Ambulance attendances

Victoria State

Alcohol and drug-related ambulance attendances in Victoria

Source: Turning Point
Analysis by Turning Point
Last update: 30 September 2021
Creative Commons License 
Note: Due to paramedic industrial action, data between October and December 2014 is not available. Data downloads are currently not available, but will be coming soon.

Metro/Regional

Alcohol and drug-related ambulance attendances in Victoria

Source: Turning Point
Analysis by Turning Point
Last update: 30 September 2021
Creative Commons License 
Note: Due to paramedic industrial action, data between October and December 2014 is not available. Data downloads are currently not available, but will be coming soon.

Local Government Areas (LGA)

Alcohol and drug-related ambulance attendances in Victoria

Source: Turning Point
Analysis by Turning Point
Last update: 30 September 2021
Creative Commons License 
Note: Due to paramedic industrial action, data between October and December 2014 is not available. Data downloads are currently not available, but will be coming soon.

Definitions

Drug categories

  1. Alcohol Intoxication (w/wo Other Substance) = alcohol involvement, with or without other drug/substance – (only ambulance data is specifically coded for intoxication)
  2. Alcohol Only (Intoxication) = alcohol without any other substances – (only ambulance data is specifically coded for intoxication).
  3. Amphetamines (Any) = all amphetamines (e.g., amphetamine, methamphetamine).
  4. Amphetamines (Crystal) = crystal meth or ice. This category is  a subset of Amphetamines (Any).
  5. Analgesics = pain relief medications, such as aspirin or paracetamol, and other non-opioid analgesics.
  6. Antidepressants = antidepressant, such as citalopram or sertraline.
  7. Antipsychotics = antipsychotic, such as amisulpride or quetiapine.
  8. Benzodiazepines = benzodiazepines like alprazolam or diazepam (may include drugs that act like benzodiazepines, such as zolpidem).
  9. Cannabis = cannabis or hashish.
  10. GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) = GHB.
  11. Hallucinogens = hallucinogen, including LSD or mushrooms.
  12. Heroin (Any) = any heroin.
  13. Heroin Overdose (Responded to naloxone) = heroin with a positive response to administered naloxone.
  14. Illicit Drugs (Any): indicates case where any illicit drug was primarily involved in the event, including heroin, other opioids, amphetamines, cannabis, stimulants, GHB, hallucinogens, inhalants, synthetic cannabis, or other illicit drugs not explicitly mentioned.
  15. Inhalants = any volatile substance, inhalant or solvent, such as chrome or petrol.
  16. Opioids = prescription opioids, including opioid analgesics like morphine or oxycodone.
  17. Other Sedatives = a sedative (excluding opioids and benzodiazepines) was involved in the event, such as barbiturates, anesthetics or ketamine.
  18. Other Stimulants = stimulants, including cocaine or ecstasy.
  19. Pharmaceutical Drugs (Any): indicates case where a prescription drug was primarily involved in the event, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, analgesics, sedatives, pharmacotherapy, steroids or another medication (prescribed or non-prescribed) not explicitly mentioned.
  20. Pharmacotherapy = synthetic opioids, such as those used in opioid replacement therapy, including methadone and buprenorphine.

Methods

Scope

AODstats provides the ability to track trends of acute harms at the community level, and help inform policy and strategies to intervene and minimise the impact or spread of these harms.

This information provides a convenient, interactive, statistical resource for policy planners, drug service providers, health professionals and other key stakeholders interested in the harms relating to alcohol and other drug use in Victoria.

Data Analysis

For further information on the analysis, please see the methods document.

  • Data indicator: Ambulance
  • Data Source: The Ambo Project – Turning Point.
  • Details of data analysis: Ambulance data are extracted from NASS, the National Ambulance Surveillance System. Data includes alcohol and other drug-related events attended by ambulance paramedics in Victoria. The original clinical data from Ambulance Victoria is provided to Turning Point, where specialist project staff manually code events for alcohol and other drug involvement. Data is based on the location of the ambulance event.

Metrics presented

  • Numbers: cell sizes less than 5 are obfuscated in line with ethics and data custodian requirements. Some other categorical data may also be obfuscated if a category can be calculated by subtracting any remaining categories from the total.
  • Rates: rates are crude rates, which can allow for adjustment of population sizes across different areas, however these do not adjust for certain demographic attributes (specifically age and sex). The advantage to using crude rates is particularly important from a policy perspective, to understand what is influencing the rates. For example, it is important for policy and services to be aware if an area has more men and younger people.
  • Population estimates: ABS estimated resident population (ERP) on age, sex and statistical local areas are used throughout AODstats based on calendar year of data. For financial year datasets the earliest year is used (e.g. 2012/13, 2012 ERP is used)

Limitations

There are limitations to using administrative data for purposes other than what it was originally intended when collected. This includes:

  • Incomplete or missing data and inadequate coding.
  • Crude rates are used, which do not allow for certain demographic attributes (age and gender) to be compared accurately across areas, and also rates based on small numbers can produce unstable results.

Terms & Conditions

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is for non-commercial use only, including educational, scholarly, research, and personal projects that will not be marketed, promoted or sold in a financial transaction. We provide the data in good faith and attempt to make the information as current and accurate as possible. You may use the 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. If you use these data you are required to acknowledge that the source of the information is AODstats, which is owned by Turning Point, Eastern Health.

Limitations:

The availability of some primary data may vary over time, and there may be a time lag in gaining access to data for analysis and mapping. For some map areas, the data is not available due to the need to maintain confidentiality (through suppression of values less than 5, as agreed with data custodians). Data collection can vary between jurisdictions and therefore we advise caution in comparisons between jurisdictions. Where data is available, jurisdictional statistics have been provided, however, we are unable to provide national statistics at this time.