Assessment only

Although all service providers would normally include an assessment component in all treatment types, assessment only episodes are those for which only an assessment has been provided to the client.

Assessment interventions aim to reduce immediate or short-term harms; engage and support people; and refer people into treatment. These interventions are often the first point of contact with healthcare. They provide a way for someone to find out more about alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related harm, receive information, access peer-based support and receive further information about, and where appropriate referral to, treatment and support services. Assessment services, provide the opportunity for an assessment of their needs, and appropriate matching to support services. Assessment is an ongoing process, and the match between the person’s needs, goals and the treatment being provided is continually assessed (Department of Health 2019).

In 2019–20:

  • almost 1 in 5 (19% or 44,408) of all treatment episodes were reported as an assessment only
  • around 19% treatment episodes for clients seeking help for their own alcohol or drug use received an assessment only as a main treatment; and 11% of treatment episodes for clients seeking help for someone else’s alcohol or drug use
  • assessment only treatment episodes were most commonly provided to clients whose principal drug of concern was either alcohol (32%), amphetamines (30%) or cannabis (14%) (tables ST.4, ST.44).

Client profile

In 2019–20, for clients whose main treatment was assessment only:

  • 70% of clients who received an assessment for their own alcohol or drug use were male, while less than half (46%) of clients who received assistance for someone else’s alcohol or drug use were male
  • around 1 in 6 (17%) clients who received an assessment for their own alcohol or drug use identified as Indigenous Australian, and 21% of clients sought support for someone else’s drug use (tables SC.15, SC.17).

References

See reference list.