Duration of treatment

In 2020–21:

  • around 3 in 4 treatment episodes ended within 3 months for all clients receiving treatment for their own alcohol or drug use and for someone else’s alcohol or drug use (77% and 73%, respectively) (Table Ov.9)
  • the median duration of treatment episodes was almost 4 weeks (27 days) for clients’ own alcohol or drug use and 5 weeks (37 days) for clients receiving support for someone else’s alcohol or drug use (Table Ov.10)
  • for clients’ own alcohol or drug use counselling treatment had the longest median duration, 63 days; assessment only and information and education the shortest (1 day) (Figure DURATION1) (Table Ov.11).

Over the 10 years to 2020–21:

  • the proportion of treatment episodes for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use that ended within 3 months remained at 77%
  • for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use, the median duration of treatment episodes fluctuated, falling from 25 days in 2011–12 to 16 days in 2015–16 before rising to 27 days in 2020–21
  • for clients seeking support for someone else’s alcohol or drug use, the median duration has fluctuated more widely, falling from 42 days in 2011–12 to a low of 14 days in 2018–19 before rising to 37 days in 2020–21 (tables Trt.13, Ov.11).

Figure DURATION1: Median duration of treatment episodes, by client type and main treatment type, 2011–12 to 2020–21

The line graph shows that the median duration of treatment episodes provided to all clients was longest for episodes with counselling as the main treatment type across most years between 2011–12 and 2020–21. In 2020–21, counselling episodes had a median duration of 64 days, compared with 43 days for rehabilitation and 29 days for support and case management. A filter allows the user to view data for all clients, clients seeking treatment for their own drug use or clients seeking treatment for someone else’s drug use.