Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory reported:
- a 57% increase in treatment episodes between 2012–13 to 2021–22, from 4,400 episodes to 6,900 episodes (Table ST ACT.2)
- more clients are using AOD services in 2021–22 than 2013–14, after adjusting for population growth (966 clients per 100,000 population compared with 877 per 100,000, respectively)
- client numbers increased from 2,900 in 2013–14 to 4,000 in 2019–20, then fell to 3,800 in 2021–22 (Table SCR.21).
The visualisation shows that 6,931 treatment episodes were provided to 3,838 clients in the Australian Capital Territory in 2021–22. This equates to a rate of 1,744 episodes and 966 clients per 100,000 population, which is higher than the national rate (1,009 episodes and 576 clients per 100,000 population).
In 2021–22, most (76%) clients in the Australian Capital Territory attended 1 agency, and received an average of 1.8 treatment episodes, the same as the national average of 1.8 treatment episodes (tables SCR.21, SCR.23).
- nearly all (97%) clients in the Australian Capital Territory received treatment for their own alcohol or drug use, of which almost 2 in 3 (65%) people were male (Figure ACT 1)
- people seeking treatment for someone else’s alcohol or drug use were mostly female (73%)
- one in 2 (48%) of all clients were aged 20–39 years
- over 1 in 8 (13%) of all clients identified as Indigenous Australians, which is lower than the national proportion (18%)
- the majority (87%) of all clients were born in Australia and nearly all (98%) reported English as their preferred language (tables SC ACT.1–3, SC.4, SC ACT.21–22).
The visualisation includes a series of horizontal bar graphs showing that, in 2021–22 in the Australian Capital Territory, just under two-thirds (64%) of all clients were male, 47% were aged 20–39 and 13% were Indigenous Australians. Nearly all clients (98%) listed English as their preferred language and most (87%) were born in Australia.
Over the period 2017–18 to 2021–22, 13,200 clients received treatment in the Australian Capital Territory. Of these clients, the majority received treatment in a single year (70% or 9,300):
- 1,900 (14%) received treatment for the first time in 2021–22
- a further 7,400 (56%) received treatment in only one of the five collection periods (excluding 2021–22) (Table SCR.28).
In 2021–22, for clients in the Australian Capital Territory receiving treatment episodes for their own alcohol or drug use:
- alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern for clients (43% or 2,900 episodes) (Figure ACT 2, Table ST ACT.7)
- amphetamines accounted for 1 in 5 (20% or 1,300) treatment episodes.
The grouped horizontal bar chart shows that, in 2021–22, alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in treatment episodes provided to clients in the Australian Capital Territory for their own drug use (42.8%). This was followed by amphetamines (19.8%), heroin (14.5%) and cannabis (11.3%). Cannabis was the most common additional drug of concern (13.1% of episodes), followed by nicotine (11.1%) and amphetamines (7.9%).
In 2021–22, for clients receiving treatment for their own use of amphetamines:
- methamphetamine was reported as a principal drug of concern for over 9 in 10 (92%) treatment episodes (Figure ACT 3a)
- in almost half (44%) of the treatment episodes where methamphetamine was the principal drug of concern, injecting was the most common method of use, followed by smoking (36%) (Figure ACT 3b).
Some jurisdictions are working with service providers to encourage more specific reporting of amphetamine use (i.e. to reduce the use of ‘amphetamines not further defined’ code where possible).
The line graph shows that in 2012–13, amphetamines not further defined was the most common drug of concern among amphetamine-related treatment episodes for clients’ own drug use. In 2013–14, methamphetamine became the most common principal drug of concern within the amphetamines group. The proportion of methamphetamine-related episodes increased from 32.9% of amphetamine-related episodes in 2012–13 to 91.8% in 2021–22, while the proportion of episodes for amphetamines not further defined decreased from 48.0% to 4.9% over the same period. Buttons allow the user to navigate to data on amphetamines by method of use.
Clients can nominate up to 5 additional drugs of concern; these drugs are not necessarily the subject of any treatment within the episode (see technical notes).
In 2021–22, when the client reported additional drugs of concern, cannabis was the most common additional drug (13%), followed by nicotine (11%) (Table ST ACT.7).
Over the period 2012–13 to 2021–22:
- alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern relative to all other drugs accounting for almost half (47%) of episodes in 2012–13 and falling to 43% of episodes in 2021–22 (Table ST ACT.7)
- the proportion of episodes with amphetamines as the principal drug of concern increased from 11% in 2012–13 to peak in 2016–17 (25%), before falling to 20% in 2021–22. The number of treatment episodes fluctuated from 496 in 2012–13 to 1,626 in 2016–17, down to 1,345 in 2021–22
- within the amphetamines group, methamphetamine was reported as the principal drug of concern in 33% of episodes in 2012–13, rising to 92% in 2021–22 (Figure ACT 3a)
- the rise in episodes may be related to increases in funded treatment services and/or improvement in agency coding practices for methamphetamines
- The proportion of heroin as a principal drug of concern fell from 16% in 2012–13 to 8–9% between 2014–15 and 2017–18, before rising to 14% in 2021–22 (higher than the national proportion of 4.5%) (Table Drg.5).
In 2021–22, for treatment episodes in the Australian Capital Territory:
- counselling was the most common main treatment (23% of episodes) (Figure ACT 4, Table ST ACT.13)
- support and case management was the second most common treatment (19%), followed by information and education (19%)
- where an additional treatment was provided as a supplementary to the main treatment, information and education (2.1%) was the most common additional treatment. See technical notes for further information on calculating proportions for additional treatment type.
Over the period 2012–13 to 2021–22:
- the proportion of episodes with information and education as main treatment ranged from 22% in 2012–13 to 32% in 2017–18, before decreasing to 19% in 2021–22 (ST ACT.13)
- counselling became the most common main treatment type in 2021–22; in the 10 years prior, the proportion of episodes with counselling as main treatment ranged from 17% in 2012–13 to 28% in 2018–19, before decreasing to 23% in 2021–22
- compared to national proportions, fewer treatment episodes provided in the ACT had counselling as main treatment over the 10 years to 2021–22 (ranging from 17% to 28% in the ACT, compared with 36% to 43% nationally)
- conversely, more treatment episodes in the ACT had information and education as main treatment (ranging from 16% to 32% in the ACT compared with 4% to 10% nationally) (tables ST ACT.13, Trt.3).
The grouped horizontal bar chart shows that, in 2021–22, the most common main treatment type provided to clients in the Australian Capital Territory for their own drug use was counselling (23.0% of episodes). This was followed by support and case management (19.2%) and information and education (18.6%). Information and education and other treatments were the most common additional treatment types (2.1% of episodes each).
The Australian Capital Territory only has the one geographical classification of Major city, and the majority of treatment agencies are non-government organisations (88%) (Figure ACT 5, Table Agcy.3).
Over the period 2012–13 to 2021–22, the number of publicly funded treatment agencies rose from 10 to 17 agencies (Table Agcy.1).
The horizontal bar chart shows that all treatment agencies in the Australian Capital Territory were located in Major cities in 2021–22. Of the total 17 treatment agencies, most (15 agencies) were non-government agencies.