Glossary

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander: a person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

abstainer (alcohol): has not consumed a full serve of alcohol in the previous 12 months.

additional drugs of concern: Clients receiving treatment for their own drug use nominate a principal drug of concern that has led them to seek treatment, and any additional drugs of concern, of which up to 5 are recorded in the AODTS NMDS. Clients receiving treatment for someone else’s drug use do not nominate drugs of concern.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area: The ABS ASGS Remoteness Area classification allocates 1 of 5 remoteness categories to areas, depending on their distance from a range of 5 types of population centre. These classifications reflect the level of remoteness at the time of the 2011 Census. Areas are classified as Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote and Very remote. For the NDSHS analysis, Remote and very remote were grouped together.

benzodiazepines: a commonly prescribed pharmaceutical to help people sleep, and treat stress and anxiety.

blood alcohol concentration (BAC): refers to the amount of alcohol present in the bloodstream.

branded illicit tobacco: tobacco products that are smuggled into Australia without payment of the applicable customs duty.

closed treatment episode: A period of contact between a client and a treatment provider or team of providers. A treatment episode is closed when treatment is completed, there has been no further contact between the client and the treatment provider for 3 months, or when treatment is ceased (see reason for cessation).

current smoker: reported smoking daily, weekly or less than weekly at the time of the survey.

disability-adjusted life year (DALY): a year of healthy life lost, either through premature death or, equivalently, through living with disability due to illness or injury.

drug-induced deaths: deaths that can be directly attributable to drug use, as determined by toxicology and pathology reports.

drug-related separations: refers to hospital care with selected principal diagnoses (that is, the diagnosis established to be chiefly responsible for occasioning an episode of admitted patient care) of substance-use disorder or harm (all forms of harm, for example, accidental, intended or self-inflicted) due to selected substances.

electronic cigarette (e-cigarette): devices designed to produce a vapour that the user inhales. Usually contain a battery, a liquid cartridge and a vaporisation system and are used in a manner that simulates smoking.

ever use: used at least once in lifetime.

ex-drinker: a person who has consumed a full serve of alcohol in his or her lifetime, but not in the previous 12 months.

ex-smoker: a person who has smoked at least 100 cigarettes or equivalent tobacco in his or her lifetime, but does not smoke at all now.

fatal burden: A measure of the years of life lost to premature mortality. This is also referred to as years of life lost (YLL).

gestational age: the duration of pregnancy in completed weeks calculated from the date of the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period and her baby’s date of birth, or via ultrasound, or derived from clinical assessment during pregnancy or from examination of the baby after birth.

homicide: The unlawful killing of a person. Homicide is defined differently by the criminal law of each Australian state and territory, and each jurisdiction defines degree, culpability and intent in different ways. This definition includes murder and manslaughter, murder-suicides and all other deaths classed by police as homicides, including infanticides, whether or not an offender was apprehended

hospital separation: The term used to refer to the episode of care, which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death), or a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

illicit drugs: illegal drugs, drugs and volatile substances used illicitly, and pharmaceuticals used for non-medical purposes.

injected drugs: the injection of drugs that were not medically prescribed to inject.

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10): a survey device that is used to measure for screening populations on psychological distress. The scale consists of 10 questions on non-specific psychological distress, and relates to the level of anxiety and depressive symptoms a person may have felt in the preceding 4-week period. It is only used for people aged 18 or older.

lifetime risk (alcohol): the accumulated risk from drinking either on many drinking occasions, or regularly (for example, daily) over a lifetime. The lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury increases with the amount consumed.

linked disease: a disease o condition on the causal pathway of the risk factor, which is therefore more likely to develop if exposed to the risk.

main treatment type: The principal activity that is determined at assessment by the treatment provider to treat the client’s alcohol or other drug problem for the principal drug of concern.

median: The midpoint of a list of observations ranked from the smallest to the largest.

never drinker: a person who has never consumed a full serve of alcohol in their lifetime.

never smoker: a person who does not smoke now and has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes or the equivalent tobacco in his or her lifetime.

non-fatal burden: A measure of the years of what could have been a healthy life that were instead spent in states of less than full health. This is also referred to as years lived with disability (YLD).

non-medical use: use of drugs either alone or with other drugs to induce or enhance a drug experience, for performance enhancement or for cosmetic purposes. In this report, this includes pain-killers/analgesics, tranquilisers/sleeping pills, steroids and meth/amphetamines and other opioids such as morphine or pethidine.

non-medical use of pharmaceutical: The consumption of a prescription or over-the-counter drug for non-therapeutic purposes or other than directed by a registered health-care professional.

non-smoker: never smoked or an ex-smoker.

opioid analgesic: A commonly prescribed pharmaceutical use for pain management, and as a substitution for treatment of heroin and other opioid dependence. The most common forms of opioids prescribed and dispensed in Australia were oxycodone, codeine, tramadol, and buprenorphine (including buprenorphine/naloxone).

over-the-counter (OTC) drugs: medicine that you can buy without a prescription from a pharmacy or retail outlet.

perinatal: pertaining to, or occurring in, the period shortly before or after birth (usually up to 28 days after).

perinatal death: a fetal or neonatal death of at least 20 weeks’ gestation or at least 400 grams birthweight.

prescription-only medicine: Medicines that are only available to buy from pharmacies with a valid prescription from a medical or dental practitioner.

pre-term birth: birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation.

principal drug of concern: The main substance that the client stated led them to seek treatment from an alcohol and drug treatment agency.

prison discharges: a full-time prisoner aged at least 18, who expects to be released from prison within the 4 weeks following the time of interview.

prison entrants: a person aged at least 18, entering full-time custody, either on remand (awaiting a trial or sentencing) or on a sentence. Prisoners who have been transferred from one prison to another are not included as entrants.

recent: in the previous 12 months.

referral source: the source from which the client was transferred or referred to the alcohol and other drug treatment service.

roll-your-own tobacco/cigarettes: cigarettes made from loose tobacco and rolling paper.

separations: can be either same-day (where the patient is admitted and separated on the same day) or overnight (where the patient is admitted to hospital and separates on a different date).

single occasion risk (alcohol): a single occasion is defined as a sequence of drinks taken without the blood alcohol concentration reaching zero in between. The risk of an alcohol-related injury arising from a single occasion of drinking increases with the amount consumed.

smoker: a person who reported currently smoking daily, weekly or less often than weekly.

socioeconomic areas and the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage: The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) is 1 of 4 Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) compiled by the ABS after each Census of Population and Housing. The IRSAD compiled by the ABS was used to derive fifths. In this report, the 20% of the areas with the greatest overall level of disadvantage is described as the ‘lowest socioeconomic area’. The 20% of the areas with the greatest overall level of advantaged—the top fifth—is described as the ‘highest socioeconomic area’.

specialist homelessness agency client: a person who receives a specialist homelessness service. A client can be of any age. Children are also clients if they receive a service from a specialist homelessness agency. To be a client the person must directly receive a service and not just be a beneficiary of a service. Children who present with an adult and receive a service are considered to be a client. Children of a client or other household members who present but do not directly receive a service are not considered to be clients.

standard drink: containing 10 grams of alcohol (equivalent to 12.5 millilitres of alcohol); also referred to as a full serve

treatment episode: The period of contact between a client and a treatment provider or a team of providers. Each treatment episode has 1 principal drug of concern and 1 main treatment type. If the principal drug or main treatment changes, then a new episode is recorded.

treatment type: The type of activity that is used to treat the client’s alcohol or other drug problem. Treatment types are as follows:

  • Assessment only: Where only assessment is provided to the client. Service providers would normally include an assessment component in all treatment types.
  • Counselling: The most common treatment for problematic alcohol or other drug use, which can include cognitive behaviour therapy, brief intervention, relapse intervention and motivational interviewing.
  • Information and education only: Where no treatment is provided to the client, other than information and education. In general, service contacts would include a component of information and education.
  • Pharmacotherapy, where the client receives another type of treatment in the same treatment episode: Includes drugs such as buprenorphine and methadone used as maintenance therapies, or relapse prevention for people who are addicted to certain types of opioids. Where a pharmacotherapy is used for withdrawal, it is included in the ‘withdrawal’ category. Due to the complexity of the pharmacotherapy sector, this report provides only limited information on agencies whose sole function is to provide pharmacotherapy.
  • Rehabilitation: Where treatment focuses on supporting clients in stopping their drug use, and on helping to prevent psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences of problematic drug use. Rehabilitation can be delivered in several ways, including residential treatment services, therapeutic communities, and community-based rehabilitation services.
  • Support and case management only: Support includes helping a client who occasionally calls an agency worker for emotional support. Case management is usually more structured, and can assume a more holistic approach, taking into account all client needs—such as general welfare needs—and including assessment, planning, linking, monitoring, and advocacy.
  • Withdrawal management (detoxification): Includes medicated and non-medicated treatment to assist in managing, reducing, or stopping the use of a drug of concern.

unbranded tobacco: finely cut, unprocessed loose tobacco that has been grown, distributed and sold without government intervention or taxation