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The stepped care model: a useful intervention strategy for people who use methamphetamine

This resource is by The Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

This resource is a factsheet providing information on the stepped-care approach to treatment.

Summary: This fact sheet provides information on the implementation of stepped care models in the treatment of individuals who are using (including crystal methamphetamine 'ice').

Stepped care models recommend starting with the intervention methods that are the least demanding or intensive for the client, but still effective. Treatment is then stepped up or down depending on client needs.

This factsheet outlines common barriers that may prevent people from engaging in treatment, how stepped care models might avoid these problems, and examples of what a stepped care model for treating users of ice might look like.

Since the development of the fact sheet, technology has been increasingly integrated into the treatment pathway, to extend the reach of existing treatment services in responding to ice and other drug and alcohol harms. See our What type of help is available? section for more information about these options.

Developers: This fact sheet was prepared by DrugInfo, the Australian Drug Foundation, and the State Government of Victoria Department of Human Services. Background information was provided by Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin.

Year: 2008*

Costs: Free

Evidence baseThis resource has undergone expert review. Refer to the factsheet for full reference list.

*Please note that while this resource was developed more than 10 years ago, it is the most recent evidence-based resource of its kind. If you have seen a newer resource on this topic, please let us know at

Page last reviewed: Wednesday, 24 August 2022