Technical notes - state and territory summaries

General notes

  1. Data are subject to minor revisions over time.
  2. Components of figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Client demographics

  1. Data are based on client records with a valid Statistical Linkage Key (SLK-581).
  2. Client data exists from the 2013–14 collection onwards.
  3. The client data used in these visualisations is not imputed. Therefore, these numbers may differ from what have been previously published.
  4. Rates are crude rates based on the Australian estimated resident population as at 31 December of the reference year. Rates for previous years may differ to those previously reported due to updated estimated resident populations.
  5. Proportions are calculated based on overlapping unit record data sorted by state/territory. As clients can receive treatment in multiple states/territories within the same collection period, the total number of clients is less than the summed number of clients for each state/territory. Therefore, the proportions by each state/territory may differ from those reported elsewhere as they are calculated from the summed number of clients in each state/territory.
  6. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting Australian Government closure of the international border from 20 March 2020, caused significant disruptions to the usual Australian population trends. This report uses Australian Estimated Resident Population (ERP) estimates that reflect these disruptions.

    In the year July 2020 to June 2021, the overall population growth was much smaller than the years prior and in particular, there was a relatively large decline in the population of Victoria. ABS reporting indicates these were primarily due to net-negative international migration (National, state and territory population, June 2021).

    Please be aware that this change in the usual population trends may complicate interpretation of statistics calculated from these ERPs. For example, rates and proportions may be greater than in previous years due to decreases in the denominator (population size) of some sub-populations.

Drugs of concern

  1. Unlike the principal drug of concern, additional drug/s of concern is not necessarily the subject of any treatment within the episode.
  2. The proportion of episodes for an additional drug of concern is calculated by the number of treatment episodes for that particular additional drug (up to 5 drug types can be reported) divided by the total number of treatment episodes for clients who received treatment for their own alcohol or drug use in the collection year.
  3. The AODTS NMDS contains data on drugs of concern that are coded using the ABS’s Australian Standard Classification of Drugs of Concern (ASCDC) (ABS 2011). Pharmaceuticals were grouped using the following 10 drug categories and ASCDC codes:
Table 1: Pharmaceutical drugs of concern, ASCDC codes and classifications
Drug categoryASCDC code















Other opioids

1100, 1199, 1200, 1299, 1300–1304, 1306–1399

Other analgesics

0005, 1000, 1400–1499

Other sedatives and hypnotics

2000, 2200–2299, 2300–2399, 2500–2599, 2900–2999

Jurisdictional notes regarding principal drug of concern 

Victoria reported comparatively high incidences of ‘Not stated drugs’ (15%) as the drug of concern. This is in part due to service providers adjusting to changes in reporting practices associated with the implementation of a new data collection system in 2019–20. In 2020–21, these drugs of concern were coded as ‘Other drugs of concern’ (14%) to realign with previous coding practices for Victoria. Victoria is working with service providers to encourage more specific reporting of drug of concern.

In Queensland, the level of cannabis reported as the principal drug of concern is a result of the Police Drug Diversion Program, Illicit Drugs Court Diversion Program and Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral Program (DAAR) operating in the state. 

South Australia reports a high proportion of treatment episodes where amphetamines are the principal drug of concern due to the SA Police Drug Diversion Initiative (PDDI). In addition, adult cannabis offences are not included in the PDDI due to the SA Cannabis Expiation Notice legislation.

In the Australian Capital Territory, removal of criminal penalties for possession of small quantities of cannabis in the ACT at the end of January 2020 reduced the number of cannabis-related diversions recorded as treatment episodes to low levels (mainly under-18s). Data collection improvements at government-operated services resulted in fewer ‘not stated’ responses in the 2022–23 collection.


  1. The proportion of episodes for an additional treatment type is calculated by the number of treatment episodes for that particular additional treatment type divided by the total number of treatment episodes for main treatment type in the collection year.
  2. Rehabilitation, withdrawal management (detoxification), and pharmacotherapy are not available for clients who received treatment for someone else’s alcohol or other drug use.
  3. The main treatment type of ‘other’ includes pharmacotherapy. In 2019–20, changes were made to categories under Main Treatment; the word ‘only’ was removed from code 5 (support and case management) and code 6 (information and education). The removal of the word ‘only’ from support and case management and information and education, changed reporting rules for agencies; allowing agencies to be able to report and more accurately capture these items as an additional treatment in conjunction with a main treatment type. Main treatment code for ‘Other’ changed from 8 to 88.
  4. Changes were also made to Other Treatment type (or additional treatment) categories, which added the codes 5 (Support and case management) and code 6 (Information and education) as categories to allow agencies to better reflect and record the current use of these treatment types in services. Other treatment type coding for the category ‘Other’ changed from 5 to 88.
  5. In 2019–20, 2020–21 and 2021–22, unprecedented restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted delivery of some AOD services including withdrawal management, residential rehabilitation, counselling and face-to-face outreach services, which moved to providing telehealth services to ensure social distancing guidelines were met. Withdrawal and rehabilitation bed-based occupancy decreased compared to pre-COVID occupancy in most states. See State and Territory Data Quality or further information.


  1. An agency’s remoteness area is derived by applying an ABS Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 3 Remoteness Structure 2021 and 2021 to Statistical Area Level 2 code (SA2) correspondence. Some SA2s are split between multiple remoteness areas. Where this is the case, the data are weighted according to the proportion of the population of the SA2 in each remoteness area. As a result, it is possible that the number of agencies in a particular remoteness area is not a whole number. After rounding, this can result in there being ‘<0.5’ or ‘<0.5%’ of agencies in a remoteness area due to the agency’s SA2 partially crossing into the remoteness area.
  2. The number of agencies by remoteness or sector may not sum to the total number of agencies due to rounding.
  3. The number of agencies is not an accurate reflection of all in-scope AOD specialist treatment services in Australia, as some agencies fail to report data during a collection for various reasons. See the Alcohol and other drug treatment services NMDS 2022–23 data quality statement for further details.
  4. In 2018–19, the AOD treatment agency counting methodology was revised to better reflect the number of unique AOD treatment service outlets. There is a level of agency duplication, due to agencies splitting out episode data related to the funding source for that program/service. A small number of agencies split their data submission according to state funded service episodes, which are reported to relevant state or territory departments; and Commonwealth funded service episodes are reported to a peak body or directly to the AIHW. This has resulted in the double counting of some services over time. This revision has been applied to all time-series; the main changes in data related to AOD service counts are from 2014–15 to 2017–18.
  5. Data for SA2 only available for 2014–15 collection onwards. 

For further technical information regarding the AODTS NMDS see Annual report technical notes.

Data quality statement

AODTS NMDS 2022–23 data quality statement


2022–23 States and territories (episodes) data tables

2022–23 Clients (states and territories) data tables