Variation in main treatment type
Nationally, between 2018–19 and 2021–22, there were notable changes in AOD treatment service types, particularly services providing treatment in tailored physical settings.
Figure COVID TREATMENT 1 : Treatment episodes, by main treatment type, state and territory, quarterly data, 2018–19 to 2021–22
The line graph shows that counselling remained the most common main treatment type between July–September 2018 and April–June 2022. Treatment episodes for counselling increased from 21,833 in January–March 2020 (pre-COVID) to 22,936 in April–June 2020 (Wave 1), peaking at 24,443 episodes in July–September 2020 (Wave 2) before decreasing to 22,228 episodes in Oct-Dec 2021 (Wave 4). Assessment only remained the second most common main treatment type across the period (11,254 episodes in April–June 2022). A filter allows the user to view data for Australia or by state/territory.
- Treatment episodes showed notable increases between Apr–Dec 2020, coinciding with the first and second waves of the pandemic before declining to pre-pandemic levels in Jan–Jun 2022.
- Despite AOD services adapting (for example, increased telehealth services), a decrease in episodes from Jan 2021 indicates additional constraints to service delivery. Such constraints may include client ability to access telehealth services, as well as impacts on the workforce with service staff illness, vacancies, or turnover.
- Most rehabilitation treatment is provided in residential settings. Bed-based residential units were operating at reduced capacity between 2020 and 2022 in some states and territories to ensure social distancing guidelines were met.
- From Apr–Jun 2020, there was a drop in treatment episodes for rehabilitation as a main treatment, coinciding with the first wave of the pandemic. Numbers remained slightly lower than pre-pandemic levels from Jul 2020 to Jun 2022.