Part C: Specific population groups

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Part C of the Guidelines aims to provide workers with an overview of the available evidence for managing and treating co-occurring AOD and mental conditions within specific population groups. Numerous cultural and contextual factors need to be considered such as the client’s cultural background, gender and sexual identity, stability of accommodation, whether they live in remote locations, and whether treatment is being coerced. It is important that AOD workers are aware of specific factors that may affect the management and treatment of people from these groups so that they may tailor treatment appropriately. Although the available evidence for managing and treating co-occurring conditions is described according to different population groups, workers should be aware that it is likely that people attending AOD services will belong to more than one group.

The predominant approaches to treatment and service delivery for AOD use and co-occurring conditions have been driven by research conducted on (and by) the dominant culture of urban-dwelling Westernised adults. This is not to say that these techniques will not be effective for clients from different backgrounds with diverse needs, but rather that approaches may need to be adapted depending on the individual needs and characteristics of clients, in keeping with person-centred approaches.

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