This report presents the findings of the 2007–08 Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS–NMDS). It is the eighth in a series of annual publications focusing on clients of government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services. In particular, it highlights the drug use clients are concerned about and the types of treatment they receive. This report also presents contextual information about drug use, drug-related deaths and hospital stays and other treatment provided for alcohol and other drug issues across Australia.


Around 154,000 treatment episodes were provided during 2007–08, an increase of about 7,000 episodes compared to 2006–07. The vast majority of treatment episodes (96%) were for people seeking treatment for their own drug use. The largest group of clients was males aged 20–29 years. This finding has been remarkably consistent over time. Younger clients were more likely to receive treatment for cannabis use and older clients for alcohol use.


Alcohol remains the most common principal drug of concern increasing to 44% of all treatment episodes in 2007–08 compared with 38% in 2002–03. Treatment for heroin use has been declining over time to 11% in 2007–08 compared with 18% in 2002–03; also the actual number of episodes has declined. Treatment for cannabis and amphetamines has remained stable, at about 22% and 11% respectively.


Counselling remained the most common treatment provided at about 2 in 5 episodes. The proportion of clients in withdrawal management (detox) has declined since 2002–03, even though the number of detox episodes has increased.


In 2007–08, more treatment episodes were provided in more treatment agencies compared with previous years. Integration and collocation of government and non-government services may have an increasing impact on the profile of alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in future years.