Key findings


  • Half of agencies (54%) were public/government.
  • Fewer than one in 10 agencies (8%) were in Remoteand Very remote Australia.


  • 19 out of 20 treatment episodes (96%) were for clients seeking treatment for their own drug use.
  • The median age of those in treatment was 32.
  • Three in 10 episodes (29%) were for clients aged 20–29, the largest age cohort.
  • Two in three episodes (66%) were for males.
  • When compared with their proportions in the general population, Indigenous Australians were over-represented in treatment episodes.


  • Half of all episodes (53%) had multiple drugs of concern.
  • Almost half of episodes (48%) had alcohol as the principal drug of concern, the highest proportion since the collection began.
  • One in 10 episodes (10%) had heroin as the principal drug of concern.
  • Despite being a principal drug of concern in only 2% of treatment episodes, nicotine was the third most common drug of concern reported overall (20%).


  • Counselling was the most common treatment type (42% of episodes).
  • One in 10 (9%) episodes nominated more than one treatment type.
  • Two in 10 (19%) episodes were court or police referrals.
  • Three in 20 (15%) episodes had withdrawal management (detoxification) as a main treatment.
  • The median duration for a treatment episode was 22 days.
  • The most common referral method was self-referral (35%).