Data cubes

About the cubes

A data cube is a multidimensional representation of the data set. It allows you to quickly select, filter and arrange aggregated data for variables of interest using drag and drop functionality. Data generated from these cubes can be exported into Excel, if you prefer this format for data analysis and reporting.

Period covered

The cubes cover the period 2003–04 to 2016–17.

Counting unit

The counting unit is a ‘closed treatment episode’. A closed treatment episode refers to a period of contact, with defined dates of commencement and cessation, between a client and a treatment agency. As a unit of measurement, the ‘closed treatment episode’ used in the AODTS NMDS cannot provide information on the number of clients who access publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment, nor can it provide information on the extent of concurrent, sequential or recurrent service use.

Data items included in the data cubes

For a full list of the data items in these cubes, and metadata about those items, download AODTS cube metadata

Exclusions to the collection

  • Agencies whose sole activity is to prescribe and/or dose for opioid pharmacotherapy maintenance treatment such as methadone.
  • Halfway houses and sobering-up shelters, correctional institutions, health promotion services (for example, needle and syringe exchange programs).
  • Alcohol and drug treatment units in acute care or psychiatric hospitals that only provide treatment to admitted patients.
  • Private treatment agencies that do not receive government funding.

It should also be noted that:

  • the number of Indigenous clients may be under-counted as most Australian Government funded Indigenous substance-use services and Aboriginal health services that provide treatment for alcohol and other drug problems do not supply data under the AODTS NMDS. In addition, at the national level a substantial percentage of clients did not state their Indigenous status (varying from 5% to 8% over time)
  • the data do not provide measures of the incidence or prevalence of alcohol or other drug abuse or dependence in the community on their own. This is because not all persons who abuse alcohol or other drugs seek treatment or seek treatment from publicly funded services.

Further information

Across all years, the following data items in the cubes have been collapsed for confidentiality reasons:

  • Method of use for principal drug of concern—Injects data has been collapsed into the Other category.
  • Source of referral for treatment—corrections, police and court diversion data have been collapsed into the Other category.
  • Reason for cessation of treatment—drug court, imprisoned and died, have been collapsed into the Other category.

How do I use the cubes?

Data cubes allow you to quickly select, filter and arrange aggregated data for variables of interest using drag and drop functionality. Data generated from these cubes can be exported into Excel, if you prefer this format for data analysis and reporting.

When a data cube is opened default dimensions are shown. To view other dimensions right-click on the dimension you want to replace and select the ‘Change’ item. For example, to replace sex with country of birth right-click on sex and select ‘Change Sex to’. Then select ‘Country of birth’ from the list.

If you wish to collate totals and present percentages, right-click on the table icon, where the data is displayed. This provides additional options for filtering the data.

To hide dimensions right-click on the dimension name and select the ‘Hide’ menu item.

How do I export data from cubes?

The data can be exported either to Excel or Word. Right-click the table area and select ‘Export table’ from the menu. Choose how many rows you want to export, and whether to export to Excel or Word or save as a tab or comma separated file. Give the file a name and save it in the directory of your choosing.