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Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Northern Territory, 1999-2021

Author: Agata Chrzanowska , Nicola Man , Jane Akhurst , Rachel Sutherland , Louisa Degenhardt , Amy Peacock

Last updated: 02 Nov 2022
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image - Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Northern Territory, 1999-2021

There were 828 hospitalisations with a drug-related principal diagnosis in the Northern Territory in 2020-21.

This is equivalent to 317 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, which was a significant decrease from 2019-20 (352 hospitalisations per 100,000 people; p=0.032), although is a four-fold increase from 1999-00 (90 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).

Sex

The rate of hospitalisations was higher among males than females in 2020-21 (348 versus 276 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, respectively).

Age

In 2020-21, the rate of hospitalisations was  Northern Territory among the 20-29 age group, followed by the 10-19 and 30-39 age groups (701, 565, and 422 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, respectively). Among both males and females, the rates of drug-related hospitalisations were highest in the 20-29 age group.

Remoteness Area of Usual Residence

The highest rate of hospitalisations in 2020-21 was observed in the remote and very remote Northern Territory (393 hospitalisations, 360 per 100,000 people), while the number of hospitalisations was highest in the outer regional Northern Territory (434 hospitalisations, 287 per 100,000 people), noting there are no major city areas or inner regional areas in the Northern Territory.

External Cause of Drug Poisoning

In 2020-21, 38% of drug-related hospitalisations in the Northern Territory were due to drug poisoning. Furthermore, 77% of drug poisoning related hospitalisations were intentional (95 hospitalisations per 100,000 people) and 17% were unintentional (22 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).

Drug Type

In 2020-21, the rate of hospitalisations was highest where there was a principal diagnosis indicating cannabinoids (103 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).

Compared to 2019-20, there was a significant decrease in 2020-21 in the rate of hospitalisations related to amphetamine-type stimulants (p=0.043).

Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by sex, the Northern Territory, 1999-00 to 2020-21.

image - Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Northern Territory, 1999-2021

Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by remoteness, the Northern Territory, 2012-13 to 2020-21.

image - Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Northern Territory, 1999-2021

Note: The size (area) of the bubble is proportional to the number of hospitalisations. There are no major city areas and inner regional areas in the Northern Territory. Data on remoteness are only available from 2012-13.

Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by principal diagnosis of mental and behavioural disorder due to substance use (A) and external cause of poisoning (B), the Northern Territory, 1999-00 to 2020-21.

image - Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Northern Territory, 1999-2021

Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by drug identified in the principal diagnosis, the Northern Territory, 1999-00 to 2020-21.

image - Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Northern Territory, 1999-2021

Note: Age-standardised rates were not calculated if the number of hospitalisations was less than or equal to 10 (please refer to our  Northern Territory document for details). Suppressed data are visible as gaps in the data series

For complete report on trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Australia please go to the national report. 

Acknowledgements

Funding

The Drug Trends program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the Drug and Alcohol Program.

Data source

We would like to acknowledge the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for data from the National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the contribution of those who have been involved in past reporting on drug-related hospitalisations by Drug Trends, specifically: A/Prof Timothy Dobbins, Dr Amanda Roxburgh, and A/Prof Lucinda Burns.

We thank Dr Louise Tierney and her team from the Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs Unit at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for reviewing the report.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which the work for this report was undertaken. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Related Links

ISBN 978-0-7334-4058-8 ©NDARC, UNSW SYDNEY 2022

This report was prepared by researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre for the Drug Trends program. The Drug Trends program is coordinated by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney and undertaken in partnership with the Burnet Institute, National Drug Research Institute, University of Queensland, and University of Tasmania.

This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. All other rights are reserved. Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to NDARC, UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

Recommended citation: Chrzanowska, A., Man, N., Akhurst, J., Sutherland, R., Degenhardt, L. & Peacock, A. (2022). Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Australia, 1999-2021. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. DOI: 10.26190/wrsv-3b78

Please note that as with all statistical reports there is the potential for minor revisions to data in this report. Please refer to the online version at Drug Trends.

Please contact the Drug Trends team with any queries regarding this publication: drugtrends@unsw.edu.au.