Treatment

This section contains information about the provision of medical/psychological treatment for methamphetamine use. It covers episodes of professional treatment for methamphetamine-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 2017-18 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019) 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 treatment for illicit drug use. Data from individuals aged 10 years and over is included.

To be consistent with the terminology used in the National Minimum Data Set, this section of the NADK uses the term amphetamines. The AIHW defines amphetamines as including amphetamine, dexamphetamine, and methamphetamine.

What proportion of alcohol and drug treatment episodes in Australia are amphetamine-related?

In 2017-18, amphetamineswere the principal drug of concern in 27% 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 2017-18.

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

† Amphetamines are Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants that increase neurotransmitter activity. Methamphetamine is a more potent form of amphetamine. The National Minimum Data Set does not provide data on methamphetamine use alone. Instead, treatment episodes due to methamphetamine use are subsumed within ‘amphetamines’. This category includes amphetamine, dexamphetamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine analogues, and amphetamines not elsewhere classified.

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.

Has the proportion of amphetamine-related treatment episodes in Australia changed over time compared to other drugs?

The proportion of treatment episodes in Australia for which amphetamines were the principal drug of concern decreased between 2008-09 and 2009-10 (from 9% to 7%), but subsequently increased to 27% in 2017-18. Nationally, alcohol has been the most common principal drug of concern since 2008-09, followed by cannabis until 2015-16, after which amphetamines become the second most common principal drug of concern in Australia.

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

† Amphetamines are Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants that increase neurotransmitter activity. Methamphetamine is a more potent form of amphetamine. The National Minimum Data Set does not provide data on methamphetamine use alone. Instead, treatment episodes due to methamphetamine use are subsumed within ‘amphetamines’. This category includes amphetamine, dexamphetamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine analogues, and amphetamines not elsewhere classified.

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 amphetamine use?

In 2017-18, Australian men accounted for a larger proportion of treatment episodes for amphetamine use (65%) than women (35%).

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

† Amphetamines are Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants that increase neurotransmitter activity. Methamphetamine is a more potent form of amphetamine. The National Minimum Data Set does not provide data on methamphetamine use alone. Instead, treatment episodes due to methamphetamine use are subsumed within ‘amphetamines’. This category includes amphetamine, dexamphetamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine analogues, and amphetamines not elsewhere classified.

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 differ to that reported in the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2017-18 report. The AIHW percentages were based on a reduced sample of client records with a valid statistical linkage key whilst the percentages reported above include the complete sample who reported their gender.

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

In 2017-18, Australians aged 20-29 years and 30-39 years were most likely to receive treatment for amphetamine use than other age groups, accounting for 35% and 38% of amphetamine-related treatment episodes, respectively.

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

† Amphetamines are Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants that increase neurotransmitter activity. Methamphetamine is a more potent form of amphetamine. The National Minimum Data Set does not provide data on methamphetamine use alone. Instead, treatment episodes due to methamphetamine use are subsumed within ‘amphetamines’. This category includes amphetamine, dexamphetamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine analogues, and amphetamines not elsewhere classified.

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

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.