PeakCare’s Ice Bank

Welcome to Ice Bank, a PeakCare initiative to create a means for collecting and pooling knowledge about the use of methamphetamines, its impact on Queensland’s families and communities and implications for working with children and families, made accessible to all our Members.

The formation of Ice Bank was prompted by the concerns and mixed range of experiences and viewpoints reported to PeakCare by our Members during Roundtable meetings held in 2015 and 2016. Ice Bank was also informed by this study undertaken by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services about the prevalence of methamphetamine use amongst parents whose children were made subject to a child protection order or intervention with parental agreement.

For ease of use, the deposits have been posted under the tabs below – simply click to access the relevant information:


‘Just Ice?’ Symposium Video Series – Introduction

by Lindsay Wegener, Executive Director, PeakCare Queensland and Natalie Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, ‎Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak

View the introduction


The Queensland response: Action on Ice 

by Graham FraineDeputy Director General, Policy, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Graham Fraine is responsible for developing specific policy advice for the Premier on key issues, providing high level strategic social and economic policy advice for the Premier and Cabinet. In his keynote address, Graham outlined the Action Plan on Ice, the Queensland government’s intervention plan to address ice use. He also noted the need to address the stigma surrounding ice use, setting the scene for the following two days.

View Graham’s presentation

Ice in Context: Prevalence of ice in the tertiary child protection system 

by Merrilyn Strohfeldt, former Deputy Director General, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services 

Merrilyn Strohfeldt’s former role was responsible for regional service delivery, Child Safety quality practice and service improvement and domestic and family violence policy and commissioning. Her keynote address discussed the prevalence of ice in the tertiary child protection system, with the emphasis on facts and evidence-based practice, outlining the statistics facing families subjected to interventions by the Department and the need to work holistically with children and families in dealing with drug use alongside other presenting issues whilst keeping children safe and working towards the most positive option of child and family wellbeing.

View Merrilyn’s presentation

Understanding methamphetamine 

by Cameron Francis, Social Worker, Dovetail

Cameron Francis is a social worker with over fifteen years experience in the youth alcohol and other drug sector. Cameron’s keynote address focused on understanding the true nature of methamphetamine and dispelling myths and assumptions about drug use. For more of PeakCare’s reflections on this topic, read our blog article on Cameron’s presentation.

View Cameron’s presentation

Domestic and family violence and the impact of ice

by Belinda Cox, Communities and Partnerships Program Manager, Brisbane Domestic Violence Service, Micah Projects

Belinda Cox is the Communities and Partnerships Program Manager at the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service, Micah Projects. She delivered an express podium on domestic violence and the impact of ice, emphasising that drug misuse is not a cause or excuse for domestic violence, though it can significantly shape power dynamics in relationships.

View Belinda’s presentation

The interface between mental health and ice use 

by Carmel Ybarlucea, Executive Director, Queensland Mental Health Commission

Carmel Ybarlucea is the Executive Director of Strategy, Policy and Research at the Queensland Mental Health Commission and has been central to delivering the Commission’s mental health and alcohol and other drugs reform platform. Her express podium presentation focused on improving service delivery for drug users to support mental health and wellbeing, considering that research shows illicit drug users are more likely to report high or very high levels of psychological distress.

View Carmel’s presentation

Act for Kids Brisbane Therapy Programs

by Stephanie Jordan, Program Coordinator/Therapist, Act for Kids

Stephanie Jordan is a clinical Social Worker and Family Therapist with Act for Kids. Her express podium presentation discussed the services provided by Act for Kids, especially the therapeutic programs offered for children, young people and families experiencing problematic drug use.

View Stephanie’s presentation

The role of the Director of Child Protection Litigation

by Nigel Miller, Director of Child Protection Litigation, Department of Justice and Attorney-General

Nigel A. Miller is Queensland’s first Director of Child Protection Litigation. His express podium presentation explained the role of his office, and how it fits within the child protection system in Queensland.

View Nigel’s presentation

The personal journey to family drug support

by Tony Trimingham, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Family Drug Support Australia

Tony Trimingham has worked for the past three decades as a counsellor, group leader and psychotherapist and founder of Family Drug Support, a national service for families of drug and alcohol users, for which he won an Order of Australia Medal and the Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Drug and Alcohol Endeavours. Tony’s presentation explored a personal journey of facing drug use within his own family, advocating a compassionate, fact-oriented approach to reducing harm when dealing with loved ones with a drug dependency.

View Tony’s presentation

Day two opening address: Message from the Minister

by Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety, Mister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence

The Hon. Shannon Fentiman, former Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, welcomed attendees to the second day of the Symposium, acknowledging the value of a practical, evidence-based approach to addressing problematic ice use in Queensland communities.

View Minister Fentiman’s address

Much bigger than rehabilitation

by Jane Bowman, Program Manager, Queensland Injectors Health Network, and Niki Parry, Treatment Support Worker/Queensland Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Mediation Service Coordinator, Queensland Injectors Health Network

Jane Bowman is Program Manager of treatment services at Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) Brisbane, and Niki is an AOD Case Worker at QuIHN and runs the Queensland Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Mediation Service, a state wide peer based service that supports people who are on opiate replacement treatment across Queensland. Their joint keynote address explored maximising successful intervention options for people who use drugs and their families, and the importance of understanding the user, family and community in terms of causes, interventions and recovery. For more of PeakCare’s reflections on this presentation, read the blog article.

View their presentation

Finding the information we need to succeed

by Eddie Fewings, Substance Use Policy and Program Coordinator, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, and Cameron Francis, Social Worker, Dovetail

Eddie Fewings is a married Aboriginal father of five adult children and Bar Barrum man from the north-western edge of the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. Eddie has been involved in a range of sectors and programs including health, child protection, juvenile justice, cultural and natural resource management, education, housing and business development. His presentation advocated access to culturally responsive, safe and integrated treatment options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and families with problematic alcohol and drug use.

View Eddie’s presentation


The Queensland government has released the final Action on ice plan. The plan places ice within the broader context of responding to alcohol and other drugs and has a focus on reducing supply (primarily through law enforcement activity), reducing demand (through prevention, early intervention and treatment) and minimising harm (through specialised programs, services and initiatives).

Access Action on ice – the Government’s plan to address use and harms caused by crystal methamphetamine.

The draft plan for public consultation and feedback was released in February 2017. View the draft plan here.

In September 2016, a once-off study based on a representative sample was conducted by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services regarding the prevalence of methamphetamine use amongst parents whose children came into care (either intervention with parental agreement or child protection order) as part of a wider study into family and household characteristics of those involved in the Queensland child protection system.

Access more information on this study and access findings from the study.

In 2015, the Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce made 38 recommendations across five areas of priority to the government for providing a multifaceted response to ice use in Australia, finding that that the resilience of the market reflected the unique nature of the drug and must therefore shape the government’s response.

Access the Report.

In April 2018, The methamphetamine market: police detainee perspectives was published by the Australian Institute of Criminology on the use of methamphetamines by police detainees in 2015-16, with most police detainees reporting that they had used methamphetamine in the previous 12 months, and the majority having used the drug in the last 30 days.

Access the study.

In May 2017, Statistical Bulletin No. 3 – Australian methamphetamine user outcomes was published by the Australian Institute of Criminology to determine whether methamphetamine users, compared with other drug users and non-users, experienced worse outcomes and whether these outcomes were observed across different methamphetamine user groups.

Access the bulletin and read more about the findings.

In July 2016, The Social Costs of Methamphetamine in Australia 2013/14 research report was published by the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, to estimate the discrete cost of methamphetamine use to Australian society in the year 2013/14.

Access the study.

In October 2015, the Methamphetamine: Focusing Australia’s National Ice Strategy on the problem, not the symptoms Special Report was published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, arguing that Australia needs a paradigm shift in its design and delivery of an ice strategy.

Access the Report and read more about the findings.

In September 2015, the Findings from the DUMA program: Methamphetamine drug market trends research in practice paper was published by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), distilling the characteristics and trends of the methamphetamine market in Australia. This research paper examines the trends in the use, availability, purity and price of methamphetamine in 2014 via data collected from the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program implemented by AIC.

Access the paper.

In September 2013, the Methamphetamine issue of the Research Report Series was published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the US Department of Health and Human Services that examined the scope and nature of methamphetamine use in the United States to date.

Access the report.

In 2013, the article Methamphetamine use in Melbourne, Australia: baseline characteristics of a prospective methamphetamine-using cohort and correlates of methamphetamine dependence was published in the Journal of Substance Use, presenting data from the first cohort study of methamphetamine users in Melbourne, and finding that methamphetamine dependence was independently associated with experience of high levels of psychological distress during the previous month, current use of prescribed mental health medication and primarily injecting methamphetamine over other routes of administration.

View the abstract.

In 2012, the article Methamphetamine-Involved Parents in the Child Welfare System: Are They More Challenging Than Other Substance-
Involved Parents? was published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare, examining the characteristics of methamphetamine use by parents involved in the child welfare system as compared to the use of other drugs, and whether methamphetamine use resulted in greater self-reported impairment as indicated by employment, stable long term relationships, and child maltreatment allegations.

View the abstract.

In 2010, the Methamphetamine treatment evaluation study (MATES): Three-year outcomes from the Sydney site technical report was published by the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre at the University of Sydney on the findings of a follow-up study of the MATES cohort to understand more about long-term treatment options and outcomes for methamphetamine dependence.

Access the report.

In 2010, the study Issues for the safety and wellbeing of children in families with multiple and complex problems: The co-occurrence of domestic violence, parental substance misuse, and mental health problems was published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies outlining systemic causal factors of child endangerment and risk assessment options and interventions.

Access the study and read more about the findings.

In 2010, the article Parental Methamphetamine Use and Implications for Child Welfare Intervention: A Review of the Literature was published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare, describing effects of methamphetamine use on families and the research on intervention outcomes.

View the abstract.

In 2010, the article Parental Substance Abuse and Family Reunification was published in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, examining the reunification outcomes of four groups of children placed in foster care in Oklahoma, USA.

View the abstract.

In 2008, the article Improving outcomes for children living in families with parental substance misuses: What do we know and what should we do was published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies to provide insight into the research, sociological considerations, programs and community responses that may be of assistance whilst continuing to examine the issues and pose solutions.

Access the article and read more about the findings.

In 2006, the First Nations Centre of Canada published the discussion paper The Emerging Issue of Crystal Methamphetamine Use in First Nations Communities with an emphasis on the prevalence of ice in First Nations in North America and Canada, and strategies to combat ice use specific to these communities.

Access the article and read more about the findings.

In 2006, the article The Impact of Methamphetamine Use on Parenting was published in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions exploring the self-reported traits of parents being treated for methamphetamine abuse, and finding that while using, parents allowed exposure to violence, created upheaval in their children’s daily living structure, and felt ambivalence when discussing these effects on children.

View the abstract.

In 2018, Insight Alcohol and other drug training and workforce development Queensland, an initiative of Queensland Health, produced the Methamphetamine – Factsheet for Families that offers realistic advice as to how to respond to those close who are using ice and potentially behaving in ways that confront those around them.

Access the fact sheet, and access more information from Queensland Health’s initiative into prevention of ice use.

In 2008, the National Drug Strategy published Treatment Approaches for Users of Methamphetamine: A Practical Guide for Frontline Workers based on recent research, national and international guidelines, and expert opinion.

Access the guide online.

Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation is a advocacy group that was established in 1959 to support war veterans suffering from alcohol dependence. Their website contains many resources on alcohol and drug use and harms. View their information on ice here as well as their Good Sports initiative to support sporting club leaders and and administrators to structure club activities to encourage healthier behaviour and create positive club culture for young people.

Developed by the Department of Health, Positive Choices is an online portal to help school communities access accurate, evidence-based up-to-date drug education resources and prevention programs. Access the portal’s resources on ice here.

Developed by the Department of Health, the Cracks in the Ice Toolkit is an online toolkit to provide evidence-based information about ice (crystal methamphetamine) for the Australian community. Access Cracks in the Ice Toolkit here.

Family Drug Support Australia is a not-for-profit organisation offering support to those with family who are drug-dependant. Find out more about their services on their website.

Lives Lived Well is a not-for-profit support organisation for people who have problems with alcohol and drugs and associated mental health issues with community and residential programs. Find out more on their website.

Coming soon!

In April 2017, Kathy McLeish wrote an article for the ABC finding that ‘ice corridors’ in Queensland mean that one in every three children in protection have a parent who is a user of ice.

Access the article online.

In September 2016, Nicole Lee and Paula Ross wrote an opinion piece for The Conversation on the impacts of ice on the drug user’s family and what families can do to help.

Access the article online.

In October 2015, Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney, wrote an article for Huffington Post Australia arguing that treating ice users like criminals will not solve the problem of ice use in Australia.

Access the article online.