More Aussies getting alcohol and drug help

Caroline Schelle

More Australians are getting help for drug and alcohol problems, with new figures showing about one in 166 people receiving specialist treatment.

More than 130,000 Australians sought help for drug problems last financial year, with alcohol the most common substance, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released on Wednesday.

"Over the last five years, alcohol has consistently been the most common drug clients received treatment for," institute spokesman Matthew James said.

He said there had been a drop in the percentage of treatment for alcohol issues from 40 per cent in the 2013/14 financial year to 34 per cent in 2017/18.

Amphetamines accounted for a quarter of all treatments, while one in five treatments were for cannabis.

"For South Australia and Western Australia, the most common drug treated was amphetamines, and in Queensland, cannabis just edged out alcohol," Mr James said.

One in six clients seeking alcohol and drug treatment identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The majority of people seeking help did so for their own treatment (96 per cent) while the rest were looking to help someone else.