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Friday, October 17, 2008

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2006-07: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

AIHW bulletin no. 65

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2006-07: findings from the National Minimum Data Set presents data on publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment services and their clients, including information about the types of drugs for which treatment is sought and the types of treatment provided. The data contained in this bulletin are derived from the comprehensive AODTS-NMDS 2006-07 annual report.

In 2006–07:
  • 633 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 147,325 closed treatment episodes.
  • Most treatment episodes (95%) were for people seeking assistance about their own drug use. The remaining episodes were provided to people who were concerned about someone else’s drug use.
  • The median age of persons receiving treatment for their own drug use was 31 years.
  • Around one-third of all closed treatment episodes were for clients aged 20–29 years, while more than one-quarter were for clients aged 30–39 years.
  • Male clients accounted for two-thirds of all closed treatment episodes.
  • In 10% of treatment episodes, the clients were of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
  • Overall, alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern reported (42%), followed by cannabis (23%), opioids (14%, with heroin accounting for 11%) and amphetamines (12%). These proportions are very similar to those seen in previous years.
  • Indigenous clients reported the same leading principal drugs of concern as the whole treatment population.
  • Clients are able to nominate more than one drug of concern. When all reported drugs of concern are considered, more than half (57%) of all episodes included alcohol as a drug of concern, while 44% of episodes included cannabis as a drug of concern.
  • Nationally, counselling was the most common form of main treatment provided (38% of treatment episodes), followed by withdrawal management (17%) and assessment only (15%).
  • The length of treatment episodes was highly varied and influenced by the type of treatment received. For example, where counselling was the main treatment type provided, the median duration of treatment was 43 days.
  • Most treatment episodes ended either because treatment was completed (54%) or because the client ceased to participate without notice to the treatment provider (17%).

Read Full Report (PDF)