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Resources for the public

Resources for individuals, groups and communities

Useful videos, tools, programs, booklets and factsheets that provide support and information about substance use and dependence.

We have developed a number of resources for anyone wanting to learn more about mental health and substance use:

Video resources

We've developed a series of informative videos, animations and webinars which aim to increase awarness about mental health and substance use disorders.

The Matilda Centre on Youtube

Explore our video resources and webinars.

eHealth resources

Designed to provide early intervention and treatment to patients with and/or at risk of developing mental health and substance use disorders.

Decision aids help people to decide which treatment approach is best for them.

ADDAPT is designed to people seeking professional help for their co-occurring depression and risky alcohol use. These booklets help people to decide which treatment approach is best for them:

Cracks in the Ice is an online toolkit providing trusted, evidence-based, and up-to-date information and resources about crystal methamphetamine (ice) for the Australian community.

As part of a response to the National Ice Task-force Final Report, The Australian Government Department of Health funded the development of Cracks in the Ice, an online toolkit which aims to improve access to evidence-based information, online resources and support around crystal methamphetamine ‘ice’) for the Australian community.

The toolkit includes fact sheets, guidelines, and printable handouts covering information about the effects of ice, tips for how to stay safe, and information about where, when and how to get help or support. The toolkit was informed by input from over 400 community members from around Australia, and was developed in collaboration with researchers from:

  • The Matilda Centre, the University of Sydney;
  • National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), University of New South Wales; and
  • National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), Curtin University.

The eCliPSE online portal aims to facilitate access to evidence-based online screening and eHealth treatments for people experiencing co-occurring mental health and substance use problems, and the clinical services supporting them.

The Family and Friends Support Program (FFSP) was funded by the Australian Government in 2016 as an enhancement to the Cracks in the Ice online toolkit. FFSP is an online resilience and wellbeing program to support affected friends and family members of people who use methamphetamine.

It aims to provide affected family and friends with a tailored, evidence-informed website that addresses their needs in supporting a loved one using crystal methamphetamine ‘ice’. It also aims to provide health workers with access to training, information, and a referral pathway which assists affected families and friends they encounter as part of their usual practice.

The program was developed in collaboration with researchers from:

  • The University of Sydney;
  • The University of Newcastle;
  • University of New South Wales;
  • University of Bath; and members of the
  • Addiction and the Family International Network.

A detailed summary of the program and access to the program if available via Cracks in the Ice.

Healthier Drinking Choices Australia is an online tool that gives people the information they need to make careful choices about the role alcohol plays in their life. The website has been adapted from the Down Your Drink website by a team of researchers at the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales in collaboration with Professor Paul Wallace in the UK.


Free evidence-based information booklets for people who use alcohol, tobacco or other substances and who experience depression, anxiety, psychosis or trauma.

The Comorbidity Booklets are a suite of five evidence-based information booklets developed for people who use substances who also experience symptoms of co-occurring mental disorders. They are available for free download:

These resources have been developed to connect communities with practical, actionable evidence-based information about crystal methamphetamine.

Cracks in the Ice have also developed four additional brochures in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:

Booklets and brochures are available free of charge, with complimentary delivery anywhere in Australia. For more information and to order visit Cracks in the Ice.

"Drugs and Alcohol: what you need to know" is a series of booklets developed for teachers, parents and students to provide evidence-based information about alcohol and other drugs.

For parents and teachers, the booklets include guidance about how to talk to a young person about illegal drugs, common reasons for drug use, how to help someone who has taken a drug, and information about school-based prevention programs.

The student booklet provides accurate information on ways to prevent related drug-related harms and make informed choices.

For more information visit Positive Choices.


Published in 2014 and funded by the Australian government Department of Health, this series of fact sheets provides up-to-date, evidence-based information for the public about drugs and their effects.

Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in Australia. This factsheet provides information about the effects and risks of alcohol.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 368KB)

This factsheet will answer questions about whether different drugs are safe to use during pregnancy, safe for users to stop during pregnancy, the effects they can have during pregnancy, the effects different drugs can have on the baby, and whether it is safe to use different drugs during breastfeeding.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 894KB)

Benzodiazepines are also known as 'benzos' and are also a type of sedative. They may also be referred to as sleeping tablets or sleeping pills.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 898KB)

Cocaine is a short-acting stimulant and takes effects by increasing the amount of several neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 576KB)

This factsheet will answer the following questions and more:

  • What do the drug offenses 'possession' and 'supply' mean?
  • What will the police do if I'm caught with an illicit drug on me? Will I get a criminal record?
  • How do the police and courts decide what is 'dealing'? And what is possession for personal use?
  • What happens if I take drugs and drive?
  • What rights do police have to stop and search me for drugs or paraphernalia?
  • What happens if I am caught with something that isn't 'really' a drug?
  • Is it legal to purchase or use 'legal highs'?

Download the factsheet (pdf, 716KB)

GHB is a depressant drug, which means that it slows down the central nervous system. Problems with safety, including concerns about its use in date rape, have led to it being banned in several countries including Australia, where sale and possession is illegal.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 375KB)

Hallucinogens cause perceptual distortions such as hallucinations. The most commonly known synthetic hallucinogen is LSD. Naturally occurring hallucinogens include magic mushrooms, DMT, mescaline and salvia.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 339KB)

Heroin and other opiates are depressant drugs. This factsheet provides information about the effects and risks of heroin, including addiction, overdose and withdrawal.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 581KB)

Inhalants, also known as volatile substances or solvents, are chemicals that evaporate and give off fumes at room temperature. These vapours can be inhaled through the nose and/or mouth to give the user an immediate 'high'. These substances are easily absorbed through the lungs and carried around the body, affecting areas such as the brain and liver.

This factsheet gives information about the four main types of inhalants, rates of use, the effects of inhalants and the potential risks users face when using inhalants.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 362KB)

Ketamine is a dissociative general anaesthetic. Used in small doses, it produces feelings of dissociation, helping the user to feel separated or detached from their body and/or environment. It also has hallucinogenic effects and can impact on the sense and on a person's perception of reality.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 332KB)

MDMDA was first used as a street drug in the 1980s and was usually sold as ecstasy in pill form. In recent years is has been more widely known as MDMA and sold in capsules.

MDMA can come from different sources and have different ingredients.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 492KB)

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug. It comes in three main forms: 1) Ice/Crystal Meth, 2) Base, and 3) Speed. All forms of methamphetamine can be cut (mixed) with other substances, which reduces the purity. Usually these substances do not have a psychoactive (mind-altering) effect. Methamphetamine is also often contained in pills sold on the illicit drug market as ecstasy.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 502KB)

In recent years, many 'new' drugs have arrived on the market. While there are many types of new psychoactive substances, this factsheet focuses on drugs that are usually marketed towards similar effects to cannabis, as well as those marketed towards people seeking a stimulant or an 'ecstasy' like high.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 1.5MB)

Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death and disease in Australia. Each year, smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians and costs Australia $31.5 billion in social and economic costs. Half to two-thirds of smokers will die early as a result of smoking, and smokers who die because of smoking lose on average about 13 years of life.

This factsheet provides information about the risks of smoking, the reasons why young people start smoking and why smoking is so bad for your health.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 1.5MB)

Nicotine is classified as a dangerous poison which can lead to death. At the low levels that people knowingly take it in, it is not immediately dangerous. Risk of overdosing on cigarettes is low as nausea typically occurs well before a fatal dose can be reached. This factsheet provides information about nicotine and its effects.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 934KB)

The benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate and include easier breathing, increased energy and activity levels, and the positive effect this could have on your overall health and quality of life. This factsheet provides information about the benefits of quitting and where you can go for help when quitting smoking.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 881KB)

This factsheet gives information about the legal issues around smoking and under 18’s and suggests strategies that parents can adopt to try and ensure kids don't smoke. It also offers information about what parents can do to get involved in preventing smoking more widely.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 406KB)

In 2011 only 4% Australian school students had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lives. This factsheet provides information about smoking rates amongst teenagers, smoking and pregnancy, the effects of second hand smoke, and whether children and teenagers smoke in the same way as adults.

Download the factsheet (pdf, 966MB)