Do the types of treatment Australians receive for cannabis use vary by jurisdiction?

The main type of treatment Australians receive for cannabis use varies substantially between the states/territories.

In 2013-14 in NSW, counselling accounted for 39% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 14%; assessment accounted for 19%; support and case management accounted for 19%; rehabilitation accounted for 5%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0%; information and education accounted for 2%; and other types of treatment accounted for 3%. In 2013-14 in VIC, counselling accounted for 49% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 21%; assessment accounted for 5%; support and case management accounted for 20%; rehabilitation accounted for 3%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0.2%; information and education accounted for 1%; and other types of treatment accounted for 0.9%. In 2013-14 in QLD, counselling accounted for 22% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 3%; assessment accounted for 8%; support and case management accounted for 3%; rehabilitation accounted for 1%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0.1%; information and education accounted for 63%; and other types of treatment accounted for 0.7%. In 2013-14 in WA, counselling accounted for 78% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 4%; assessment accounted for 4%; support and case management accounted for 4%; rehabilitation accounted for 3%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0.6%; information and education accounted for 6%; and other types of treatment accounted for 0.1%. In 2013-14 in SA, counselling accounted for 19% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 7%; assessment accounted for 61%; support and case management accounted for 1%; rehabilitation accounted for 7%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0%; information and education accounted for 3%; and other types of treatment accounted for 0.9%. In 2013-14 in TAS, counselling accounted for 64% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 0%; assessment accounted for 10%; support and case management accounted for 2%; rehabilitation accounted for 4%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0.1%; information and education accounted for 18%; and other types of treatment accounted for 2%. In 2013-14 in the ACT, counselling accounted for 21% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 7%; assessment accounted for 10%; support and case management accounted for 14%; rehabilitation accounted for 12%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0%; information and education accounted for 31%; and other types of treatment accounted for 5%. In 2013-14 in the NT, counselling accounted for 37% of treatment episodes; withdrawal management accounted for 7%; assessment accounted for 30%; support and case management accounted for 3%; rehabilitation accounted for 11%; pharmacotherapy accounted for 0.2%; information and education accounted for 8%; and other types of treatment accounted for 4%.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). (2015). Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2013-14.

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

Treatment Episode: A period of contact between a client and a treatment provider. Only ‘closed’ treatment episodes are included in the data used here. An episode is closed if there is a change in the principal drug of concern, main treatment, or service delivery setting; if the treatment ends; or if the patient is imprisoned or dies.