Publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment services are
available to people seeking treatment for their own drug use and people seeking
treatment for someone else's drug use. This report presents data on alcohol and
other drug treatment agencies and the episodes of treatment they provide.
A total of 659 alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 153,668
episodes that were closed in 2011-12. While the number of agencies decreased
slightly from 2010-11, the number of closed episodes increased by 2%.
Most treatment was provided to clients for their own drug use
treatment episodes closed in 2011-12, nearly all (96%) were for clients
receiving treatment for their own drug use. Around two-thirds (68%) of these
episodes were for male clients, while the reverse was true for episodes provided
for someone else's drug use (63% of these were for female clients).
Episodes for someone else's drug use tended to be longer than those for the
client's own drug use. More than one-third (35%) of episodes for someone else's
drug use lasted 1-3 months, while over half (53%) of episodes for the client's
own drug use ended within 1 month.
Alcohol was the most common principal
drug of concern
As in previous years, alcohol was the most common
principal drug of concern (46%), followed by cannabis (22%), amphetamines (11%)
and heroin (9%). Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in all
states and territories, while cannabis was the second most common principal drug
in all states and territories except South Australia, where amphetamines were
In 4 out of 5 (81%) closed episodes, the client reported
additional drugs of concern. Of these, 34% reported 1 additional drug and 24%
reported 2. Nicotine (21%) was the second most common additional drug after
cannabis (22%), but it was the principal drug for only 1% of episodes.
Counselling was the most common type of treatment
Counselling was a
main or additional treatment type in almost half (49%) of the episodes closed in
2011-12, and it was the main treatment type in 43% of episodes. Withdrawal
management and assessment only were also common treatment types: withdrawal
management was a treatment type in 18% of episodes and the main treatment type
in 17%, while assessment only, which can only be a main treatment type, was the
main treatment type in 14% of episodes.
Alcohol was the most common
principal drug for most treatment types, although cannabis (50%) was the most
common principal drug in episodes with a main treatment type of information and
education only (this is most likely due to the use of this treatment type in
episodes where the client has been diverted from the criminal justice system for
minor drug offences).