Duration of treatment

Duration of treatment

In 2019–20:

  • around 3 in 4 closed treatment episodes ended within 3 months for both clients receiving treatment for their own alcohol or drug use and for someone else’s alcohol or drug use (77% and 76%, respectively) (Table SE.21).
  • the median duration of closed episodes was almost 4 weeks (26 days) for clients’ own alcohol or drug use and 5 weeks (35 days) for clients receiving support for someone else’s alcohol or drug use (Table SE.22).
  • for clients’ own alcohol or drug use counselling treatment had the longest median duration, 67 days; assessment only and information and education the shortest (1 day) (Figure DURATON1).
  • nearly 4 in 5 (77%) treatment episodes for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use ended within 3 months and over one-quarter (26%) ended within 1 day. About 1 in 10 (9%) episodes lasted 6 months or longer.

  • the median duration of closed treatment episodes for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use was 27 days (tables SD.12, SE.21–22).

Over the 10 years to 2019–20:

  • the proportion of closed treatment episodes for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use that ended within 3 months remained at 77%
  • for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use, the median duration of closed treatment episodes fluctuated, falling from 25 days in 2011–12 to 16 days in 2015–16 before rising to 26 days in 2019–20
  • for clients seeking support for someone else’s alcohol or drug use, the median duration has fluctuated more widely, falling from 42 days in 2011–12 to a low of 14 days in 2018–19 before rising to 35 days in 2019–20 (tables SE.21–22, SE.24).

Figure DURATION1: National closed episodes by client type, main treatment type and median duration (days), 2010–11 to 2019–20 

The line graph shows that from 2010–11 to 2019–20, the median duration of treatment episodes varied substantially. Since 2016–17, the median treatment duration for counselling as a main treatment type has steadily increased, peaking at 67 days in 2019–20. Rehabilitation and other decreased slightly between 2016–17 and 2018–19 before sharply increasing in 2019–20 (45 days and 46 days respectively).


References 

See reference list.