Treatment

This section contains information about the provision of medical/psychological treatment for cannabis use. It covers episodes of professional treatment for cannabis-related problems, who is most likely to seek help, and changes in these patterns over time.

The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set 2019-20 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021) is the source of data used in this section. It is the only Australian data source which provides a synthesis of state and territory data on publicly funded cannabis-related treatment.

What proportion of alcohol and other drug treatment episodes in Australia are due to cannabis use?

Cannabis is the principal drug of concern in 18% of all alcohol and other drug treatment episodes in Australia.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2019-20.

Principal Drug of Concern: The main substance that leads an individual to seek treatment from an alcohol and drug treatment agency (as stated by the individual).

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.

How has the number and proportion of cannabis treatment episodes in Australia changed over time?

The proportion of treatment episodes in Australia for which cannabis is the principal drug of concern has remained relatively stable over the past decade, but with a slight downward trend since 2014-15.

The number of treatment episodes in which cannabis was the principal drug of concern peaked at over 45,000 in 2015-16, and has since been declining.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2019-20.

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

Principal Drug of Concern: The main substance that leads an individual to seek treatment from an alcohol and drug treatment agency (as stated by the individual).

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.

Are men or women in Australia more likely to receive treatment for cannabis use?

Australian men (64%) are more likely to receive treatment for cannabis use than Australian women (36%).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2019-20.

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.

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

Younger Australians are more likely to receive treatment for cannabis use than older Australians.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2019-20.

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.