Are younger or older Australians more likely to receive treatment for alcohol use?

Australians aged 40-49 are the age group most likely to receive treatment for alcohol use, accounting for 28% of all alcohol-related treatment episodes. Very old (60+ years) and very young (10-19 years) Australians are least likely to receive treatment for alcohol use.

In 2017-18, Australians aged 10-19 years accounted for 5% of all alcohol-related treatment episodes, 20-29 year olds accounted for 17%; 30-39 year olds accounted for 25%; 40-49 year olds accounted for 28%; 50-59 year olds accounted for 17%; and 60+ year olds accounted for 8%.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2017-18 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2019).

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.

Please note: The percentages reported here differ to those reported in the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2017-18 report. The report percentages were based on a reduced sample of client records with a valid statistical linkage key, whilst the percentages presented above include the complete sample who reported their age.