Drugs of concern

In 2017–18, for clients receiving treatment episodes for their own drug use:

  • alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern for clients in the Northern Territory (58% of episodes) (Figure 30; Tables SE NT.10)
  • cannabis was the second most common principal drug (15%), followed by amphetamines (13%), and volatile solvents (8%), which is much higher than the national rate (less than 1%) (Table SD.2).

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).

When the client reported additional drugs of concern:

  • cannabis was the most common additional drug (24% of episodes), followed by nicotine (15%) and alcohol (15%) (Table SE NT.11).

Over the period 2013–14 to 2017–18:

  • alcohol remained the most common principal drug of concern in the Northern Territory ranging from 61% to 58% over the period. The proportion of episodes for alcohol remain higher than the national rate in 2017–18 (58% compared with 35% nationally) (Table SD.2)
  • similar patterns were seen for amphetamines and cannabis; both increased in 2015–16 (7% to 14% and 15% to 19%, respectively), then decreased in 2017–18 (13% and 15%, respectively)
  • the proportion of closed episodes for volatile solvents as a principal drug of concern decreased from 12% in
    2015–16 to 8% in 2017–18.