Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage. AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria. The data were obtained from numerous sources, ranging from government departments to drug and alcohol treatment agencies. This information provides a convenient statistical and epidemiological resource for policy planners, drug service providers, health professionals and other key stakeholders. The data and maps builds on and updates information previously provided in text format; delivers the most recent data available; and provides a monitoring tool for alcohol and drug trends.
The Victorian Department of Health has been funding Turning Point to deliver annual editions of the Victorian Alcohol Statistics Series and Victorian Drug Statistics Handbooks since 1999. The aim of these two comprehensive publications was to describe major patterns of alcohol and drug use, as well as associated harms in Victoria. In 2014, these volumes were redeveloped into an online interactive map in order to improve timeliness and usefulness of the data.
How to use AODstats
A user guide on how to use the interactive maps has been developed and can be found here: AODstats Userguide [PDF file]
Permitted uses of AODstats
You may use data from AODstats provided that you do so for a purpose that is reasonably related to the purpose for which AODstats has been provided to you, and that you acknowledge that the source of the information is AODstats, which is owned by Turning Point.
Click on the links below to launch each of the three maps (State map, LGA map and Metro/Regional map).
Last updated: 16 June 2017
Data sources and types
AODstats brings together results from alcohol and drug-related primary and secondary data sources available in Victoria. Data includes ambulance attendances, emergency department presentations, hospital admissions, deaths, ADIS service treatment episodes, telephone and online counselling services, serious road injuries and assaults and domestic violence incidents.
More information on the data sources and methods used can be found here: AODstats methods [PDF file]
Data will typically be presented across a ten year period (where available), retrospectively analysed and updated on a quarterly basis. This means that each quarter, new indicator data will be added as it becomes available and existing data will be amended where required. Please see the table below for a timetable of data releases. Quarterly releases will be available to the public approximately one month after the end of the quarter (e.g. 30 September quarter will be released around 31 October).
Quarter 1 –
Quarter 2 –
Morbidity and mortality
Quarter 3 –
AOD treatment and harm reduction
Quarter 4 –
Injury and violence
HCV incidence and exposures
AOD treatment service (ADIS)
Serious road injury (VicRoads)
HBV incidence and exposures
Emergency department presentations (VEMD)
Telephone AOD counselling and helpline (Directline)
Assaults (VicPol – LEAP)
HIV incidence and exposures
Ambulance attendances (The Ambo Project)
Online AOD counselling and helpline (CounsellingOnline)
Family violence incidents (VicPol – LEAP)
Needle and syringe program (NSP)
Opioid replacement therapy (ORT)
Periodic releases (as available)
Alcohol and drug consumption – National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS)
We would like to thank all the people and organisations for their help with the access and provision of data and information used in the maps.
- Dr Belinda Lloyd
- Ms Jessica Killian
- Mr Mark Hoffmann
- Ms Sharon Matthews
- Dr Cherie Heilbronn
- Dr Rukhsana Tajin
Staff members from Turning Point’s Population Health Research Team who have coded ambulance data for alcohol and drug involvement and have also been involved with any analysis and data extraction for other indicators.
Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
The mapping software used is StatPlanet Plus v3.3 (for more information see http://www.statsilk.com/)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get state totals for comparison against LGA totals?
Currently state totals are provided in a separate map on the AODstats website. You would need go AODstats home page and then select the Victoria State map (link under the LGA map).
Can I download all data at once, rather than by individual category or individual year?
Yes, you can download all the data at once for each indicator (e.g. all years and categories for Hospitalisations). To do this you need to first select your indictor and then in the bottom left corner there is a table icon which you select. You can then select the ‘Show all years’ box and “Show all indicators” box and this will give you all the years and categories (i.e. Male, Female, Age) for that indicator (i.e. Hospitalisations).
For another indicator you would need to select that first (i.e. ED presentations) and then repeat the process above.
Can I compare across drug types?
No, it is not possible to compare across drug types as there are often multiple drugs involved and therefore drugs cannot be added together.
The numbers presented on AODstats for alcohol and drug categories (‘illicit’, ‘pharmaceutical’ and their sub-categories) are not mutually exclusive. Alcohol attendance cases might also be positive for one or more other drugs, and vice versa, and are included in all relevant categories.
Is the data available at a postcode or suburb level?
No, the data is not available at postcode or suburb level. Whilst Turning Point does have some indicator data by postcode and suburb level, not all indicators are provided at this level and are only provided at an LGA level. Also, the issue with providing data at a smaller level than LGA may not be useful as many values will be reported as less than five due to potential identification.
How are rates calculated and are they crude rates or age/standardised?
Rates are crude rates using the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimated resident population (ERP) data. For a calendar year the ERP used is of the same year (taken at June – e.g. 2015 data uses June 2015 ERP). For a financial year the EPR used is that of the beginning of the financial year (e.g. 2014-15 data uses June 2014 ERP).
Crude rates allow for adjustment of population size across different areas. However, they do not adjust for certain demographic attributes (specifically age and sex). From a public health perspective there are advantages to standardising for age and/or sex, as it allows comparisons across areas to be made more accurately. However, from a policy perspective, knowing what is impacting the rates is equally important. Given that age and gender are key contributors to alcohol harms and use, if an area has more or fewer men and younger people than other areas, this information is important in terms of developing and delivering targeted policies and services.
Do you have data on ethnicity and other demographic information?
Many indicators do not collect other demographic information such as ethnicity and so this data is typically not available.
If someone presents to emergency and that patient is admitted, is the patient captured in both data sets?
As of December 2016, Turning Point has retrospectively removed all the ED cases from hospital data prior to 2012/13 to be comparable with any new data since 2012/13. So now, if someone presents to emergency and only stays in emergency, they are only captured as an ED presentation. If someone presents to emergency and is then admitted to another ward, than they are only captured in hospital admissions data.
Which drugs are classified as an illicit drug?
An illicit drug is any one of the following:
- Amphetamines (all types)
Which drugs are classified as a pharmaceutical drug?
A pharmaceutical drug is any one of the following:
How do you download the data from AODstats?
There are several ways to download data from AODstats. Click the symbol (Export) from the Menu on the bottom-left of the Main page. Alternatively, you can click ‘Data Table’ symbol, , from the main menu. Another option is to right-click on any area on the screen and then select ‘Copy data’.
Further details of how to download data can be found in the User Guide, which is downloadable from the AODstats website.
How frequently/when is the data updated?
Each quarter new annual indicator data is added as it becomes available and existing data is amended where required. Please see the table on the ‘Data’ tab on the homepage for a timetable of data releases. Quarterly releases are available to the public approximately two months after the end of the quarter (e.g. 30 September quarter will be released around 30 November).
Can I obtain comparisons between groups (e.g. males vs females) on the line graph on AODstats?
Yes. Select the (‘Display multiple indicators in the line graph for the selected map area’) symbol from the top-left menu on the graph panel. Further details of how to compare between groups can be found in the User Guide.
When I download the data, why are some cells blank?
Statistics based on numbers less than five are not report and therefore do not show up in downloaded data. However, where a number is less than five, it will show up in the data box when hovering over the map area as “<5”. Also, statistics have been masked where a category could be calculated by subtracting from the total. These will also be indicated when hovering over the map area.
Can I look at various specific/individual areas that are from various pre-determined regions or can I create my own regions?
Nine pre-determined regions have already been created for you and these include the eight Victorian health regions and a metropolitan region. These can be found in the Regions pull-down menu in the top right hand corner of the website.
Yes, it is possible to select a group of areas and to create a Custom region based on this selection. The easiest way to create a region can be by clicking directly on the Map, or selecting from the Region selector panel. To create the Custom region, click on the green tick icon located on the top left of the Region selector panel. The panel will only list the selected regions. Further information on Custom Regions can be found in the User Guide.
What’s the different between an area having “0” or having “No data”?
The number ‘0’ indicates that there are no cases for this area in the year selected (i.e., on which the slider is). The term ‘No data’ in the map legend refers to numbers less than five for the selected year. It is important to note that an area with ‘No data’ label may actually have zero or more than four cases for the years that are not selected. As such, the graph will show data points for those years.
Can I see changes over time on the one map?
Yes, changes over time can be seen using the time-scale bar. The Play button on the right will cycle through the time period available from the earliest year to the most recent year, and animate the graph and the map. This can be useful to see whether a particular region has changed its position relative to other regions over time.
Can I customise the maps or graphs?
Yes, there is an options menu, which can customise the maps and graphs to suit your needs. The spanner icon will allow you to do this.
Are the data for residential location or event/scene location?
Emergency department presentations, hospital admissions, ADIS treatment services and deaths are all presented by residential location. Assaults and family violence incidents, ambulance attendances and serious road injuries are presented by event/scene location.
What determines the upper (e.g. > XX) and lower (e.g. < XX) boundaries of the key and why aren’t they the same for each area (e.g. why aren’t all > 100 or > 50, and < 5)?
By default, StatPlanet determines the best-fit values for each graduation in the legend, and therefore the upper and lower boundaries for a distribution. This can be modified choosing Options->Map and checking the box named ‘Legend: show maximum & minimum values’.
Do the deaths data presented here differ from the Coroners data?
Yes. The deaths data on AODstats are obtained the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) as the confidential Cause of Death Unit Record File (COD URF) data files. Deaths are coded from death certificates compiled by the collective jurisdictional Registries of Birth, Deaths and Marriages, and State and Chief Coroners, using ICD10 codes for calendar years 1999 onwards.
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Please visit Ambo-AODstats for information on ambulance attendances related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.