Discussion guide - stakeholders and service providers
1. Introduction (5-10 mins)
- Explain nature of research, advise on recording, reassure of confidentiality
- Respondent to explain:
- Name, role, background and nature of organization – its purpose/ strategic aim
- Who funded by, types of services offered, and people using the service
- Specific services/ programs related to methamphetamines
- What proportion of overall client base are methamphetamine users
- What do they primarily use the service for
2. Patterns of use (10 mins)
- How widespread is the use of methamphetamines in your community?
- Thoughts about recent trends in relation to drug use: what’s changed.
- Who is using the drug - are there different types of users? Who? How do they differ? Explore.
- Explore whether common usage patterns exist (and how it might differ by user group). Probe:
- Typical frequency of use (‘occasional/ recreational’ vs. ‘heavy’ user)
- environments/ contexts where used
- form of meth generally used (i.e. speed, base, crystal)
- preferred routes of administration (e.g. inject, smoke, sniff)
- other drugs (including alcohol) used as same time as meth
- Are there common characteristics that define methamphetamine users? What are they?
3. Motivations for use (5 mins)
- What do you think the appeal of using methamphetamines is?
- Does it differ for different types of users? How so?
- Why preference for meth over other drugs? Top of page
4. Awareness of risks and harms associated with use (10 mins)
- How aware do you think users are of the risks and harms? Explore any differences that may exist between different user groups.
- What risks/ harms are users aware of? Perceptions of severity for each?
- Do they consider encounters with law enforcement as a 'real' risk?
- What threat, if any, does the fear of prosecution pose?
- What information do you provide on risks/ harms? Where else do they get it from?
- What's most effective? Why?
- Are they receptive to receiving more? If so, from whom and how should it be communicated? (e.g. pamphlets, internet, TV campaigns, peer education). Probe feeling toward govt. comms.
5. Harm prevention practices (5 mins)
- How aware are your clients of harm prevention practices?
- What are users’ general attitudes toward harm prevention practices?
- Are they commonly/ consistently used? Why/ why not? Explore.
- Do you provide information on this? What form? Where else do they get information from?
- How effective do you think this information is? Why/ why not? Top of page
6. Awareness, attitudes and behaviour toward treatment and support (5 mins)
- Other than your own, what other treatment or support services do users tend to rely on? Explore the type of services offered, and how attitudes/ behaviour might differ according to user groups.
- Motivators/ barriers to seeking treatment and support? How can barriers be mitigated?
- What makes an effective service in your mind?
- What are the barriers that prevent services from being effective? What else is needed?
7. Summary (5 mins)
- What programs do you think the governments' National Psychostimulants Initiative should focus on?
- Who should be their main target?
- What key messages should be used/ advice on how users’ should be communicated to? Probe any differences by user groups.
Thanks and close Top of page
Discussion guide - target audiences
- Nature of research (drugs), reassure anonymity, tape recording
- Respondents intro: name, where live, who with, age, do for a living, interests
2. Explore attitudes towards drugs in general
- First thoughts/ associations with drugs? Probe: occasions? Images?
- Different types/ classes?
- Perceptions of type of drugs available now? How's it changed in last few years, if at all?
- What types of people take drugs?
- Hands up who's tried …pot? Speed? Coke? Ice?
- Own usage:
- When did they start taking drugs – how old?
- Which drugs have they taken over the years
- What was the first drug they took?
- Do they remember what prompted them to start taking drugs?
- Overall good and bad things relating to taking drugs Top of page
3. Perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of speed and ice
- [Self-complete] – associations with speed, ice and ecstasy – won't be asked to read out
- First thoughts, associations relating to speed (then repeat for ice)
- Usage experience:
- When first taken – who with? when? What prompted to try?
- How did they feel about IDEA of trying?
- What were you expecting? What influenced this?
- Expectations vs. reality – effects? After-effects?
- Good and bad aspects
- Were associations mainly positive/ negative
- How long have they been taking it for? How often?
- How do they take it (does this vary, does it matter to them)
- What situations do you take it now? What other drugs, if any, do you take?
- Motivations for continued use (for ice probe: sexual enhancement)?
- What about their friends? Is what they do the same as their friends? More or less?
- If they have taken both, how do they compare the two experiences
- Still take both? Why/ why not? Why prefer one over the other?
- If they have only taken one, why haven’t they tried the other drug Top of page
4. Current usage of speed/ ice
If they no longer take it
- Why not, what made them stop
- Was it easy to stop? How’d you do it?
- Have they had support to help them stop, if so from where
- What messages would they give people who wanted to stop
For existing users
- Has their usage gone up or come down
- Have their attitudes towards speed/ ice changed over time, if so how, in what ways
- What has made them take more/ less speed/ ice
- Would they like to take it more/ less often, why
- What is their image of 'the Ice user' and 'the speed user'. Are they different? Do they think the general public has different images and if so what are they and why are they different?
- Are they concerned they might end up taking it more often than they would like
- Do they feel more positive/ negative about speed/ ice now and if so, what specifically has altered their view
- Do they take any steps to curb their usage, if so what
- (For heavy users in particular) do they think of themselves as addicts, why/ why not Top of page
5. Risks and harm prevention
- Do they think of speed or ice as a risky drug to take, why/ why not
- What are the risks involved that they are aware of?
- Are the risks worth it for what they get? What makes it worth it?
- Do they do anything to minimise harm, if so what and why do they do this
- If injectors, do they tend to share needles, follow safe practices, etc.
- How bad do they think the risks are in relation to speed / ice
- Do they believe these are genuine risks or a media ‘beat-up’
- If they are aware of risks, how did they find out about them
- Are they interested in finding out more about the risks?
- How would they like to find out this kind of information?
- Where does most of their information about drugs, and about specific drugs some from?
- TV, websites, pamphlets, peer information
- Where do you think your friends get there information from?
- How do you know to trust it? What makes you trust it?
6. Harm prevention practices
- Are they aware of harm prevention practices they could adopt? Where learn?
- Do you do any? Which? When? How often? When does this vary? Top of page
7. Help and support services
- Are they aware of help and support services, if so, what? How learn?
- Are they interested in knowing any? Why/ why not?
- [If not interested in knowing - talk about others] ... eg. Why would someone go??? What would have happened in their life to make them want to/ think about going to a treatment and support service?
- Would they ever use any? Which? Why/ why not? (What type of person would use a treatment or support service?)
- If haven't used, why not? What would make them want to use them?
- (Why would someone go to a treatment or support service? )
- (Why don't people go to a treatment and support service?)
Try and probe on things that might trigger before a catalyst event like loss of jobs, homeless, no friends etc
Prompt with list
- Are you aware of anything like this available? What type of person would use this type of service?
- (How would someone like that find out about a treatment or support service?)
- (What would be especially useful for such a person in a treatment or support service?)
- If have used, what kind of service did they use and how did they think about the service?
- Did they find any aspects of the treatment/ support off-putting, if so what and why was it off-putting?
- (What things would not be useful for someone in a treatment or support service?)
- Did the service provide the assistance they were looking for? Use again?
- Have they ever been in a situation where been concerned about safety of self / friend? What happened? Seek help? If so, who? If not, why?
- [If not raised already] - Have you or your friends ever been in a situation where you need these services? For immediate help? For long term help? Top of page
8. Future expectations
- What do they think will happen with regard to their use of speed/ ice in the future
- Can they see themselves stopping, if so, what would make them stop
- Gauge reactions to a range of different potential scenarios.
- What about if you realize that you have been :
- Using more often in larger amounts, over a longer period than intended?
- Feeling the need to cut down or finding that you can’t?
- Spending a lot of time hooking up, getting high or coming down?
- Neglecting important stuff to get high?
- Suffering from withdrawal or avoiding it with continual use?
- For each, explore the extent to which they are realistic possibilities and how concerned they are about them.
More serious scenarios include:
- getting into trouble with the law
- losing their job
- losing friends
- What are the key factors that affect this particular group type
- How they use ice/ speed
- How much they know/ care about the risks and harm minimization
- Attitudes towards support/ treatment
- Insights into what might be potentially successful intervention strategies