In New South Wales (NSW) in 2008–09, 250 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies and outlets provided 34,893 treatment episodes. This represented a decrease of 18 treatment agencies and around 7,000 episodes compared with 2007–08. A large proportion of this decrease can be explained by the NSW data collection issues in 2008–09 detailed in the box below.

The median1 ages of persons receiving treatment for their own drug use and those seeking treatment in relation to someone else’s drug use were similar to 2007–08 (35 years and 48 years, respectively).

Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern, rising from 49% of episodes in 2007–08 to 51% of episodes in 2008–09. Cannabis accounted for 18% and heroin for 11% of episodes. The proportion of amphetamine-related episodes fell slightly from 11% to 9%.

The episode profile of main treatment type followed the 2007–08 pattern, with some small changes in proportions. Counselling was the most common form of main treatment provided (30% of episodes), followed by withdrawal management (20%) and assessment only (16%).

  1. The median is the midpoint of a list of observations ranked from the smallest to the largest.