The current Guidelines represent an update, revision, and expansion to the second edition of the Guidelines . Like the first and second editions, these Guidelines are based on the best available research evidence, developed in consultation with an expert panel of academic researchers, clinicians, people with lived experience, family members and carers (see p.ii and iii). In addition to reviewing, synthesising, and updating the evidence to date with guidance from our expert panel, feedback on the second edition of the Guidelines was obtained from key-stakeholders (including people with lived experience of AOD and mental health conditions, clinicians, academics, family and carers) via two national discussion forums open to interested key stakeholders (conducted online due to COVID-19 restrictions which allowed for a larger number of participants to attend from across Australia), an online survey seeking feedback on the second edition, and written submissions from any person wishing to provide feedback.
Both clinical and scientific knowledge about what treatment modalities may help people experiencing co-occurring AOD and mental health conditions has been included, and as such, a variety of psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies are discussed. We have also included discussion of physical activity, some complementary and alternative therapies, as well as e-health and telehealth interventions. The clinical evidence for the efficacy of these interventions varies greatly, and it is critical to note that although there may be limited scientific evidence to recommend a treatment as best practice, that does not necessarily mean that the treatment is ineffective. That is, the quality of some studies evaluating some interventions is not as rigorous as others and does not provide adequate support or evidence for clinical guidance.