Drug, sex and age differentials in the use of Australian publicly funded treatment services

Fischer, Jane Anne, Clavarino, Alexandra Marie and Najman, Jackob Moses (2012) Drug, sex and age differentials in the use of Australian publicly funded treatment services. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 6 1: 13-21. doi:10.4137/SART.S8561

Author Fischer, Jane Anne
Clavarino, Alexandra Marie
Najman, Jackob Moses
Title Drug, sex and age differentials in the use of Australian publicly funded treatment services
Journal name Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1178-2218
Publication date 2012-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.4137/SART.S8561
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 1
Start page 13
End page 21
Total pages 9
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Publisher Libertas Academica
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context: Little is known about the proportion of the Australian population using alcohol or other drugs who may seek treatment. There is a need to have some additional estimates of population morbidity which reflect harms associated with use.

To determine Australian population rates of publicly funded community based specialised alcohol and other drug treatment and in-patient hospital care by those ‘at risk’, by drug type, sex and age.

Design and setting:
The design is secondary data analysis of publicly available datasets. We use the latest available complete data on Australian general population incidence of alcohol, cannabis amphetamines and ecstasy use (2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey) and nationally collected administrative data on publicly funded specialised alcohol and other drug treatment services (2006–2007 Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Dataset) and public hospitals (2006–2007 National Hospital Morbidity Minimum Dataset) to calculate rates of drug treatment and in-patient hospital care per 1000 Australians. ‘At risk’ for alcohol is defined as being at risk of short term harm, as defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council (2001). ‘At risk’ for illicit drugs is defined as those exposed to potential harm through at least weekly use of cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy use.

Risky alcohol consumption followed by recent cannabis use appears to lead to most harm. Greater harm seems to be experienced by males rather than females. Younger adults (15–19 years) and older adults (40+ years) seem also to experience the highest rates of harm.

It is possible to derive population estimates of harms associated with licit and illicit drugs use. Treatment rates vary across drug type, gender and age. Alcohol and cannabis are the substances whose use leads to the greatest demand for services. Ecstasy appears to generate few presentations for treatment. Publicly available data can be used to estimate harms associated with the use of particular substances. Such estimates are best interpreted in the light of other ways of estimating harms.
Keyword Drug treatment
Population datasets
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Pharmacy Publications
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 04 Jan 2013, 11:32:24 EST by Charna Kovacevic on behalf of School of Pharmacy