There were 14,770 hospitalisations with a drug-related principal diagnosis in Queensland in 2020-21, equivalent to 0.50% of all hospitalisations in Queensland.
This is equivalent to 297 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, which was similar to 2019-20 (300 hospitalisations per 100,000 people; p=0.359) and higher than reported in 1999-00 (218 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).
The rate of hospitalisations was higher among females than males in 2020-21 (322 versus 273 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, respectively).
In 2020-21, the rate of hospitalisations was highest among the 20-29 age group, followed by the 10-19 and 30-39 age groups (573, 423, and 410 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, respectively). Among males, the rate of drug-related hospitalisations was highest in the 20-29 age groups, and among females in the 10-19 age groups.
Remoteness Area of Usual Residence
The highest rate of hospitalisations in 2020-21 was observed in outer regional Queensland (2,064 hospitalisations, 315 per 100,000 people), while the number of hospitalisations was highest in major city areas (9,886 hospitalisations, 300 per 100,000 people).
External Cause of Drug Poisoning
In 2020-21, 60% of drug-related hospitalisations in Queensland were due to drug poisoning. Furthermore, 74% of drug poisoning related hospitalisations were intentional (131 hospitalisations per 100,000 people) and 21% were unintentional (35 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).
In 2020-21, the rate of hospitalisations was highest where there was a principal diagnosis indicating amphetamine-type stimulants (61 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).
Compared to 2019-20, there were significant decreases in 2020-21 in the rates of hospitalisations related to amphetamine-type stimulants and opioids (p<0.050).
In contrast, there were significant increases in the rates of hospitalisations related to non-opioid analgesics, cannabinoids, and cocaine (p<0.050).
Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by sex, Queensland, 1999 00 to 2020-21.
Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by remoteness, Queensland, 2018-19 to 2020-21.
Note: The size (area) of the bubble is proportional to the number of hospitalisations. In Queensland, data by remoteness area are only available from 2018-19.
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), Queensland, 1999-00 to 2020-21.
Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by drug identified in the principal diagnosis, Queensland, 1999-00 to 2020-21.
Note: Age-standardised rates were not calculated if the number of hospitalisations was less than or equal to 10 (please refer to our methods 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.
The Drug Trends program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the Drug and Alcohol Program.
We would like to acknowledge the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for data from the National Hospital Morbidity Database.
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.
- Hospitalisations data visualisations: https://drugtrends.shinyapps.io/hospital_separations
- Hospitalisations methods document: https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/resource-analytics/trends-drug-related-hos...
- For other Drug Trends publications on drug-related hospitalisations and drug-induced deaths in Australia, go to: https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/project/national-illicit-drug-indicators-p...
- For more information on NDARC research, go to: http://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/
- For more information about the AIHW and NHMD, go to: https://www.aihw.gov.au/
- For more information on ICD coding go to: http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/ https://www.ihacpa.gov.au/resources/icd-10-amachiacs-eleventh-edition
- For more research from the Drug Trends program go to: https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/program/drug-trends
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.
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