Who provides publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment services?

The Australian Government and state and territory governments fund non-government and government agencies to provide a range of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services. Treatment services are delivered in residential and non-residential settings, and often include treatments such as detoxification, rehabilitation, counselling and pharmacotherapy.

The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS NMDS) contains information on publicly funded AOD treatment agencies and their service delivery outlets. An agency can have more than one service delivery outlet, located in different areas.

In 2020–21, 1,279 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided services in Australia.

In 2020–21, 1,279 publicly funded AOD treatment agencies reported to the AODTS NMDS. The number of agencies in each jurisdiction ranged from 16 in the Australian Capital Territory to 485 in New South Wales. The number of agencies reporting to the AODTS NMDS in 2020–21 increased from 1,258 in 2019–20 (Figure AODTSAGENCIES.1).

Over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in the total number of AOD treatment agencies (from 659 in 2011–12 to 1,279 in 2020–21). See the Alcohol and other drug treatment services NMDS Data Quality Statement, 2020–21 for further information.  

Service sector

A mix of government and non-government agencies deliver publicly funded AOD treatment services. Nationally in 2020–21, over two-thirds (68%) of AOD treatment agencies were non-government, and these agencies provided 73% of all treatment episodes (Figure AODTSAGENCIES.1).

Figure AODTSAGENCIES.1: Treatment agencies, by sector and state and territory, 2011–12 to 2020–21

The horizontal bar chart shows the number and proportion of alcohol and other drug treatment agencies by sector (government and non-government) and state and territory.

In 2020–21, Australia had 1,278 agencies; New South Wales had 485 agencies; Victoria had 354 agencies; Queensland had 182 agencies; Western Australia had 108 agencies; South Australia had 84 agencies; the Australian Capital Territory had 16 agencies; and the Northern Territory had 25 agencies.

Nationally in 2021, over 2 in 3 (67%) AOD treatment agencies were non-government. Across states and territories, the proportion of non-government AOD agencies ranged from 38% of agencies in New South Wales to 99% of agencies in Victoria.

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