In 2017–18, for clients receiving treatment episodes for their own drug use:
- alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern (38% of episodes) for clients in New South Wales (Figure 2; SE NSW.10)
- amphetamines as a principal drug of concern accounted for over one-quarter of episodes (27%), followed by cannabis (16%), and heroin (8%). This is consistent with the national picture (Table SD.1).
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).
In 2017–18, when the client reported additional drugs of concern:
- nicotine was the most common additional drug of concern (10% of episodes), followed by cannabis (9%), amphetamines (6%), and alcohol (5%) (Table SE NSW.11).
Over the period 2013–14 to 2017–18:
- alcohol remained the most common principal drug of concern in treatment episodes provided to clients, even though the proportion of these episodes declined (from 44% to 38%)
- amphetamines replaced cannabis in 2014–15 as the second most common principal drug of concern in New South Wales, and has increased since 2013–14 (from 17% to 27%)
- cannabis is now the third most common principal drug of concern, decreasing from 21% to 16% in 2017–18.
- These trends are consistent with the national picture (Table SD.2).