Alcohol tops treatment list
Alcohol is Australia’s leading drug for requiring publicly-funded specialty treatment.
A new report has found that alcohol remains the most common drug of concern for clients seeking treatment from publicly-funded specialised alcohol and other drug treatment services.
The study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows around 139,300 Australians aged 10 and over received treatment for alcohol or other drug use in 2019-20.
Alcohol made up one-third (34 per cent) of all treatment episodes, followed by amphetamines (28 per cent), cannabis (18 per cent), and heroin (5 per cent). These four drugs accounted for 85 per cent of all treatment episodes.
While alcohol remains the most common principal drug of concern, treatment for amphetamine use has been increasing, with nearly 5 times as many treatment episodes in 2019–20 than 10 years ago.
Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in the older age groups: almost 3 in 5 clients (58 per cent) aged 50–59, and over 7 in 10 clients (74 per cent) aged 60 and over received treatment for alcohol.
The majority of clients receiving alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services were male (64 per cent), and this was the same for those receiving treatment for alcohol use (65 per cent male).