Physiotherapists weigh in on National Ice Action Strategy with early intervention

10 April 2015

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the Commonwealth Government will be working with States and Territories to develop a National Ice Action Strategy to tackle the growing scourge of ice (crystal methamphetamine).

Physiotherapist Tim Noblet says while physiotherapists are not qualified to treat prescription drug abuse, either with behavioural or pharmacological treatments, it is not an issue to be ignored.

“An important part physiotherapists can play is in recognising the signs and symptoms, screening a patient when a problem is suspected, and making sure to ask each patient about all drugs, prescription and over the counter medicines they are currently taking.

“If a Physiotherapist suspects the potential for drug abuse they should report all findings to the patients GP as well as discuss with the patient the dangers of taking illegal drugs,” he said.

The Australian Crime Commission considers ice poses the highest risk of all illicit drugs to our community with ice use rates almost doubling in the last twelve months. Physiotherapists work closely with families and communities at risk of chemical misuse. Early recognition and close trusting relationships and education are essential in the war against drug abuse.

“In order for a Physiotherapist to try to determine if someone is abusing a drug some follow-up questions need to be asked as they can assist in diagnosing someone as they are based on the established correlation between trauma and alcohol or other substance abuse,” Mr Noblet said.

About the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)

The APA is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. It is a national organisation with state and territory branches and specialty subgroups. The APA represents more than 17,000 members who conduct more than 21 million consultations each year. To find a physiotherapist in your area, visit

For further information, or to speak with an expert physiotherapist, please contact:

Ruth Heenan, Australian Physiotherapy Association
T 03 9092 0813, 0416 565 332 E
Pammy Kokoras, Undertow Media
T 03 9421 1317 or 0421 105 710 E
Rachael Horan, Undertow Media
T 03 9421 1318 or 0426 631 316 E