Alcohol and Other Drug Information

Page last updated: 04 February 2016

Data sources relevant to alcohol and other drugs

National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS)

The NDSHS is a national population survey conducted every three years. The survey collects information on alcohol and tobacco consumption, and illicit drug use among the general population in Australia. It also surveys people’s attitudes and perceptions relating to tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. Survey findings relate mainly to people aged 14 years or older.


For more information, refer to:
National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS)

Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS NMDS)

The AODTS NMDS contains information on the treatment provided by publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies in Australia. These services are available to people seeking treatment for their own drug use and people seeking treatment for someone else's drug use.
In the AODTS NMDS, the main counting unit is closed treatment episodes, which is defined as a period of contact between a client and a treatment provider (or team of providers) that is closed when treatment is completed or has ceased, or there has been no further contact between the client and the treatment provider for 3 months.
For more information, refer to:
Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS NMDS)

National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics (NOPSAD)

Opioid pharmacotherapy drugs are used to treat dependence on opioid drugs, such as heroin and morphine. The NOPSAD collection provides information on a snapshot day in June each year on clients receiving opioid pharmacotherapy treatment, the doctors prescribing opioid pharmacotherapy drugs, such as methadone or buprenorphine, and the dosing points (such as pharmacies) that clients attend to receive their medication.
For more information, refer to:
National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics (NOPSAD)

Drug Trends - the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS)

The IDRS and EDRS are drug monitoring systems intended to serve as strategic early warning systems, identifying emerging trends of local and national concern in illicit drug/ecstasy and related drugs markets. The IDRS and EDRS report annual statistics at the state/territory and national level.
The IDRS monitors the price, purity, availability and patterns of use of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis through interviews with people who inject drugs regularly; interviews with key experts and analysis and examination of indicator data sources related to illicit drugs.
The EDRS is based on the IDRS methodology and monitors the price, purity, availability and patterns of use of ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, GHB, MDA and LSD. Interviews are with regular ecstasy and psychostimulant users and key experts in this area.
The IDRS and EDRS are designed to be sensitive to trends, providing data in a timely manner, rather than describing issues in detail.
For more information on the IDRS, refer to:
Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) National Report 2014
For more information on the EDRS, refer to:
Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) National Report 2014

Alcohol and Drug Related Ambulance Attendances in Australia

The Self Harm and Mental Health related Ambulance Attendances in Australia project involved the coding and analysis of ambulance service records to report on self-harm, overdose and mental health-related ambulance presentations at a population level. The report includes detailed information illicit and licit drug-related events attended by ambulance in Victoria for the 12 months of 2013, as well as in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory for four months of March, June, September and December.
The report is available here:
Self Harm and Mental Health related Ambulance Attendances in Australia

The Illicit Drug Data Report - Australian Crime Commission (ACC)

The Illicit Drug Data Report provides a statistical overview of illicit drug arrests and seizures as well as profiling the current situation, national impact and the emerging trends and threats of illicit drugs in Australia. Reports are published annually and are available here:
The Illicit Drug Data Report - Australian Crime Commission (ACC)

Drug related deaths

NDARC publishes a variety of bulletins on drug-induced mortality, including annual bulletins on Accidental Drug-Induced Deaths due to Opioids in Australia and Cocaine and Methamphetamine Related Drug-Induced Deaths.
Bulletins are available here:
NDARC Drug-Related-Deaths

The National Alcohol and Drug Knowledgebase

The National Alcohol and Drug Knowledgebase (NADK) website draws on the highest quality Australian data to provide accurate and easy-to-understand information about alcohol and other drugs. The NADK identifies relevant, up-to-date, and high-quality data from reliable sources, and uses it to answer specific questions. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are used to present the data in an easily understood manner. Currently, the NADK includes sections on Alcohol, Cannabis and Methamphetamine, with further sections under development.
The National Alcohol and Drug Knowledgebase website

National Drug and Alcohol Service Directory (NDASD)

The NDASD web site is a good resource for establishing an understanding of current AOD treatment services available across Australia. The directory can used to search for treatment services according to drug of concern, age demographic, location and gender.
National Drug and Alcohol Service Directory (NDASD) Website

Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH)

This page links to a series of tables of general practice activity from the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) program. BEACH is a continuous survey of encounters between general practitioners and patients across Australia. The tables show the distribution (%) of problems managed at GP-patient encounters classified to body systems according to the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC-2).
Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) Website

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics collates a number of datasets, including the national census data, data by region, and various figures relating to illicit drug and alcohol use.
Australian Bureau of Statistics

AODstats

AODstats is managed by Turning Point and is the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage. AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.
AODstats

Other relevant information

The Drug Utilisation Sub-Committee

The Drug Utilisation Sub-Committee (DUSC), a sub-committee of the PBAC, reviews the utilisation of PBS listed drugs and provides advice on Quality Use of Medicines to the PBAC. These reports may examine a variety of factors including predicted versus actual uptake, inconsistencies in prescribing within quality use of medicine principles, policy and process issues for the PBAC and government, and may provide insight into expected use in the future.
The Drug Utilisation Sub-Committee

National Ice Action Strategy

The National Ice Action Strategy includes achievable actions that will help governments, service providers and communities work together to reduce the supply and use of ‘ice’ in Australia, and the harm it causes to the community. The National Ice Action Strategy was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments on 11 December 2015.
The National Ice Action Strategy can be found at:
National Ice Action Strategy 2015 - PDF
National Ice Action Strategy 2015 - Word

National Ice Taskforce Final Report

In April 2015, the Australian Government established a National Ice Taskforce—led by former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Mr Ken Lay APM. The Government asked the Taskforce to provide advice on the development of a National Ice Action Strategy.
The Taskforce consulted widely with experts and communities all around the country—and received around 1,300 public submissions. The Taskforce found that Australian families, communities and frontline service workers are struggling with the fallout from a growing number of dependent ice users.
The Taskforce’s Final Report can be found at:
National Ice Taskforce Final Report

Review of alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: New Horizons

The Review sought to clarify Australian drug and alcohol treatment funding; current and future service needs; the gap between met and unmet demand; and planning and funding processes for the future.
This project aimed to deliver:
  1. a shared understanding of current drug and alcohol treatment funding;
  2. a set of planned and coordinated funding processes for future Commonwealth AOD funding rounds; and
  3. documentation to inform future Commonwealth funding processes which articulate with state/territory approaches and respond to the needs of individuals, families and their communities.
The Final Report can be found at:
Review of alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: New Horizons

Review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Treatment Service Sector: Harnessing Good Intentions

This 2014 report reviews the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol, tobacco and other drug treatment service sector. This review was conducted as part of a wider review of alcohol and other drug prevention and treatment services. The report discusses the needs, gaps and priorities for treatment services, including funding, and planning for more effective treatment services provision.
Review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Treatment Service Sector: Harnessing Good Intentions

National Drug Strategy 2010-2015

This is the current national framework for action on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The aim of the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 is to build safe and healthy communities by minimising alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related health, social and economic harms among individuals, families and communities.
National Drug Strategy 2010-2015

National Alcohol and other Drug Workforce Development Strategy 2015-2018

The National Alcohol and other Drug Workforce Development Strategy 2015-2018 has been developed to support the National Drug Strategy in recognition of the need for a national focus on workforce development activities for the alcohol and other drug (AOD) workforce.

The goals of the Strategy are to enhance the capacity of the Australian AOD workforce to prevent and minimise alcohol and other drug-related harm across the domains of supply, demand and harm reduction activities; and to create a sustainable Australian AOD workforce that is capable of meeting future challenges, innovation and reform.
National Alcohol and other Drug Workforce Development Strategy 2015-2018

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Drug Strategy 2014-2019

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Drug Strategy 2014-2019 (NATSIPDS) is a sub-strategy of the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 (NDS). The NDS aims to build safe and healthy communities by minimising alcohol, tobacco and other drug related health, social and economic harms among individuals, families and communities. The overarching goal of the NATSIPDS is to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by preventing and reducing the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) on individuals, families, and their communities.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Drug Strategy 2014-2019

Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people (July 2015)

Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people (July 2015)

Engaging with Indigenous Australia: exploring the conditions for effective relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (October 2013)

Engaging with Indigenous Australia— exploring the conditions for effective relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Closing the Gap publications

The Clearinghouse produces publications to inform policy makers and service providers
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Closing the Gap publications