Breaking the ice in our community

Breaking the ice in our community

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Breaking the ice in our community is a fact sheet designed for Aboriginal family and carers of a person using 'Ice' (crystalline methamphetamine). It includes information on the effects of ice, what you can do to help, how to cope with someone’s bad reaction to ice, treatment options and where to find support services. 

Speaker icon audio contentListen to the spoken word audio version of this fact sheet by clicking the play button under each heading.

What is ice?

Ice, or crystalline methamphetamine is a stimulant which means it speeds up messages travelling between the brain and the body. Listen for more information.

How ice affects someone

Ice can affect people differently, the effects of ice can be felt:

  • In the Body
  • In the Mind
  • When 'Coming down'

Listen for more effects.


It’s easy to become dependent (addicted) on ice if it’s used regularly and giving it up can take a couple of goes. Listen for more information about dependence.

What you can do

Learn how you can create a ‘safe space’ for people to be honest about their problem. If they want help, let them know that they can always come to you and not be judged.

Treatment options

A range of treatment options are available to assist someone who might be dependent on ice. It might start with talking to your GP, a local drug and alcohol worker, Aboriginal Medical Service or general health service. Hear more about treatment options.

Coping with someone's bad reaction to ice

What can you do when you find yourself dealing with someone’s bad reaction to ice. Listen to tips on how to cope.

You're not alone

We know this isn't easy for you – you may be feeling anxious, helpless and desperate but help is available. Listen to information about what you can do to stay on top of your own emotions.

Help and support

There are many services and organisations in NSW that can give you support, advice and referrals to services.

Find out more about support services for Aboriginal people at Support & treatment.

Full audio version of the Breaking the ice in our community fact sheet.

Thank you to members of the Leadership Group of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Network (ADAN) and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) for their editorial input into this resource.

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