Victoria reported comparatively high incidences of ‘Not stated drugs’ in 2019–20 (15%) as the drug of concern. This proportion decreased in 2020–21 (2%), due to the work with service providers to encourage more specific reporting of drug of concern. For more information see the Data quality statement.
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 2020–21, when the client reported additional drugs of concern:
- cannabis was the most common (8.7% of episodes), followed by nicotine and alcohol (6.4% and 6.3% respectively) (Table ST VIC.7).
Over the period 2011–12 to 2020–21:
- treatment episodes for alcohol replaced amphetamines as the most common principal drug of concern. The proportion of episodes have been gradually declining from 45% in 2011–12 to 31% in 2020–21, relative to all other principal drugs of concern. The number of episodes varied from 22,678 in 2011–12, falling to 15,820 in 2014–15 and rising to 23,039 episodes in 2020–21 (Table ST VIC.7)
- amphetamines was the second most common principal drug of concern (26% or 19,255 episodes). The proportion of episodes with a principal drug of concern for amphetamines has increased from 10% in 2011–12 peaking at 30% in 2018–19, decreasing in 2020–21 (26%)
- within the amphetamines group, methamphetamine was reported as the principal drug of concern for the first time in 2014–15 (2% of episodes), increasing to 6% in 2017–18. This was followed by a large increase in 2018–19 (43%), again increasing to 62% in 2020–21 (Figure VIC3a). The rise in episodes for methamphetamine is mainly due to improvements in agency coding practices for methamphetamines, although some of the increase in episodes could be related to increases in funded treatment services.
- the proportion of treatment episodes for cannabis decreased from 23% in 2011–12 to 17% in 2020–21 (Figure VIC2; Table ST VIC.7).
In 2020–21, for treatment episodes in Victoria:
- counselling was the most common treatment type (27% of episodes) followed by support and case management (24%) (Figure VIC4; Table ST VIC.13).
In 2019–20, Victoria finalised implementation of a new data collection system (VADC) which allows agencies to report additional treatment types against the AODTS NMDS. As a result, there will be differences in the proportion of additional treatment types reported prior to 2019–20.
Over the period from 2011–12 to 2020–21:
- counselling remained one of the most common main treatments for all episodes in 2020–21 (27%), albeit decreasing from 54% in 2011–12
- support and case management as a main treatment increased from 12% in 2011–12, peaking in 2015–16 (30%) and falling to 24% in 2020–21
- withdrawal management decreased from 21% to 9% and ‘other’ treatment increased from 1% to 14% over the same period (Figure VIC4; Table ST VIC.13).