Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Queensland, 1999-2020
Dec 3, 2021
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) recently published a bulletin titled “Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Queensland, 1999-2020”. The bulletin includes information on overall rates of hospitalisations, drug type, demographics and general location. It shows the scale and types of pressures experienced by hospitals with implications for alcohol and other drug services.
The bulletin indicates an increase in hospitalisations from 2018-2019 (14,893 total or 300 per 100,000 people), an increase in hospitalisations for amphetamine and other stimulants, alongside a decrease in presentations for non-opioid analgesics and opioids. The highest per capita rate of substance related hospitalisations was observed in outer regional Queensland, with the largest overall numbers still seen in major cities.
In 2019-20, the rate of hospitalisations was highest among the 20-29 age group, followed by the 30-39 and 40-49 age groups (575, 476, and 360 hospitalisations per 100,000 people, respectively). The 10-19 age group rate was 347 per 100, 000 people. The rate of hospitalisations was higher among females than males in 2019-20 (307 versus 294 hospitalisations per 100,000 people). There were significant increases in presentations related to psychotic symptoms which is most likely linked to the increase in amphetamine-related presentations. Caution is advised in interpreting some of this data, as there have likely been improvements in data capture throughout the earlier years covered by this report, with introduction of new programs based in hospitals that led to better identification of substance related presentations.