Online Treatment Programs can involve ‘chatting’ to a trained counsellor over the internet in real-time or by email, or a pre-programmed online “course” that is offered with or without support from a trained professional. For example, Counselling Online provides free drug and alcohol counselling over the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone in Australia. This site also offers a range of practical information, an SMS support program, an online peer support forum, and details about how to find a telephone or face-to-face treatment program in your state.
Online automated programs that have demonstrated benefits for people with drug use problems include the SHADE program (depression and alcohol/other drug use) and OnTrack (alcohol use and depression). Other online automated programs include MoodGym (depression), MindSpot (anxiety and depression), and ThisWayUp (depression and anxiety), which may assist people with additional concerns associated with their ice use. A number of online portals now exist, which can help people work out which is the best online program for them. These include MindHealthConnect, and the DigitalDog. Online services can help provide treatment at times when people most need them, and are available 24 hours a day. They can offer support whilst people are waiting to access face-to-face treatment services, or in situations where specialist services are unavailable.
The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use recently launched a new online early intervention for ice use, based on CBT and MI, called Breaking the Ice. The Breaking the Ice program is designed to help individuals become more aware of how their use of ice affects their health and other areas of their life. To access this online program, please visit: https://breakingtheice.org.au/