Novel interventions to address methamphetamines in Aboriginal communities, including a randomised trial of a web based therapeutic tool used to treat dependence in clinical settings

  • Research program: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: January 2016
  • Expected end date: December 2020
  • Completion date: December 2021
  • Funded by: NHMRC
  • Lead organisation: South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute

Methamphetamines are stimulant type drugs that are potent, illegal and readily available on the Australian illicit drug market. There is much concern about the widespread use of methamphetamines in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) communities. Only a few studies of methamphetamine use in Aboriginal communities have been completed and as such there are major gaps regarding patterns of methamphetamine use, the natural history of methamphetamine users (duration of use, frequency, methods of administration) and the health including mental health trajectories and social outcomes related to methamphetamine use.

Importantly trials of appropriate interventions to reduce methamphetamine use and its harms are urgently needed in Aboriginal communities, particularly in primary care services that Aboriginal people access. We propose, for the first time, a randomised trial of a web based therapeutic tool for use in Aboriginal Medical Services to treat clients using methamphetamines. In addition we will describe the health and well-being of Aboriginal people who use methamphetamines and trial unique Aboriginal community led interventions. We will work in nine sites nationally from urban, regional and remote communities.

This novel study will be groundbreaking and will contribute significantly to our understanding of this drug in Aboriginal community contexts as well as trial an intervention that will assist Aboriginal medical services in treating clients with methamphetamine use issues.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
  • Principal Investigator: James Ward, University of Queensland
  • Chief Investigator: Rebecca McKetin, University of New South Wales
  • Chief Investigator: Carla Treloar, University of New South Wales
  • Chief Investigator: Katherine Conigrave, University of Sydney
  • Chief Investigator: Adrian Dunlop, University of Newcastle
  • Chief Investigator: Edward Wilkes, Curtin University
  • Chief Investigator: Brendan Quinn, Burnet Institute
  • Chief Investigator: Handan Wand, University of New South Wales
  • Chief Investigator: Nadine Ezard, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney
  • Co-investigator: Alex Brown, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Co-investigator: Julia Butt, Edith Cowan University
  • Co-investigator: Margaret Cargo,
  • Co-investigator: Rachel Reilly, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Co-investigator: Steven Wesselingh,

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:

Reilly, R., Wand, H., McKetin, R., Quinn, B., Ezard, N., Dunlop, A., Conigrave, K., Treloar, C., Roe, Y., Gray, D., Stephens, J. and Ward, J. (2020). Survey methods and characteristics of a sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people who have recently used amphetamines: the NIMAC survey. Drug and Alcohol Review, 39, pp. 646-655. doi:10.1111/dar.13085 [RJ1600] View web page

Reilly, R., McKetin, R., Wand, H., Butt, J., C., Smout, M., Ezard, N., Conigrave, K., Clark, Y., Quinn, B., Treloar, C., Gray, D., Dunlop, A., Roe, Y. and Ward, J. (2019). A web-based therapeutic program (We Can Do This) for reducing methamphetamine use and increasing help-seeking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Protocol for a randomized wait-list controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 8, (7). doi:10.2196/14084 [RJ1547] View web page