of the more potent form of this drug - crystal methamphetamine (ice) - by those using meth/amphetamine. This may then create the potential for increased problems such as increase in hospital presentations, ambulance call-outs and psychiatric consequences by this population of people who are using ice.

This highlights the need for a clear strategy to assist them, their families and those in front-line support services. The National Ice Action Strategy also stresses the need to engage schools and the broader community in prevention education to emphasise more clearly, the risks of methamphetamine and other drugs in order to prevent and/or reduce risk of harm.

Should schools inform parents of their intentions to deliver methamphetamine and other drug education?

Research shows that school drug education opens up a dialogue about drugs and consequences of drug use that allows relevant issues to be discussed and explored in appropriate context. Involving parents in this dialogue is essential and can only happen if parents are informed of the school’s intentions around drug education.

Being made aware of what school drug education actually is and what it focuses on can ease concerns of parents who may otherwise be misinformed about the content and intentions of drug education programs.

Consistent with the Department’s Student Behaviour Policy and Procedures, principals are already required to document a whole school plan for positive behaviour support that outlines the measures that will be taken to address drug and alcohol misuse by students.  This plan must focus on teaching strategies, classroom management strategies and provision of evidence-based drug and alcohol education.

In addition, schools can also inform parents through:

  • a letter sent home with each student
  • guiding parents to the What is school drug education? fact sheet
  • including information about drug education programs in the school newsletter and website
  • developing, and making available, a whole school drug education plan (School drug education guidelines) – see Whole school drug education plan
  • directing parents to SDERA’s website to read about best practice drug education to aid their understanding of what this involves

An inclusive approach where parents are made aware and kept informed of what the school is doing in terms of drug education allows the whole-school community to work together with the aim of reducing the risks of harm from drug use.

What should I do if I think my child is using drugs?

If you think that your child is using drugs or they share with you that they are using drugs, it is important to remember that most drug use is experimental or recreational and does not lead to problematic use or dependence.   Overreacting or feeding into panic or searching their room could lead to your child disengaging from you making it harder for you to find out what is actually happening for them. 

When talking with your child when you have concerns about drug use:

Choose an appropriate time and place to talk

Sometimes starting a conversation about difficult topics is easier when you are engaged in a shared activity.  Other times it might be better to find a quiet, non-confrontational place away from distractions and potential interruptions such as other people in the house, your phone, the television and give your child your full attention.  Be guided by what you know about how your child communicates and by your level of concern.

Ask about use

Find out what substances your child has tried, what effects the substances had, and how he or she feels about their substance use.  To gain and show understanding, listen carefully to what your child is saying and try not to react negatively or judgementally if they acknowledge things they like about using the substance and why.

Share your concerns

Talk about your concerns, not only about your child's drug use but also to check out if there are  other problems that may be going on, such as problems at school or with friends.

Acknowledge their concerns

Encourage your child to share any things they may be concerned about connected with their drug use and acknowledge these without judging.

Talk about options

Acknowledge that you are there for them and that together you can work out options for moving forward to help them cease use or begin to cut down.

Seek support together

There is no need to feel alone if your child or anyone else in your family is struggling with a drug use issue.  There are a number of support services you can access to work out how to get the best form of help for your situation.  You can also talk with your doctor.

Visit our information and support webpage to access additional support and information.

When should I talk to my child about drugs?

As a parent you can have a significant influence on your child’s attitudes and decisions about drug use.  It is important to open this kind of dialogue with your children from an early age since your influence on their attitudes and decisions about drugs is greatest before they exposed to drugs or to people who might use them.

Giving your children accurate information about drugs including methamphetamine, sharing your attitudes about drugs and talking openly on this topic lets your children know that you are happy to have conversations about a range of subjects, including the ones that might seem harder to talk about.  This can reassure them that no questions or issues are off limits.

If your child is engaged in school drug education, ask them about what they are learning and use this as a guide to extend their learning in the home environment.

While most young people will not have problems with alcohol or other drugs, providing a supportive family environment where issues of concern can be raised and talked through fosters resilience, and can reduce the risk of problems arising.   Establishing a pattern of open discussion also reassures young people that you will be there for them even if they do end up in a difficult situation.

The fact sheets Talking with your children about drugs and Is my child using drugs? provide guidance that will help to engage your child around this topic or where drug use issues exist. 

More information about the benefits of school drug education and extending this through to the home can be found found by downloading the What is school drug education? fact sheet.

Visit our information and support webpage to access additional support and information.

Where can I get help if I am concerned that my child is using drugs?

Don’t be on your own with concerns about drug use

You are not alone as a parent in having concerns about your child’s exposure to opportunities to use drugs or about your child’s drug use. Problems with drug use on any level should be treated like any other health related issue.  This means it is important that you seek help from appropriate support services to make sure your concerns can be addressed and the right kind of help provided to you and your child.  Drug use is complex and the issues and consequences that surround it can be confusing and difficult to manage.  Information and support is out there so, don’t be afraid to contact service agencies with your questions and concerns.  They are there to help and they want to help.

Where can you get guidance and support?

If you think your child may have a drug use issue, or if you are worried about your own or someone else’s drug use, and you want information, clarification, or guidance to counselling support, there are excellent resources and support services in your area that can help. The people you will talk to have the experience and knowledge to give you the help you need or to guide you to the appropriate service.

If you click on the Who can help? tab, you will find links to a number of different agencies, services and helplines that can give helpful information as well as advice and support.  There are also links to places where you can talk about your concerns online.

Call the Parent and Family Drug Support Line or your local Community Alcohol and Drug Service or talk with your family doctor. 

Visit our information and support webpage to access additional support and information.

What to do in an emergency

If you are worried that you or someone else may be at immediate risk due to having used methamphetamine – and/or other drugs – call Triple Zero (000). Generally, paramedics will not involve the police unless they feel threatened by someone’s behaviour, consider others to be under threat, if a crime has been committed or if someone dies.  Don't wait until it is too late, call for help straight away.


Parent and Family Drug Support Line
T: (08) 9442 5050
T: 1800 653 203 (country callers only)
E: alcoholdrugsupport@mhc.wa.gov.au

Alcohol and Drug Support Line 
T: (08) 9442 5000
T: 1800 198 024 (country callers)
E: alcoholdrugsupport@mhc.wa.gov.au


SCHOOL FACT SHEETS

E-cigarettes 

Electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes or e-cigs are battery powered devices which heat liquid (called e-liquid) into an aerosol which is inhaled into a person’s lungs.
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  About Ice Putting methamphetamine into perspective
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What is school drug education? Drug education: Who can help?

Using guest speakers

Using guest speakers (all sectors)


What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an amphetamine-type stimulant. Stimulants speed up the function of the brain and central nervous system. Methamphetamine comes in three different forms:

  • powder or pills (speed) that can be swallowed, snorted or injected
  • a thick, oily substance (base) that can be swallowed or injected
  • crystals or coarse, crystal-like powder (ice) that can be smoked or injected

Are students using methamphetamine?

Most school students do not use meth/amphetamine, including crystal methamphetamine (ice). 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 Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) has in fact, been decreasing over time. The latest WA results continue to demonstrate a downward trend in the percentage of students who reported ever using ATS, with a decline from 14.3% in 1999 to 3.5% in 2014.

Is there really a nationwide epidemic of methamphetamine use?

The latest figures from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) - which surveys around 24,000 Australians aged 12 and over every 2-3 years on their drug use, patterns, attitudes and behaviour - shows that the number of people using meth/amphetamine has been declining since 1998 - when recent use peaked at 3.7% - and has continued to declined to 2.1% in 2013 and to 1.4% in 2016.

Although the number of people using this drug has remained stable between 2010 and 2013, concerns have been generated by the fact that an increase has been shown to have occurred in the number of meth/amphetamine users who are choosing to use the purer, more potent form of this drug - crystal methamphetamine (ice) - which has the potential to cause more severe problems. (Use of ice by those using meth/amphetamine was shown in the NDSHS to have increased from 22% in 2010 to 57% in 2016.)

So, these figures do not reflect a nationwide epidemic of methamphetamine use but they do indicate an increased use of the more potent form of this drug - crystal methamphetamine (ice) - by those using meth/amphetamine. This may then create the potential for increased problems such as increase in hospital presentations, ambulance call-outs and psychiatric consequences by this population of users.

This highlights the need for a clear strategy to assist people who are using ice, their families and those in front-line support services. The National Ice Action Strategy also stresses the need to engage schools and the broader community in prevention education to emphasise more clearly, the risks of methamphetamine and other drugs in order to prevent and/or reduce risk of harm.

What is school drug education?

Effective school drug education focuses on skills development and provides students with the capacity to make healthier and more responsible decisions for their own and others’ safety and wellbeing. We have moved a long way from the traditional approach to drug education, which focused mainly on provision of information about drugs and their possible harmful consequences.

While still including this, best practice drug education now explores and develops students' drug related knowledge, skills, attitudes and values through use of inclusive and interactive teaching strategies. It fosters resilience through nurturing a sense of belonging and connectedness both to the school and to the broader community and works towards preventing and reducing the harms from drug use.

Why is school drug education important?

We live in a society where drugs, legal and illegal (over-the-counter medications, alcohol and tobacco, cannabis and methamphetamine), are, to varying extents, available. Research shows that school drug education opens up a dialogue about drugs and consequences of drug use that allows relevant issues to be discussed and explored in appropriate contexts.

School drug education engages young people in activities that assist them to make healthier and safer choices. Through provision of accurate information and interactive activities, it improves their ability to identify risky situations, make informed decisions and develop strategies that prepare them for challenging situations where they may be exposed to opportunities to use drugs.

By fostering resilience and providing appropriate channels for support should drug use issues exist, school drug education can work to reduce potential and existing harms of drug use.

A range of resources to assist school staff in delivering drug education and understanding how to provide appropriate support is available on this website.

When should schools educate students about methamphetamine?

Prevention education is best introduced when the prevalence of use of the particular drug is still low and before most young people are exposed to the possibility of use. It is therefore important that drug education is started in early childhood. Drug education must also be age appropriate and continue through a child’s years of schooling in order to build their knowledge, skills and experiences and to bring about effective behaviour change.

Drug education programs develop a range of skills such as decision making, help seeking and problem solving, and the content through which students practise these skills, as well as being age appropriate, must be relevant to the students’ needs.

For these reasons, education about methamphetamine would be included from the secondary years of schooling.

In the early years (Kindergarten- Year 2), programs should focus on safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medications and non-medicinal alternatives to these drugs such as relaxation and using coping strategies; hazardous and poisonous substances such as cleaning and gardening products, as well as the warning signs on these. Legal drugs such as caffeine (contained in energy drinks) and tobacco (passive smoking) should also be included in classroom programs.

In the middle and upper primary years (Years 3 -6), programs should focus on that identified above as well as safe use of analgesics. Alcohol and, in later primary years, illegal drugs such as cannabis should also be included in classroom programs. Programs should also explore the range of factors that can combine and lead to possible consequences if students chose to use a drug. This assists in promoting awareness of how to reduce risks of harm.

In the secondary years, programs should focus on legal drugs such as alcohol, caffeine (energy drinks), tobacco, over-the-counter and prescription medicines, illegal drugs such as cannabis, synthetic cannabis, and other illicit drugs including methamphetamine. Students should also continue to explore more broadly the range of factors that can contribute to a drug use experience. This promotes understanding that the context in which drug use occurs can either exacerbate or reduce the risks of harm. This provides opportunity for students to identify how potential harms can be avoided or reduced and to develop or extend the skills that assist with this.

Note: Education on Volatile Substances should only be provided with professional support and targeted to those known to have issues around use of volatile substances. The National Drug Strategy supports that this not be included in classroom programs to avoid ‘copycat’ behaviour.

How should schools incorporate methamphetamine education into their teaching and learning programs?

Prevention education is best introduced when the prevalence of use of the particular drug is still low and before most young people are exposed to the possibility of use. It is therefore important that drug education is started in early childhood, is age appropriate and continues through a child’s years of schooling in order to build their knowledge, skills and experiences and to bring about effective behaviour change.

There are three critical phases when the intervention effects of drug education are most likely to be optimised, and include:

  • Phase 1: Inoculation which is when children are first exposed to certain drugs.
  • Phase 2: Early relevancy which is where information and skills may have practical application in real life.
  • Phase 3: Later relevancy which is when prevalence of alcohol and drug use increases and the context of use changes.

The early adolescence years are a crucial phase where schools need to implement both resilience and drug education programs since this is when young people are more likely to be faced with many influences to use both licit and illicit drugs. Engaging students in drug education programs assists them to make healthier and safer choices, identify high risk situations, and develop a range of strategies to prepare them for challenging situations. A consistent message given to young people is that there is no safe level of drug use and that any drug has the potential to cause harm.

Using SDERA’s drug education resource Challenges and Choices for Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, aligned to the Western Australian Curriculum, will ensure that teachers introduce teaching and learning programs about methamphetamine and other illicit as well as licit drugs in a way that is age appropriate and relevant to the students’ needs.

What are the best ways to educate students about the potential harms of methamphetamine and other drugs?

Effective drug education in schools is known to be achieved best through a structured approach to the provision of information and support and the development of skills that aim to reduce students’ risk of harm from drug use.

Best practice drug education explores and develops students' drug related knowledge, skills, attitudes and values through use of inclusive and interactive teaching strategies. The content through which students practise these skills, as well as being age appropriate, must be relevant to the students’ needs. Drug education is also best introduced when the prevalence of use of the particular drug is still low and before most young people are exposed to the possibility of use of that drug.

For these reasons, education about methamphetamine and other illicit drugs would be included from the secondary years of schooling.

For further detailed information about how to provide best practice school drug education, download the What is school drug education? fact sheet.

Should schools inform parents of their intentions to deliver methamphetamine and other drug education?

Research shows that school drug education opens up a dialogue about drugs and consequences of drug use that allows relevant issues to be discussed and explored in appropriate contexts. Involving parents in this dialogue is essential and can only happen if parents are informed of the school’s intentions around drug education.

Being made aware of what school drug education actually is and what it focuses on can ease concerns of parents who may otherwise be misinformed about the content and intentions of drug education programs.

Consistent with the Department’s Student Behaviour Policy and Procedures, principals are already required to document a whole school plan for positive behaviour support that outlines the measures that will be taken to address drug and alcohol misuse by students.  This plan must focus on teaching strategies, classroom management strategies and provision of evidence-based drug and alcohol education.

In addition, schools can also inform parents through:

  • a letter sent home with each student (refer example)
  • guiding parents to the What is school drug education? fact sheet
  • including information about drug education programs in the school newsletter and website
  • developing, and making available, a whole school drug education plan (referred to as School drug education guidelines in SDERA resources) – see Whole School Drug Education Plan
  • directing parents to SDERA’s website to read about best practice drug education to aid their understanding of what this involves.

An inclusive approach where parents are made aware and kept informed of what the school is doing in terms of drug education allows the whole-school community to work together with the aim of reducing the risks of harm from drug use.

What can schools do to prevent or minimise drug related harm for young people?

Effective school drug education can best be achieved through a structured approach that provides information and support and assists students to develop skills that aim to reduce their risk of harm from drug use. As with any other area of education, knowledge is acquired over time and skills improve only with opportunity to practice. For these reasons and others, research (Principles for School Drug Education, DEST, 2004) tells us that the best people to provide drug education throughout a student’s years of schooling are the school staff.

Drug use is complex. Students can be affected by their own drug use or the drug use of others. School drug education aims to reduce the harms associated with use and to promote healthier, alternative behaviours. A harm minimisation approach – the approach supported by national and state strategy - promotes non-use and delayed use of all drugs, and is an inclusive approach that is supportive of young people who are not using drugs, those who may be experimenting with drugs and those who may be experiencing issues related to drug use.

Providing drug based teaching and learning programs aligned to the Western Australian Curriculum. Teaching drug education in schools - and supporting this with adequate processes and procedures should any student by found to have a drug use issue or should a drug use incident occur  (refer Whole School Drug Education Plan) ensures that schools are being pro-active in working to reduce potential or existing harm from drug use in the student population.

How can schools maximise support for young people at risk of harm from drug use?

Drug use is complex and the issues and consequences that surround it can be confusing and may seem difficult to manage. Problems with drug use on any level should be treated like any other health related issue. This means that it is important to know where to seek help in order to access appropriate support to make sure the concerns can be addressed and help given where it is needed most.

For schools, it is important to have a whole school drug education plan including clearly documented procedures for incident management and intervention support. Having these in place and known by all staff works to ensure a consistent and thorough process is followed should any student drug use issue emerge. These procedures are protective of both staff members and students.

Working with appropriate, documented procedures for drug related incidents and issues can ensure that students at risk of harm get the support they need and remain connected to school which is widely acknowledged as a protective factor. This is also protective for staff who can be reassured that they are meeting their duty of care as relevant to their role within the school.

For further information about providing support to students who may be at risk of harm from drug use, download the Who can help? fact sheet. 

School staff can also attend SDERA’s professional learning workshops- Getting it Together: Developing a whole school drug education plan.

Contact SDERA for further guidance and support.

Does talking about drugs increase the likelihood that young people will use drugs?

We live in a society where drugs, legal and illegal (over-the-counter medications, alcohol and tobacco, cannabis and methamphetamine), are, to varying extents, available. References to drugs and their use occur frequently on television shows and through news items and articles on social media.

Research shows that school drug education opens up a dialogue about drugs and consequences of drug use that allows relevant issues to be discussed and explored in appropriate context. This allows accurate information to be provided and discussed in an educational environment where support and follow-up discussion may also occur with trusted members of the school staff.

Providing an environment where young people can ask questions or seek guidance on their concerns about drugs or drug use without fear of getting into trouble is protective and encourages help seeking behaviour.

By fostering resilience, developing social skills, and providing appropriate channels for support should drug use issues exist, talking about drugs through school drug education can work to reduce potential and existing harms of drug use.

How should schools explain their approach to drug education to those in the school community who feel it is a sensitive or controversial topic?

The topic of drugs and drug use is one that can raise anxiety for some people. A lack of understanding about the focus and intentions of school drug education may lead to some students, staff or parents feeling concerned about drug education being provided at school.

It is important to address these concerns with empathy while explaining quite clearly that far from being all about drugs, best practice, effective school drug education focuses on engaging young people in activities that assist them to develop the knowledge and skills to make healthier and safer choices.

Through provision of accurate information and interactive activities, it improves their ability to identify risky situations, make informed decisions and develop strategies that prepare them for challenging situations where they may be exposed to opportunities to use drugs.

We live in a society where drugs, legal and illegal (over-the-counter medications, alcohol and tobacco, cannabis and methamphetamine), are, to varying extents, available. Research shows that school drug education opens up a dialogue about drugs and consequences of drug use that allows relevant issues to be discussed and explored in appropriate context.

By fostering resilience and providing appropriate channels for support should drug use issues exist, school drug education can work to reduce potential and existing harms of drug use.

For tools to assist in explaining approaches to drug education refer to SDERA’s Letter to parents about school drug education and What is school drug education? fact sheet. For further support or guidance contact SDERA directly.



STUDENT FACT SHEETS

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It's OK to ask for help Who should I talk to when I need help? Help Seeking -
It's a process

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an amphetamine-type stimulant. Stimulants speed up the function of the brain and central nervous system. Methamphetamine comes in three different forms:

  • powder or pills (speed) that can be swallowed, snorted or injected
  • a thick, oily substance (base) that can be swallowed or injected
  • crystals or coarse, crystal-like powder (ice) that can be smoked or injected.

Are a lot of students using methamphetamine?

Most school students do not use meth/amphetamine, including crystal methamphetamine (ice). 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 Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) has in fact, been decreasing over time. The latest WA results continue to demonstrate a downward trend in the percentage of students who reported ever using ATS, with a decline from 14.3% in 1999 to 3.5% in 2014.

 For more information download the Putting methamphetamine into perspective fact sheet.

How might I be affected if I use methamphetamine?

As with any drug, the effects of methamphetamine vary from person to person and can depend on:

  • how much is used
  • mood
  • body size such as weight and height
  • overall health
  • previous experience with this drug
  • whether it is used on its own or in combination with other drugs
  • purity and potency.

If you use methamphetamine, you could experience a combination of physical effects such as:

  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • difficulty sleeping
  • restlessness
  • headaches and dizziness.

You might also experience a number of psychological effects such as:

  • feeling confident, alert and energised
  • being talkative
  • feeling anxious or panicky
  • feeling agitated, aggressive or being hostile.

The longer you use methamphetamine the greater your risk of harm of experiencing negative effects such as:

  • insomnia
  • tolerance and dependence
  • dental problems
  • depression, anxiety and mood swings
  • relationship breakdown
  • periods of psychosis.

For more information on the effects of methamphetamine download the About Ice fact sheet.

Why do some people use methamphetamine?

The majority of people do not use illicit drugs, including methamphetamine.  Those who do use them, will use them for a lot of different reasons.  Some of these reasons might be:

  • to experiment and satisfy curiosity
  • to socialise
  • to feel more confident
  • to feel like they have more energy
  • to do something that feels exciting
  • to alleviate boredom
  • to fit in because their friends are using it
  • to feel less stressed
  • to escape problems.

As with any drug, the effects that people experience can be different and some people may have reactions to methamphetamine that are unpleasant or harmful, even when small amounts are used.  Risks of harm are increased too because methamphetamine is an illegal drug and may be “cut” or mixed with other substances.  This means that it is difficult to tell what the drug contains which increases the risk of unpredictable harmful effects.

The initial effects of drug use are short lasting where the problems that drug use can generate can last a lot longer.  If you are struggling with stressful problems, feel that your confidence is low or are concerned about your own or someone else's drug use, speak to someone you trust that can support you. 

For more information about services that can provide you with the help you need, visit our information and support webpage.

Where can I get more information?

Getting accurate information about methamphetamine and other drugs is very important.  This means that you can be well informed and not relying on what you hear in the media or on what your friends might tell you they think is true. These sites are reliable and accurate and based in Australia.

  • The Mental Health Commission is responsible for the network of drug and alcohol treatment services and programs formerly provided by the Drug and Alcohol Office.  Confidential helplines are available for anyone concerned about their own or another person's alcohol or drug use.

  • The Drug Aware website provides factual, credible and accurate drug information for young people in order to help them make informed decisions. It also provides a live chat service where you can chat confidentially with a professional alcohol and drug councillor online.

  • The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is committed to preventing alcohol and other drug harms in our communities and believe that an Australia free from alcohol and drug harm will be an Australia that’s safer for us all.

  • The Alcohol.Think Again education campaign is part of a comprehensive approach in Western Australia that aims to reduce the level of alcohol-related harm and ill-health in Western Australia. 

Visit our information and support webpage to access additional support and information.

Where can I get more help?

If you would like to talk to someone about a problem you, a family member or friend are experiencing related to drugs, there are some really good help and support lines where you can talk to someone on the phone or chat online. No matter how big a problem seems, confiding in a trusted adult can really help.  Don't be on your own. We are all human and can all have problems. Talk to your parents, a teacher or another staff member at your school who will also support you in getting the help you need.  

Visit our information and support webpage to access additional support and information.


Alcohol and Drug Support Service

The Alcohol and Drug Support Service provides free 24/7 non judgemental telephone, counselling, information, referral and support lines for alcohol and drug use.

Alcohol and Drug Support Line

For anyone concerned about their own or another person's alcohol or drug use, call
T: 9442 5000
T: 1800 198 024 (country callers)
E: alcoholdrugsupport@mhc.wa.gov.au


Kids Helpline

The Kids Helpline counsellors talk with more than 5,500 kids each week and can help will all sorts of problems, big and small. You can contact Kids Helpline via phone or email. If your problem is urgent, or if you need to speak to someone straight away, call the helpline.

You don’t need to tell the counsellor your name and the information you discuss will remain confidential, unless the counsellor feels that your life or another person’s life is in danger.

T: 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue provides support for depression, anxiety and related disorders.

T: 1300 22 4636, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Lifeline

Lifeline provides confidential telephone counselling, 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.

T: 131114, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Is it ok to ask for help?

One of the most important things to learn about how to help ourselves when we are struggling or worried is to allow ourselves to ask for help.  Asking for help is not easy.  Sometimes even though we know we need to confide in someone to help us deal with a problem, we avoid talking about it because we are afraid that no-one can help, worried about what might happen or change, concerned about upsetting others, or embarrassed that we have a problem in the first place.  Other times we feel that we need to be resourceful and solve our problems by ourselves.  When our problem is with drug use, for some reason we can feel even more worried about confiding in anyone.

If you are using a drug that is illegal, like cannabis or methamphetamine, or you are drinking but you are underage, asking for help might seem even harder.  Maybe you are worried about getting into trouble with your parents, at school, with the law, or just concerned that people won’t understand and will react or judge you.   Maybe it is someone else’s drug use you are worried about.

When we do pluck up the courage and ask for help though, more times than not, the guidance and support that we need will be offered and we can talk things through and then things can start to get better.

So, find out who you can talk to at school.  Also, there are some really good help and support lines where you can talk to someone on the phone or chat online. If you click on the Who can help? tab, you will find links to lots of help lines that can give great information as well as advice and support .  The people you will talk to have the experience and knowledge to point you in the right direction to get the help you need.

What to do in an emergency

If you are worried that you or someone else may be at immediate risk due to having used methamphetamine – and/or other drugs – call Triple Zero (000). Generally, paramedics will not involve the police unless they feel threatened by someone’s behaviour, consider others to be under threat, if a crime has been committed or if someone dies.  Don't wait until it is too late, call for help straight away.

Who should I talk to when I need help?

When you have a problem, sometimes it might feel easier to talk to a friend or a brother or sister rather than to your parents, a teacher, or other adult.  The truth is though that sometimes you need the experience and greater knowledge and expertise that can only be provided by talking to a trusted adult like one of your parents, a teacher, other school staff member or a professional drug support worker.

School staff and other professionals are bound by confidentiality which means that what you talk about with them will stay between you. They will let you know if and when they need to share information about your situation with others and this will only be to make sure you get the best help possible. The only exception to this is if they were to be extremely worried about you or someone connected to you.  In this case, they may have to involve someone else without discussing it just to keep everyone safe.  Don’t be afraid to ask about confidentiality as school staff and health professionals will be open about this and explain everything to you upfront.  All they want to do is to make sure they give you the help you need.

No matter how big a problem seems, confiding in a trusted adult can really help.  Don't be on your own. We are all human and can all have problems and the best way to get through our problems is to ask for help.

Where else can I get help?

Find out who you can talk to at school.  Also, there are some really good help and support lines where you can talk to someone on the phone or chat online.  The people you will talk to have the experience and knowledge to point you in the right direction to get the help you need. Visit our information and support webpage to access support and information.

What to do in an emergency

 If you are worried that you or someone else may be at immediate risk due to having used methamphetamine – and/or other drugs – call Triple Zero (000). Generally, paramedics will not involve the police unless they feel threatened by someone’s behaviour, consider others to be under threat, if a crime has been committed or if someone dies.  Don't wait until it is too late, call for help straight away.


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