Alcohol tops other drugs for treatment

By ANMJ Staff|
2019-04-29T11:10:36+10:00
April 22nd, 2019|

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More than 130,000 Australians received alcohol and other drug treatment services during 2017-18, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).


Data shows one in 166 people in Australia (aged 10 and over) received specialist treatment including counselling and withdrawal management.

The report, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2017-18 key findings, identified alcohol as the most common drug people received treatment for, recording almost 69,000 of the 210,000 closed treatment episodes provided.

AIHW says alcohol has been the most common drug clients received treatment for over the past five years despite its overall use declining.

The report showed amphetamines now account for a quarter of all treatment episodes, up from 17% in 2013-14.

One in five treatments were for cannabis use (21%) while heroin use (5%) is on the decline.

Over half (54%) of clients were aged 20-39, with two-thirds of clients male (66%).

Clients seeking treatment for more than one drug most commonly reported cannabis or nicotine (both 16%) as an additional drug of concern.

“Across the majority of states and territories, alcohol was the most common drug for which people received treatment,” AIHW spokesperson Matthew James said.

“However, for South Australia and Western Australia, the most common drug treated was amphetamines, and in Queensland, cannabis (32.3%) just edged out alcohol (31.9%).”

The report also found about 96% of clients received treatment for their own drug use, while the remainder received support for someone else’s drug use.

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