The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that about half of drug users also suffer from a mental illness as well. This is considered a dual diagnosis and specialized integrated treatment offers the highest success rates. Dual diagnosis treatment models manage both disorders simultaneously, treating each condition as a primary disorder. Teams of medical professionals work together to employ evidence-based treatment plans. Successful treatment is not the same for everyone and evidence-based treatment plans take personal preferences as well as scientific research and clinical expertise into account. Duration of treatment will vary as well depending on several factors, including genetics, environmental aspects, length of time abusing substances, previous treatment, and physical and psychological dependence.
According to Australian research, there are many important factors that help reduce the likelihood of a young person abusing alcohol.
As well as good parental role modelling, these factors include:
• a loving, supportive home life
• educational programs in schools on the use and misuse of alcohol
• developing personal, social, academic and employment skills
• a healthy lifestyle, such as regular exercise and a love of sports
• restrictions on alcohol advertising
• avoiding the use of scare tactics, which can backfire and increase alcohol use among teenagers.