Families and friends can play a critical role in the recovery of people who might be experiencing problems with crystal methamphetamine ('ice') or other drugs. This section provides information about helping a loved one who may be using ice, including tips for starting a conversation, how to protect yourself and where to get additional support.

The use of ice doesn't just affect the person, it also impacts family and friends. Being around someone who is using or on ice can be stressful, especially if it’s a loved one. You, as a friend or family member may feel anxious at times because of the changes you see in your loved one when they are on ice. You may also feel desperate or helpless. It can be difficult, but it's important to remember you are not alone. There is help available. For example, Family Drug Support has a 24-hour support line for families and friends affected by alcohol and other drugs. See what other other support options are available.

Support and encouragement from family and friends have been shown to play a key role in the recovery process.

It is important to take care of yourself too. Helping a person who is dependent on ice can take a toll on your mental and physical health. You need to make sure that you are looking after yourself by eating a healthy diet, sleeping well and exercising. You may also need the support of your family and friends. 

As part of the Cracks in the Ice website, we have developed a new evidence-based online wellbeing and resilience program for families and friends of people who use The support program provides strategies to cope with and respond to a loved one using Ice, exploring sources of support for yourself and a loved one, and provision of specific strategies to improve family resilience. This program is currently undergoing a formal evaluation. Find out more about the Family and Friends Support Program.

Page last reviewed: Thursday, 3 December 2020

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