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More Australians seeking drug treatment, whilst amphetamine treatment more than doubles

Date posted: 29 June 2017

More Australians are undergoing treatment for drug use, with a rising number seeking help due to amphetamines, according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2015–16, shows that about 134,000 Australians received drug treatment in 2015–16, equating to around 1 in 180 people.

'Nationally, alcohol remained the most common drug people sought treatment for, although a growing proportion of clients sought help due to amphetamine use,' said AIHW spokesperson Matthew James.

About 32% of all drug treatment episodes were due to alcohol in 2015–16, down from 46% in 2011–12.

Over the same 5-year period, the proportion due to amphetamines more than doubled - from 11% to 23% - while the proportion due to cannabis remained relatively unchanged, from 22% to 23%.

'The actual number of treatment episodes for amphetamines rose from around 16,900 in 2011–12 to 46,400 in 2015–16 - a 175% increase,' Mr James said.

The number of treatment episodes for cannabis also rose, up by 40%. Meanwhile, heroin and alcohol treatment episodes fell—by 15% and 6%.

An AIHW report from earlier this month revealed that illicit drug use is also increasing among older age groups. 

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare


Last updated: 29 June 2017
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute