Western Australia

In 2018–19, 108 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in Western Australia provided 25,236 closed treatment episodes to 19,348 clients (Tables SA.1 and SCR.21).

The visualisation shows that 25,236 closed treatment episodes were provided to an estimated 19,348 clients in Western Australia in 2018–19. This equates to a rate of 1,116 episodes and 855 clients per 100,000 population, a higher rate than the 1,000 episodes and 623 clients per 100,000 population nationally.

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In 2018–19, most (87%) clients in Western Australia attended 1 agency, and received an average of 1.3 closed treatment episodes, which is slightly lower than the national average of 1.6 episodes (Tables SCR.21 and SCR.23).

Client demographics

In 2018–19:

  • most (91%) clients in Western Australia in 2018–19 received treatment for their own alcohol or drug use, of which, most (66%) were male (Figure 13; Table SC WA.1)
  • clients receiving treatment for someone else’s alcohol or drug use were more likely to be female (73%)
  • over half (54%) of clients were aged 20–39 years (Table SC WA.2)
  • over 1 in 5 (24%) clients identified as Indigenous Australians, which is higher than the national proportion (17%) (Tables SC WA.3 and SC.4)
  • the majority (83%) of clients were born in Australia and nearly all reported English as their preferred language (99%) (Tables SC WA.21 and SC WA.22).

The visualisation includes a series of horizontal bar graphs showing that, in 2018–19, over 9 in 10 (91%) clients in Western Australia received treatment for their own drug use. Of these clients, around two-thirds (66%) were male, 57% were aged 20–39, and 24% were Indigenous Australians. Nearly all clients (99%) listed English as their preferred language and most (84%) were born in Australia.

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Patterns of service use:

In Western Australia, of the 19,348 clients who received treatment in 2018–19:

  • 60% (11,571) received treatment in 2018–19 only
  • 11% (2,097) received treatment in both 2017–18 and 2018–19
  • 3.6% (693) received treatment in each year from 2016–17 to 2018–19
  • 2.0% (379) received treatment in each year from 2015–16 to 2018–19
  • 1.7% (337) received treatment in all years, from 2014–15 to 2018–19.

Over the period 2014–15 to 2018–19, 66,921 clients received treatment in Western Australia. Of those:

  • 75% (50,046) received treatment in only a single year
  • 17% (11,552) received treatment in any 2 of the 5 years
  • 5.5% (3,711) received treatment in any 3 of the 5 years
  • 1.9% (1,275) received treatment in any 4 of the 5 years
  • 0.5% (337) received treatment in all 5 collection years.

Drugs of concern

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

  • amphetamines were the most common principal drug of concern (34% of episodes) (Figure 14; Tables SE WA.10); in over half of treatment episodes where amphetamines were the principal drug of concern (59%) injecting was the most common method of use, followed by smokes (36%) (Figure 14b)
  • within the amphetamines code group, methamphetamine was reported as a principal drug of concern in almost 9 in 10 (91%) treatment episodes; in over half of treatment episodes where methamphetamine was the principal drug of concern (55%), injecting was the most common method of use, followed by smokes (43%)
  • alcohol accounted for the second highest proportion of episodes (33%), followed by cannabis (22%), and heroin (6%).

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).

In 2018–19, when the client reported additional drugs of concern:

  • cannabis was the most common additional drug (25% of episodes), followed by alcohol and nicotine (both 16%), and amphetamines (12%) (Table SE WA.11).

Over the period 2014–15 to 2018–19:

  • alcohol was replaced by amphetamines as the most common principal drug of concern for clients in 2015–16 (30% and 35% of episodes respectively), with alcohol decreasing to 29% in 2016–17, and gradually rising to 33% in 2018–19 (Table SE WA.10)
  • the trend for amphetamines as a principal drug of concern in Western Australia is higher than the national proportion, increasing from 25% in 2014–15 to 36% in 2016–17 then gradually falling to 34% in 2018–19; compared to national results, 20% in 2014–15 increasing to 27% in both 2017–18 and 2018–19 (Table SD.2)
  • within the amphetamines code group, methamphetamine was reported as the principal drug of concern in just under two-thirds of episodes (64%) in 2014–15, rising to 76% in 2015–16, 85% in 2016–17, 88% in 2017–18 and 91% in 2018–19 (Figure 14a)
  • cannabis was the third most common principal drug of concern for clients and remained consistently higher than the national proportion, ranging from 24% to 22% over this period in Western Australia.

The grouped horizontal bar chart shows that, in 2018–19, amphetamines was the most common principal drug of concern in treatment episodes provided to clients in Western Australia for their own drug use (34%). This was followed by alcohol (33%), cannabis (22%), and heroin (5.6%). Cannabis was the most common additional drug of concern (25% of episodes), followed by nicotine and alcohol (both 16%) and amphetamines (12%).

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The line graph shows that, between 2014–15 and 2018–19, methamphetamine has remained the most common drug of concern among meth/amphetamine-related treatment episodes for clients’ own drug use. The proportion of methamphetamine-related episodes increased from 64% in 2014–15 to 91% in 2018–19. Conversely, there was a decrease in the proportion of episodes relating to amphetamines (from 32% to 9.0%).

The stacked horizontal bar chart shows the method of use for treatment episodes related to clients’ own use of meth/amphetamines in Western Australia in 2018–19. Injecting and smoking were the first and second most common methods of use, respectively, for treatment episodes relating to amphetamine (59% for injecting and 36% for smoking) and methamphetamine (55% and 43%). All episodes for other amphetamines as the principal drug of concern listed ingesting as the method of use.

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Treatment

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

  • counselling as the most common main treatment (69% of episodes), followed by pharmacotherapy and assessment only (both 7%), withdrawal management and support and case management only (both 6%) (Figure 15; Table SE WA.20)
  • Western Australia does not differentiate between main and other treatment types.

Over the period 2014–15 to 2018–19:

  • counselling remained the most common main treatment for all closed episodes. The proportion of episodes where counselling was a main treatment type remained substantially higher in Western Australia than nationally over the period, ranging from 60% to 69% in Western Australia compared with 40% to 39% nationally (Tables SE WA.20 and ST.2)
  • withdrawal management was the second most common main treatment type to 2016–17; however, this was replaced by pharmacotherapy in 2017–18. In 2018–19 both pharmacotherapy and assessment only were the second most common main treatment types (both 7%).

The grouped horizontal bar chart shows that, in 2018–19, the most common main treatment type provided to clients in Western Australia for their own drug use was counselling (69% of episodes). This was followed by assessment only and pharmacotherapy (7.1% and 6.7%, respectively), and withdrawal management and support and case management only (5.6% and 6.1% respectively). No additional treatment types were reported.

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Agencies

In 2018–19, in Western Australia:

  • around 9 in 10 (91%) AOD agencies were non-government treatment agencies that receive public funding
  • more than half (63%) of the 108 treatment agencies were located in Major cities (Figure 16; Table SA.3)
  • Very remote areas were the only areas where there were more government than non-government agencies.

In the 5 years to 2018–19, the number of publicly funded treatment agencies in Western Australia rose from 84 to 108 (Table SA.1).

The horizontal bar chart shows that most treatment agencies in Western Australia were located in Major cities (68 agencies), followed by Outer regional and Remote areas (11 agencies each). Of the total 108 treatment agencies, most (98 agencies) were non-government agencies.

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