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.
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:
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.
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.
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 http://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/comorbidity