There were 4,889 hospitalisations with a drug-related principal diagnosis in South Australia in 2020-21, equivalent to 0.60% of all hospitalisations in South Australia.
This is equivalent to 294 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, which was a significant decrease from 2019-20 (311 hospitalisations per 100,000 people; p=0.008), although higher than reported in 1999-00 (208 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).
The rate of hospitalisations was higher among females than males in 2020-21 (328 versus 261 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, respectively).
In 2020-21, the rate of hospitalisations was highest among the 20-29 age group, followed by the 30-39 and 10-19 age groups (540, 440, and 409 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 South Australia (642 hospitalisations, 434 per 100,000 people), while the number of hospitalisations was highest in major city areas (3,309 hospitalisations, 264 per 100,000 people).
External Cause of Drug Poisoning
In 2020-21, 56% of drug-related hospitalisations in South Australia were due to drug poisoning. Furthermore, 73% of drug poisoning related hospitalisations were intentional (119 hospitalisations per 100,000 people) and 18% were unintentional (27 hospitalisations per 100,000 people).
In 2020-21, the rate of hospitalisations was highest where there was a principal diagnosis indicating amphetamine-type stimulants (79 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<0.001).
In contrast, there were significant increases in the rates of hospitalisations related to non-opioid analgesics and cannabinoids (p0.041).
Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by sex, South Australia, 1999-00 to 2020-21.
Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by remoteness, South Australia, 2012-13 to 2020-21.
Note: The size (area) of the bubble is proportional to the number of hospitalisations. 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), South Australia, 1999-00 to 2020-21.
Age-standardised rate per 100,000 people of drug-related hospitalisations, by drug identified in the principal diagnosis, South Australia, 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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