In 2020–21, alcohol was reported as a drug of concern (either principal or additional) in almost half of all treatment episodes (45% or 101,800 episodes) (Table Drg.5).
Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in 2020–21, recorded in over 1 in 3 treatment episodes (37% or 83,600 episodes) (Table Drg.5). Alcohol has remained the most common PDOC since 2011–12 (Table Drg.1). Between 2011–12 and 2020–21, there was an overall increase in the number of alcohol-related treatment episodes (from 67,400 to 83,600 episodes) although the proportion of episodes for alcohol in relation to all other drugs decreased from 46% to 37% (Table Drg.1).
In 2020–21, at least 1 additional drug of concern was recorded in 1 in 4 alcohol-related treatment episodes (25% or 21,000 episodes) (Table Drg.2). The most common additional drugs of concern were cannabis (36% or 10,900 episodes), nicotine (28% or 8,500 episodes) and amphetamines (17% or 5,100 episodes) (Figure DRUGS1; Table Drg.3). These drugs may not have been the subject of any treatment in the episode.
For information on alcohol use and harms, please see:
In 2020–21, 45,900 clients received treatment for their own use of alcohol as a principal drug of concern. Of these clients:
- Just under 2 in 3 were male (64% of clients) (Table SC.9).
- Around 1 in 2 were aged either 30–39 (25% of clients) or 40–49 (26%) (Table SC.10). This was consistent for both males and females (Figure ALCOHOL1).
- One in 6 were Indigenous Australians (17% or 7,800 clients) (Table SC.11). This represents a crude rate of 1,260 Indigenous clients per 100,000 population (crude rate) (Table SCR.26).
Figure ALCOHOL1: Clients with alcohol as a principal drug of concern, by sex and age group, 2020–21(%)