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

Australian men account for a larger proportion of treatment episodes for pharmaceutical drug use than women (59% vs 41%, respectively).

In comparison, men account for approximately 65-68% of treatment episodes for alcohol, cannabis, and methamphetamine.

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

† This FAQ uses data from the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Dataset, which defines the pharmaceutical drugs referred to in this question as: benzodiazepines, codeine, morphine, buprenorphine, oxycodone, and methadone.

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.