Alcohol and other drug treatment policy in Australia

Alison Ritter and Mark Stoove
Med J Aust 2016; 204 (4): 138. || doi: 10.5694/mja15.01372

We need more resources that are better spent

Alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment policy is at a significant point of transition in Australia. The media is replete with examples of people unable to access appropriate AOD treatment — whether it be for detoxification, residential rehabilitation, pharmacotherapy or counselling. Anecdotal reports are backed by evidence of high unmet need and demand for treatment. Fewer than half of those seeking AOD treatment in Australia are currently able to access appropriate treatment.1 This is an appalling situation, but not much different than in most developed countries,2 and all the more concerning because we know treatment works and it reduces the substantial social costs of harmful AOD consumption.3

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  • Alison Ritter1
  • Mark Stoove2

  • 1 National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Burnet Institute, Melbourne, VIC



The Victorian Governmentboyuan;rsquo;s Operational Infrastructure Support Program funds the Burnet Institute. Alison Ritter is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellowship and Mark Stoove is supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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