Alcohol and other drug service availability, capacity, and diversity in urban and rural Australia: An integrated atlas

Bianca Calabria, Jose A. Salinas-Perez, Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, John Mendoza, Tanya Bell, Janet Hopkins, Maryanne Furst, Maree Teesson, James Gillespie, Nasser Bagheri, Luis Salvador-Carulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Variation exists in the patterns of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and related impacts across geographic locations and over time. Understanding the existing AOD service system and the local context that it operates within is fundamental to optimize service provision. This article describes and compares the availability, placement capacity, and diversity of AOD services in urban and rural regions in Australia. Method: The Description and Evaluation of Services and DirectoriEs (DESDE) tool was used to categorize the service delivery system for AOD care in selected urban and rural regions in Australia. Results: This study found that although AOD services (303 main types of care) were available across all study regions, there was consistently very limited availability of services targeting young people (n = 39, 13%) or older adults (n = 1, <1%). There were also very limited services addressing comorbidities. Availability and diversity of services varied across study areas. Outpatient and residential care were the most available services, whereas day care services were absent in most areas. Conclusions: By describing the capacity of identified available services within the study regions, this study provides baseline information to inform changes to policy and practice and a foundation for monitoring and modeling service changes over time. This information provides evidence useful for optimal planning. However, it should be combined with local knowledge and stakeholder expertise to ensure that local area service needs are addressed. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 82, 401-413, 2021).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-413
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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