Alcohol remains most concerning drug, in a third of all treatments

Alcohol is still the most common drug of concern for people seeking treatment from publicly funded services, a new report reveals.

About 139,300 Australians aged 10 and over received treatment for alcohol or other drug use in the year to June 30, 2020, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.

Alcohol made up a third of all treatment episodes, followed by amphetamines (28 per cent), cannabis (18 per cent) and heroin (five per cent).

The institute’s spokeswoman Gabrielle Phillips said these four drugs accounted for 85 per cent of all treatment episodes.

“A range of drug and alcohol treatment services, such as counselling, rehabilitation, information and education programs and support and case management programs are available to support people regarding their use of alcohol or drugs,” Dr Phillips said.

In the four years to mid-2020, about 469,000 Australians received treatment for alcohol or drug use from publicly funded treatment services.

Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern in older age groups and the majority of clients receiving alcohol and other drug treatment services were male (64 per cent).

While alcohol remains the most common principal drug of concern, treatment for amphetamine use has been increasing, with nearly five times as many treatment episodes in 2019-20 than a decade ago.


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