Can a telephone-delivered intervention for methamphetamine use problems overcome barriers to treatment?

Methamphetamine (MA) use is a key contributor to Australia’s burden of disease. Telehealth has potential to overcome many of the barriers to accessing in-person treatment for MA use problems. This study aimed to determine the proportion of people presenting to telephone-delivered MA treatment who are first-time help-seekers and to understand their experiences of treatment. This was a mixed-methods study comprising retrospective analysis of baseline data (n=188) from a randomised controlled trial and thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews. Despite 63% of participants experiencing severe MA use problems, 60% were first-time help-seekers. Participants felt the program was able to overcome some of barriers to in-person treatment (e.g. fear of judgement, lack of transport, time constraints and not knowing where to go). Telephone-delivered interventions are highly scalable models and may reduce the treatment gap for problem MA use.


Rachel Petukhova, Research Assistant, Clinical and Social Research Team, Turning Point

Rachel has a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and is working as a Research Assistant at Turning Point, Richmond.


Credited Authors

Robyn Gerhard, Research Assistant, Clinical and Social Research Team, Turning Point

Jasmin Grigg, Senior Research Fellow, Clinical and Social Research Team, Turning Point


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