Queensland

In 2018–19, 180 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in Queensland provided 47,831 closed treatment episodes to 35,123 clients (Tables SA.1 and SCR.21).

The visualisation shows that 47,831 closed treatment episodes were provided to an estimated 35,123 clients in Queensland in 2018–19. This equates to a rate of 1,087 episodes and 798 clients per 100,000 population, a higher rate than the 1,000 episodes and 623 clients per 100,000 population reported nationally.

 

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In 2018–19, most (88%) clients in Queensland attended 1 agency, and received an average of 1.4 closed treatment episodes, which is lower than the national average of 1.6 episodes (Tables SCR.21 and SCR.23).

Client demographics

In 2018–19:

  • nearly all (97%) clients in Queensland received treatment for their own alcohol or drug use, of which most (66%) were male (Figure 9; Table SC QLD.1)
  • clients receiving treatment for someone else’s alcohol or drug use were more likely to be female (72%)
  • just over half (51%) of clients were aged 20–39 years, and 16% were aged 10–19 years which is higher than the national proportion (12%) (Table SC QLD.2)
  • about 1 in 6 (17%) clients identified as Indigenous Australians, which is consistent with the national proportion (17%) (Tables SC QLD.3 and SC.4)
  • the majority (88%) of clients were born in Australia and nearly all (99%) reported English as their preferred language (Tables SC QLD.21 and SC QLD.22).

The visualisation includes a series of horizontal bar graphs showing that, in 2018–19, nearly all (97%) clients in Queensland received treatment for their own drug use. Of these clients, around two-thirds (66%) were male, 52% were aged 20–39, and 17% were Indigenous Australians. Nearly all clients (99%) listed English as their preferred language and most (88%) were born in Australia.

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Patterns of service use:

In Queensland, of the 35,123 clients who received treatment in 2018–19:

  • 64% (22,346) received treatment in 2018–19 only
  • 9.7% (3,422) received treatment in both 2017–18 and 2018–19
  • 3.2% (1,123) received treatment in each year from 2016–17 to 2018–19
  • 1.7% (592) received treatment in each year from 2015–16 to 2018–19
  • 1.4% (501) received treatment in all years, from 2014–15 to 2018–19.

Over the period 2014–15 to 2018–19, 131,681 clients received treatment in Queensland. Of those:

  • 79% (104,313) received treatment in only a single year
  • 15% (19,302) received treatment in any 2 of the 5 years
  • 4.4% (5,737) received treatment in any 3 of the 5 years
  • 1.4% (1,828) received treatment in any 4 of the 5 years
  • 0.4% (501) received treatment in all 5 collection years.

Drugs of concern

In 2018–19, for clients in Queensland receiving treatment episodes for their own alcohol or drug use:

  • alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern (34% of episodes) (Figure 10; Tables SE QLD.10)
  • cannabis was the second most common principal drug of concern (28%). In Queensland, the level of cannabis reported as the principal drug of concern is a result of the police and illicit drug court diversion programs operating in the state (Table SE QLD.12)
  • amphetamines were the third most common drug of concern (25%); where amphetamines were recorded as a principal drug of concern, the most common method of use was injecting (58%), followed by ingesting (19%) and smoking (18%)
  • within the amphetamines code group, methamphetamine was reported as a principal drug of concern in just over 4 in 5 (83%) treatment episodes; in half of treatment episodes where methamphetamine was the principal drug of concern (51%) injecting was the most common method of use. This was followed by smoking (40%) (Figure 10b).

Some jurisdictions are working with service providers to encourage more specific reporting of amphetamine use (i.e. to reduce the use of ‘amphetamines not further defined’ code where possible).   

Clients can nominate up to 5 additional drugs of concern, these drugs are not necessarily the subject of any treatment within the episode (see Technical notes).

 When the client reported additional drugs of concern:

  • nicotine and cannabis were the most common additional drugs (both 18% of episodes), followed by alcohol (16%) and amphetamines (11%) (Table SE QLD.11).

Over the period 2014–15 to 2018–19:

  • Alcohol replaced cannabis as the most common principal drug of concern in 2018–19. Cannabis was previously the most common principal drug of concern, since replacing alcohol with a higher proportion of treatment episodes in 2014–15. The proportion of episodes reporting alcohol as a principal drug of concern ranged from 40% in 2015–16 to 32% in 2017–18  (Table SE QLD.10)
  • amphetamines remain the third most common principal drug of concern, with treatment episodes increasing since 2014–15 (15% to 25%)
  • within the amphetamines code group, methamphetamine was reported as the principal drug of concern in just over 2 in 5 episodes (44%) in 2014–15, rising to 65% in 2015–16, 74% in 2016–17, 79% in 2017–18 and 83% in 2018–19 (Figure 10a). The rise in episodes where methamphetamines was the principal drug of concern could be related to increases in funded treatment services and/ or improvement in agency coding practices for methamphetamines
  • the proportion of treatment episodes where cannabis was the principal drug remained consistently higher than the national proportion, peaking at 40% in 2015–16 in Queensland, compared to a national peak of 24% in 2013–14 (Table SD.2).

The grouped horizontal bar chart shows that, in 2018–19, alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in treatment episodes provided to clients in Queensland for their own drug use (34%). This was followed by cannabis (28%), amphetamines (26%), and heroin (1.7%). Nicotine and cannabis were the most common additional drugs of concern (both 18%), followed by alcohol (16%) and amphetamines (11%).

 

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The line graph shows that methamphetamine has remained the most common drug of concern among meth/amphetamine-related treatment episodes for clients’ own drug use since 2015–16, increasing from 44% of meth/amphetamine-related episodes in 2014–15 to 83% in 2018–19. Conversely, there was a decrease in the proportion of episodes relating to amphetamines not further defined (from 46% to 14%) and amphetamine (from 9.3% to 2.2%).

The stacked horizontal bar chart shows the method of use for treatment episodes related to clients’ own use of methamphetamine, amphetamine, amphetamines not further defined, and other amphetamines in Queensland in 2018–19. Injecting was the most common method of use across all amphetamine codes (44%–58% of treatment episodes), while other methods of use varied by meth/amphetamine type. Smoking was the second most common method of use for amphetamines not further defined (27%), methamphetamine (40%), and other amphetamines (31%), while ingesting (19%) and smoking (18%) accounted for similar proportions of episodes relating to amphetamine use.

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Treatment

In 2018–19, the majority of closed treatment episodes for all clients in Queensland, included:

  • counselling as the most common main treatment (36% of episodes), followed by information and education only (25%) and assessment only (13%) (Figure 11; Table SE QLD.20)
  • where an additional treatment was provided as supplementary to the main treatment, counselling (5%) was also the most common type of additional treatment, followed by pharmacotherapy, withdrawal management and ‘other’ treatment types (all around 2%).

Over the period 2014–15 to 2018–19:

  • the proportion of all closed treatment episodes where counselling was the main treatment type fluctuated between 31% of closed treatment episodes in 2014–15 and 36% in 2018–19. Counselling replaced information and education only as the most common main treatment type in 2016–17
  • information and education only as a main treatment type slightly decreased in 2018–19, dropping from 27% in 2016–17 to 25% in 2018–19 (Table SE QLD.20)
  • the proportion of episodes for information and education only as a main treatment was over 3 times the national proportion in 2018–19 (25% compared with 8%) (Tables SE QLD.20 and ST.5).

In Queensland, treatment episodes provided to people diverted into AOD services by police and court diversion programs are recorded as information and education only. The diversion programs have contributed to the high proportion of information and education only treatment episodes in Queensland due to state initiatives. Treatment involves a 60–90 minute session, including comprehensive alcohol/other drug assessment, assessment of risk-taking behaviours, physical/ mental health and provision of information to assist in reducing/ceasing alcohol or drug use and referral to further treatment if required.

The grouped horizontal bar chart shows that, in 2018–19, the most common main treatment type provided to clients in Queensland for their own drug use was counselling (36% of episodes). This was followed by information and education only (25%), assessment only (13%), and withdrawal management (9.0%). Counselling (4.7%) was the most common additional treatment, followed by pharmacotherapy (2.0%).

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Agencies

In 2018–19 in Queensland:

  • two-thirds (66%) of AOD agencies are non-government treatment agencies that receive public funding
  • just under half (49%) of the 180 treatment agencies were located in Major cities, followed by Outer regional (21%) and Inner regional (19%) areas
  • around 11% of all government treatment agencies were located in Remote and Very remote areas (Figure 12; Table SA.3).

In the 5 years to 2018–19, the number of publicly funded treatment agencies in Queensland dropped from 177 in 2014–15 to 158 in 2015–16 and rising again to 180 in 2018–19 (Table SA.1).

The horizontal bar chart shows that most treatment agencies in Queensland were located in Major cities (89 agencies), followed by Outer regional (38 agencies) and Inner regional (34 agencies) areas. Of the total 180 treatment agencies, most (119 agencies) were non-government agencies.

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