Crystal Clear

A web-based toolkit to provide evidence-based resources about crystal methamphetamine for the Australian community

Journal reference


Champion, K. E., Chapman, C., Newton, N. C., Brierley, M. E., Stapinski, L., Kay-Lambkin, F., Nagle, J., & Teesson, M. (2018). A web-based toolkit to provide evidence-based resources about crystal methamphetamine for the Australian community: Collaborative development of Cracks in the Ice. JMIR Mental Health, 5(1), e21. 


Background: The use of crystal methamphetamine (ice) and the associated harms for individuals, families, and communities across Australia has been the subject of growing concern in recent years. The provision of easily accessible, evidence-based, and up-to-date information and resources about crystal methamphetamine for the community is a critical component of an effective public health response.

Objective: This paper aims to describe the co-development process of the Web-based Cracks in the Ice Community Toolkit, which was developed to improve access to evidence-based information and resources about crystal methamphetamine for the Australian community.

Methods: Development of the Cracks in the Ice Community Toolkit was conducted in collaboration with community members across Australia and with experts working in the addiction field. The iterative process involved the following: (1) consultation with end users, including community members, crystal methamphetamine users, families and friends of someone using crystal methamphetamine, health professionals, and teachers (n=451) via a cross-sectional Web-based survey to understand information needs; (2) content and Web development; and (3) user testing of a beta version of the Web-based toolkit among end users (n=41) and experts (n=10) to evaluate the toolkit’s acceptability, relevance, and appeal.

Results: Initial end user consultation indicated that the most commonly endorsed reasons for visiting a website about crystal methamphetamine were “to get information for myself” (185/451, 41.0%) and “to find out how to help a friend or a family member” (136/451, 30.2%). Community consultation also revealed the need for simple information about crystal methamphetamine, including what it is, its effects, and when and where to seek help or support. Feedback on a beta version of the toolkit was positive in terms of content, readability, layout, look, and feel. Commonly identified areas for improvement related to increasing the level of engagement and personal connection, improving the ease of navigation, and balancing a “low prevalence of use, yet high impact” message. A total of 9138 users visited the website in the 3 months immediately post launch, and over 25,000 hard-copy Cracks in the Ice booklets and flyers were distributed across Australia. Of these resources, 60.93% (15,525/25,480) were distributed to relevant organizations and mailing list subscribers, and 39.07% (9955/25,480) were ordered directly by individuals, services, and community groups via the Cracks in the Ice website.

Conclusions: The co-development process resulted in an engaging Web-based resource for the Australian community to access up-to-date and evidence-based resources about crystal methamphetamine. The Cracks in the Ice Community Toolkit provides much-needed information and support for individuals, families, and communities.


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