Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings (National Comorbidity Clinical Guidelines)

Date Commenced:
2008
Project Supporters:

Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

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Project Members
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Associate Professor
Ph +612 9385 0253
Dr Mark Deady
Post-Doc Res Fellow (UNSW)
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Professor
Ph EA Christopher Pruze: 02 9385 0167 / c.pruze@unsw.edu.au
Project Main Description

Over recent decades, a large body of research has documented the extent to which mental health conditions co-occur with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. There has also been growing recognition of the significant challenges faced by AOD workers when treating clients with co-occurring mental health conditions.

Aims

The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing funded the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) to develop guidelines on the management of co-occurring mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment settings. The Guidelines are based on the best available evidence and draw upon the experience and knowledge of clinicians, researchers, consumers and carers.

The Guidelines aim to:

  • Increase AOD workers’ knowledge and awareness of mental health conditions.
  • Improve the confidence and skills of AOD workers working with clients with comorbid mental health conditions.
  • Provide guiding principles for working with clients with comorbid mental health conditions.
  • Improve AOD workers’ ability to identify mental health conditions.
  • Provide practical information on the management of comorbid mental health conditions.
  • Provide information regarding the treatment of comorbid mental health conditions.
  • Provide information regarding referral processes.
  • Provide resources that may be used to facilitate all of the above.

The Guidelines have been developed primarily for AOD workers working in AOD treatment settings such as those services providing inpatient or outpatient detoxification, residential rehabilitation, substitution therapies (e.g., methadone or buprenorphine for opiate dependence), or outpatient counselling services. However, other health professionals may also find them useful.

Hard copies of the Guidelines are no longer available.

Design and Method

The Guidelines were developed based on a comprehensive review of the best available evidence and the experiences of an expert panel of academic researchers, clinicians, consumers and carers. In developing these Guidelines, we have relied where possible on evidence from well-designed research studies. Where this evidence was not available, recommendations are based upon appropriate clinical experience. Prior to publication, the Guidelines were reviewed by a number of key stakeholders with expertise in the field and pilot tested in non-government AOD treatment services across Australia.

Output

The Guidelines have been completed and hard copies were distributed to AOD treatment services across Australia in December 2009 – January 2010. The Guidelines, and other resources, are also available for download from /comorbidity

Project Supporters

Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Project Research Area
Project Status
Completed
Year Completed
2010
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