Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 28 May 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services-australia
Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 16 July 2021, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 May. 28]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report, viewed 28 May 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services/alcohol-other-drug-treatment-services-australia
Get citations as an Endnote file:
On this page
Principal drug of concern
In December 2015, the Australian Government announced the release of the Australian Government Response to the National Ice Taskforce Final Report (the Response). The Response underpinned the National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS), which was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on 11 December 2015.
The Australian Government has invested approximately $561 million over four years from 1 July 2016 in drug and alcohol treatment services, as part of a $713 million investment in reducing the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on individuals, families and communities under the Drug and Alcohol Program.
Approximately $412.1 million of this investment was provided to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to commission locally based treatment in line with community need. This includes the $241.5 million committed under the NIAS. This funding was delivered through the Australian Government’s Drug and Alcohol Program and aims to improve the access to, and effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment services in the community.
The main source of data about specialist drug and alcohol treatment services in Australia is the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (the AODTS NMDS), compiled on an annual basis from administrative data by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
PHN-commissioned specialist alcohol and other drug treatment providers collect data, in accordance with the AODTS NMDS, on in-scope specialist treatment services and provide it to the AIHW. Alcohol and other drug treatment agencies funded by PHN organisations under the Drug and Alcohol Program submitted data to the AODTS NMDS for the first time in 2016–17.
The following set of data visualisations present information at PHN geographic areas. The data presented are from all publicly funded AOD treatment services (which includes PHN-commissioned services) that have reported to the AODTS NMDS (see technical notes for more details).
PHNs are organisations that connect health services across a specific geographic area (PHN areas). There are 31 PHN areas that cover the whole of Australia with the boundaries defined by the Australian Government Department of Health. Some states/territories consist of a single PHN area, while others are made up of multiple PHN areas.
The following data visualisation shows:
The dashboard shows the number of agencies in Australia by sector between 2015–16 and 2019–20. There were 458 government agencies, and 915 non-government agencies in Australia in 2019–20. The number of non-government agencies has increased from 506 in 2015–16. North Western Melbourne had the highest number of agencies (106 agencies), and the Gold Coast had the lowest number of agencies (12 agencies).
The dashboard shows the number of closed episodes provided to clients. Counselling remained the most common main treatment type between 2015–16 and 2019–20, falling slightly from 40% in 2016–17 to 37% in 2019–20 of closed treatment episodes. Assessment only was the second most common main treatment type in 2019–20 (19% of closed episodes). In 2019–20, the most common source of referral was self/family (36% of closed episodes), and non-residential treatment facilities were the most common treatment delivery setting (64% of closed episodes).
Where counselling was the main treatment type in 2019–20, Perth South had the highest number of closed treatment episodes (6,480), and Murrumbidgee had the lowest number of closed treatment episodes (726).
The dashboard shows the demographics of clients treated in Australia in 2019–20. Of a total 145,726 estimated clients, most (93%) received treatment for their own drug use. Almost 2 in 3 clients (64%) were male, 17% were Indigenous Australians, and 54% were aged 20–39 years.
In 2019–20, 218,139 closed episodes were provided nationally to clients for their own drug use. Alcohol has remained the most common principal drug of concern between 2015–16 and 2019–20, declining slightly from 36% of treatment episodes to 34%. Amphetamines was the second most common principal drug of concern in 2019–20 (28%), followed by cannabis (19%) and heroin (5.1%). The most common main treatment type in 2019–20 was counselling (37% of episodes), followed by assessment only (19%). Over 1 in 3 treatment episodes (35%) reported self/family as the source of referral, while 33% listed a health service.
In 2019–20, where alcohol was the principal drug of concern, North West Melbourne had the highest number of closed treatment episodes (5,725) and Murrumbidgee had the lowest (645).
PHN AODTS NMDS data tables
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.