Young men most likely to seek help for drug and alcohol

YOUNG men remained the largest cohort of more than 100,000 Australians who sought treatment for drug and alcohol problems in 2012-13, a new report has found.

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed some 108,000 clients sought the help of medical professionals almost 162,400 times during the year.

And while the proportion of young people aged 20 to 29 years old seeking help dropped 31% to 27%, those aged 40 and older rose slightly, up 3% to 32% in 2012-13.

The biggest problem people wanted help with was again alcohol, and despite a 7% in those seeking help since 2009-10, it still represented 41% of all drug addictions people wanted treatment for.

However, while alcohol problems seems to be falling, as consumption of amphetamines has grown, so has those seeking help, doubling from 7% to 14% in 2012-13.

Institute spokesman Geoff Neideck said alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines and heroin remained the "most common principal drugs of concern" for the past decade.

"However, the majority of clients have more than one drug of concern, with nicotine the most common additional drug along with cannabis."

Mr Neideck said the move of those using services from under 30 years old to 40 and over also suggested there was "an ageing cohort of people in alcohol and other drug treatment.

"This is particularly evident for those in treatment for illicit drug use, especially heroin use," he said.