Breakingtheice is a three module web-based program that assists users in reducing the use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS).
Based on a harm reduction philosophy, Breakingtheice uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI) to support users in creating and meeting ATS use goals. Modules 1 and 2 have users consider how ATS usage impacts their life, including their relationships, health, finances, work/study, mental health, or the legal system. Users also contemplate the pros and cons of their ATS use and the consequences of changing their behavior. In the final module, users set concrete ATS use goals and are given strategies to control their cravings, refuse ATS, manage a slip, and plan for high risk situations.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Other amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS)
Young Adults (18-30)
A web-based intervention for users of amphetamine-type stimulants: 3-month outcomes of a randomized controlled trial.
Tait RJ, McKetin R, Kay-Lambkin F, Carron-Arthur B, Bennett A, Bennett K, Christensen J, Griffiths KM. JMIR Mental Health. 2014. 1(1): e1.
Summary: This randomized controlled trial examined the effect of Breakingtheice for Australian adults who use amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). ATS users were recruited using online advertisements and posters in health care clinics. Interested individuals were screened for ATS usage during the past 3 months. Individuals receiving current treatment for stimulant abuse/dependence, or those with severe mental illness were excluded from the study. Eligible participants (n=160) were randomized to get Breakingtheice or to a control group. The control group had no access to Breakingtheice for the first 6 months of the study. ATS use, quality of life, psychological distress, and readiness to change were measured at baseline, 3-, and 6-month follow-ups, although this article only reported on 3 month outcomes. At baseline, 39% of participants used ATS weekly or more. Thirty-six percent met criteria for stimulant dependence. Only 48% of participants completed the entire program. Rates of follow-up completion were also low, as only 57% of the control group and 43% of the Breakingtheice group attended the 3-month follow-up. At three months, there were no significant differences between the Breakingtheice and control groups in readiness to change, quality of life, or psychological distress.
Take Away: For individuals with no previous diagnosis of stimulant abuse or dependence, Breakingtheice may reduce days negatively affected by use, compared to no treatment.