C: Specific population groups

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Key Points

  • Cultural and contextual factors, such as the client’s cultural background, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, stability of accommodation, whether he/she lives in remote locations, and whether treatment is coerced, need to be taken into account when treating clients.
  • Overall, treatments and services for AOD use and comorbidity  have arisen from research on the dominant culture of city-dwelling Westernised adults. This is not to say that these techniques will   not work with clients from different backgrounds, but rather that approaches may need to be adapted depending on individual clients’ characteristics.

A number of social groups require special consideration with regard to the management and treatment of comorbidity. It is important that AOD workers are aware of specific factors that may affect the management and treatment of people belonging to these groups so that they may tailor treatment appropriately. Much of what is discussed below applies to those with single AOD or mental health disorders as well as those with comorbid conditions.