Author(s): Teesson M, Hall W, Lynskey M, Degenhardt L
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study reports the prevalence and correlates of ICD-10 alcohol- and drug-use disorders in the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHWB) and discusses their implications for treatment. METHOD: The NSMHWB was a nationally representative household survey of 10641 Australian adults that assessed participants for symptoms of the most prevalent ICD-10 and DSM-IV mental disorders, including alcohol- and drug-use disorders. RESULTS: In the past 12 months 6.5\% of Australian adults met criteria for an ICD-10 alcohol-use disorder and 2.2\% had another ICD-10 drug-use disorder. Men were at higher risk than women of developing alcohol- and drug-use disorders and the prevalence of both disorders decreased with increasing age. There were high rates of comorbidity between alcohol- and other drug-use disorders and mental disorders and low rates of treatment seeking. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol-use disorders are a major mental health and public health issue in Australia. Drug-use disorders are less common than alcohol-use disorders, but still affect a substantial minority of Australian adults. Treatment seeking among persons with alcohol- and other drug-use disorders is low. A range of public health strategies (including improved specialist treatment services) are needed to reduce the prevalence of these disorders.
This article was published in Aust N Z J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy