Drugs of concern

In 2016–17, alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in episodes provided to clients for their own drug use in Tasmania (39% of clients, and 38% of episodes) (Figure 22; Tables SC TAS.4 and SD.8). Amphetamines was also common as a principal drug of concern, accounting for just under one-quarter of treatment episodes (24%), followed by cannabis (22%), and morphine (5%).

When closed episodes for additional drugs of concern are considered, cannabis was the most common additional drug of concern, accounting for 18% of closed episodes, followed by amphetamines (9%), nicotine (9%), and alcohol (7%) (clients can nominate up to 5 additional drugs of concern for their treatment episode).

Over the 5 years to 2016–17, alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in episodes provided to clients for their own drug use. Amphetamines replaced cannabis as the second most common principal drug of concern in 2016–17. After initially decreasing from 12% in 2012–13 to 11% in 2013–14, amphetamines has steadily increased to 24% in 2016–17. Conversely, cannabis has consistently decreased from 30% in 2012–13 to 22% in 2016–17. With the exception of 2016–17, the proportion of episodes involving cannabis as the principal drug of concern in Tasmania was higher than the national average. In 2016–17, the proportion of closed treatment episodes with morphine as the reported principal drug of concern was 11 times higher than the national average (5.1% in Tasmania, compared with 0.6% nationally) (Table SD.2).

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