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Preventing methamphetamine use through knowledge and awareness

Research has found that using methamphetamine, even just a few times, can have life-long health consequences. Research teams from the University of South Australia have created a campaign to raise awareness of these effects, to discourage methamphetamine use in our communities. These assets are available for partnered use.

There is strong evidence from multiple sources indicating that there is a serious methamphetamine problem in Australia. For example, data from the last National Drug Strategy Household Survey suggests that 1.3 million Australians have used methamphetamine or ‘ice’ at some stage in their lifetime (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016). Regular and ongoing analysis of methamphetamine levels in waste water, an index of methamphetamine consumption in the community, suggests that the problem affects metro, regional, and remote communities in all states and territories.

Our research shows that 47% of people have no idea that methamphetamine has any long-lasting consequences on health. This campaign seeks to change that.

Associate Professor Gabrielle Todd, University of South Australia


To develop effective preventative strategies, it is essential to have a solid evidence-based understanding of the effects of methamphetamine on users and to establish which effects are most influential in targeted messages. The immediate health and social effects of methamphetamine have been well documented and publicised. However, the long-lasting consequences of methamphetamine use have received less attention.

Knowledge of such consequences that persist or arise months to years after cessation of drug use has not previously been studied for potential use in methamphetamine campaigns, and could form the basis of an effective harm minimisation message.

A multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, and drug and alcohol treatment and education providers was formed to address this knowledge gap. The team is led by Associate Professor Gabrielle Todd, a senior neuroscientist at the University of South Australia. The team combined their expertise to:

  • demonstrate that using methamphetamine, as little as 5 times, is associated with significant long-lasting effects on the brain and movement
  • create a multi-platform, evidence-based campaign highlighting the long-lasting effects of methamphetamine on the brain and movement.

This research has been kindly supported by the Fay Fuller Foundation and the University of South Australia.

The campaign assets can be viewed below and are available for partnered use.

Don’t Let Meth Take Hold

This campaign has been created to minimise harm in the community caused by methamphetamine use by raising awareness of long-term effects. If your organisation is interested in utilising these campaign assets, please get in touch with Assoiciate Professor Gabrielle Todd. A small fee payable to the advertising agency will apply to ensure the campaign is branded with your organisation logo, and to meet advertising regulatory requirements before being dispatched as per your booked media schedule.

This research has been kindly supported by the Fay Fuller Foundation and the University of South Australia.