DPMP leads AOD treatment review

April 2014

A review of Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services being conducted by the Drug Policy Modelling Program at NDARC has interviewed around 300 sector representatives in eight states and territories since it began in July 2013. Eight consultation papers have been published to date and are available for comment on the DPMP website. The review is being carried out on behalf of the federal Department of Health and is due to report later this year.

Significant findings to date include:

  • There are 1.6 million AOD treatment contacts, episodes of care or encounters accessed by around 200,000 individuals. Working Paper Number 8.
  • Australia spends around $1.1 billion a year on alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment. Working Paper Number 7.
  • Pay for performance schemes (P4P) which have been widely introduced in the UK and US should be regarded as experimental. The authors warn that P4P is not a quick fix for healthcare or alcohol and other drug treatment systems and if it is introduced in Australia it should be seen as an experiment rather than an adoption of a proven method. For more information and to comment see Working Paper Number 5.
  • A true estimate of the extent of current provision of AOD treatment in Australia is challenging because of the existence of unrecorded or hard to count treatment episodes which are not recorded in current administrative data sets. The authors  identify eleven hard to count categories including  telephone and internet/computer based interventions; self‐help; other AOD medical treatment; services provided in education settings; workplace treatment interventions; services provided as part of research trials; and complementary/alternative treatments. Working Paper Number 6.
  • Overcoming barriers to the utilisation of AOD services is crucial in achieving equitable outcomes for Australians living in rural and remote areas. While there is not a ‘one size fits all’ service model a systematic approach is needed to address reform of the AOD service system in rural and remote Australia. Working Paper Number 2.

For full details of the project, the six working papers and responses published to date, please visit the project website.