How many alcohol and other drug treatment agencies are publicly funded and from which sector?

The Australian Government and state and territory governments fund non-government and government agencies to provide a range of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services. Services are delivered in residential and non-residential settings, and often include treatments such as detoxification, rehabilitation, counselling, and pharmacotherapy.

The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS NMDS) contains information on publicly funded AOD treatment agencies and their service delivery outlets. An agency can have more than one service delivery outlet, located in different areas.

Number of agencies

Around 1,300 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided services in Australia.

In 2018–19, 1,283 publicly funded AOD treatment agencies reported to the AODTS NMDS. The number of agencies in each jurisdiction ranged from 16 in the Australian Capital Territory to 440 in New South Wales.

The number of agencies reporting to the AODTS NMDS increased from 935 in 2017–18. This increase is mostly due to improvements in reporting for some agencies via new systems, newly funded services reporting for the first time and changes in agency specifications for certain jurisdictional collections.

Over the last 10 years, there has been a national increase in the number of participating agencies (from 670 in 2009–10 to 1,283 in 2018–19), driven largely by increases in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

Service sector

A mix of government and non-government agencies deliver government-funded AOD treatment services. Nationally, over two-thirds (69%) of AOD treatment agencies were non-government, and these agencies provided 70% of closed treatment episodes. In the decade from 2009–10, the proportion of non-government services has increased from 54% to 69% nationally.

In New South Wales, the majority (64%) of AOD treatment agencies were government agencies. In each of the remaining states and territories, the majority of AOD treatment agencies were non-government agencies, with proportions ranging from 64% in South Australia to 99% in Victoria.

More than half (59%) of all treatment agencies were located in Major cities, and over one-fifth (24%) were in Inner regional areas. Fewer services were located in Remote or Very remote areas (3% and 2% respectively).