Characteristics of clients receiving treatment in Australian drug and alcohol agencies: a national census

Pam Webster, Richard P. Mattick, Andrew J. Baillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The first Australian national census of clients of drug and alcohol treatment agencies was undertaken to document the characteristics of clients attending these facilities. Of the agencies surveyed nationwide, 431 (85.2%) completed and returned census forms describing demographic and drug use details of their clients. A total of 6175 clients were reported to have received services (beyond methadone maintenance alone) in the responding agencies on the census day. Ninety percent of the clients seen were substance users, and 10% of clients were relatives or friends of a substance user. The mean age of the clients was 34 years and two‐thirds were male. The majority were Australian born, with 10% described as Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders. The majority of the clients were not in paid employment. Fifty‐five percent of all clients received treatments services on a non‐residential basis. The most frequent presenting drug problem reported was alcohol, followed by opiates and tobacco. Thirty‐three percent of the substance users were reported to have injected illicit drugs in the past 12 months. 1992 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • census
  • demography
  • drug and alcohol problems
  • treatment


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