additional drugs: Clients receiving treatment for their own drug use nominate a principal drug of concern that has led them to seek treatment and additional drugs of concern, of which up to 5 are recorded in the AODTS NMDS. Clients receiving treatment for someone else's drug use do not nominate drugs of concern.

administrative cessation: Includes episodes that ended due to a change in main treatment type, delivery setting or principal drug of concern, or where the client was transferred to another service provider.

alcohol: A central nervous system depressant made from fermented starches. Alcohol inhibits brain functions, dampens the motor and sensory centres and makes judgement, coordination and balance more difficult.

buprenorphine opioid drug formulations: Come in various forms, such as buprenorphine (Subutex®), acts in a similar way to methadone, but is longer lasting and may be taken daily or every second or third day. Buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone®) is a combination of buprenorphine-naloxone product and is a sublingual tablet or film, and buprenorphine long-acting injection (LAI), is injected into the tissue under the skin either weekly or monthly.

closed treatment episode: A period of contact between a client and a treatment provider or team of providers. An episode is closed when treatment is completed, there has been no further contact between the client and the treatment provider for 3 months or when treatment is ceased (see reason for cessation).

expected cessation: Includes episodes where the treatment was completed, or where the client ceased to participate at expiation or by mutual agreement.

main treatment type: The principal activity that is determined at assessment by the treatment provider to treat the client's alcohol or other drug problem for the principal drug of concern.

methadone program: A program for opiate addicts, usually conducted in an outpatient setting. These programs use a long-acting synthetic opiate medication, usually methadone or levo-alpha acetyl methadol, administered orally for a sustained period at a dosage sufficient to prevent opiate withdrawal, block the effects of illicit opiate use and decrease opiate craving.

non-maintenance: Use of a substance other than as part of a medically supervised maintenance program (this includes methadone).

non-medical use: Use of drugs either alone or with other drugs to induce or enhance a drug experience, for performance enhancement or for cosmetic purposes (this includes pain-killers/analgesics, tranquilisers/sleeping pills, steroids and meth/amphetamines and other opioids such as morphine or pethidine).

opiate/opioid substitution treatment (OST): A form of healthcare for heroin and other opiate-dependent people using prescribed opioid agonists, which have some similar or identical properties to heroin and morphine on the brain and which alleviate withdrawal symptoms and block the craving for illicit opiates. OST includes methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine with naloxone.

opioid pharmacotherapy treatment: Opioid pharmacotherapy treatment, also known as opioid agonist therapy, is one of the most common treatments used for opioid drug dependence in Australia. It involves replacing the opioid drug of dependence (for example, codeine or heroin) with a safer, longer–lasting, medically–prescribed opioid. In Australia, 4 medications are registered as pharmacotherapy for people with opioid dependence (methadone, buprenorphine, buprenorphine–naloxone and buprenorphine long–acting injections).

principal drug of concern: The main substance that the client stated led them to seek treatment from an alcohol and drug treatment agency.

reason for cessation: The reason for the client ceasing to receive a treatment episode from an alcohol and other drug treatment service:

  • ceased to participate against advice: Where the service provider is aware of the client's intention to stop participating in treatment, and the client ceases despite advice from staff that such action is against the client's best interest
  • ceased to participate at expiation: Where the client has fulfilled their obligation to satisfy expiation requirements (for example, participation in a treatment program to avoid having a criminal conviction being recorded against them) as part of a police or court diversion scheme and chooses not to continue with further treatment
  • ceased to participate by mutual agreement: Where the client ceases participation by mutual agreement with the service provider, even though the treatment plan has not been completed. This may include situations where the client has moved out of the area
  • ceased to participate involuntarily: Where the service provider stops the treatment due to non-compliance with the rules or conditions of the program
  • drug court or sanctioned by court diversion service: Where the client is returned to court or jail due to non-compliance with the program

treatment completed: Where the treatment was completed as planned

transferred to another service provider: This includes situations where the service provider is no longer the most appropriate and the client is transferred or referred to another service. For example, transfers could occur for clients between non-residential and residential services or between residential services and a hospital. This excludes situations where the original treatment was completed before the client transferred to a different provider for other treatment.

treatment type: The type of activity that is used to treat the client's alcohol or other drug problem:

  • assessment only: Where only assessment is provided to the client. Note that service providers would normally include an assessment component in all treatment types
  • counselling: Is the most common treatment for problematic alcohol and/or other drug use and can include cognitive behaviour therapy, brief intervention, relapse intervention and motivational interviewing
  • information and education only
  • pharmacotherapy, where the client receives another type of treatment in the same treatment episode: Includes drugs such as naltrexone, buprenorphine and methadone used as maintenance therapies or relapse prevention for people who are addicted to certain types of opioids. Where a pharmacotherapy is used for withdrawal, it is included in the 'withdrawal' category.
  • rehabilitation: Focuses on supporting clients in stopping their drug use and helping to prevent psychological, legal, financial, social and physical consequences of problematic drug use. Rehabilitation can be delivered in a number of ways, including residential treatment services, therapeutic communities and community-based rehabilitation services
  • support and case management only: Support includes activities such as helping a client who occasionally calls an agency worker for emotional support. Case management is usually more structured than 'support'. It can assume a more holistic approach, taking into account all client needs including general welfare needs, and it includes assessment, planning, linking, monitoring and advocacy
  • withdrawal management (detoxification): Includes medicated and non-medicated treatment to assist in managing, reducing or stopping the use of a drug of concern.

treatment episode: The period of contact between a client and a treatment provider or a team of providers. Each treatment episode has 1 principal drug of concern and 1 main treatment type. If the principal drug or main treatment changes, then a new episode is recorded.

unexpected cessation: Includes episodes where the client ceased to participate against advice, without notice or due to non-compliance.