The lived experiences of adult crystal methamphetamine users: A qualitative study

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Girija Dadhe, Master of Counselling and Psychology, counsellor and psychotherapist, Australian College of Applied Psychology, and Cathy Bettman, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Australian College of Applied Psychology.


Crystal methamphetamine, also known as “ice” or “crystal meth,” is a potent psychostimulant drug that can cause irreversible physical and psychological damage to users (Halkitis, 2009). This qualitative research investigated the lived experiences of users, the background of their addiction, and the effects of using this drug. Six men between 31 and 39 years of age participated in the research. Three main themes emerged from the data: context, aftermath, and recovery. Respondents identified an inability to cope with dysfunctional family environments and negative social influences as the main causes of their crystal methamphetamine addiction, which resulted in significant adverse effects on their physical and mental health, relationships, occupation, and behaviour. They expressed a need for integrated and family focussed services, as well as a decriminalised approach towards crystal methamphetamine usage to help individuals and their families in the recovery journey.



crystal methamphetamine, lived experiences, adult users, qualitative study


Address for correspondence:
Girija Dadhe