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Teenagers who complete a drug rehab program that incorporates comprehensive psychiatric services show better progress after one year than teens who receive treatment with little or no mental health services.
The RAND Corporation studied teenagers who attended three different types of treatment centers. The first group comprised 932 teens who received drug detox help and treatment at a facility that had psychiatrists and a psychological staff. This drug rehab offered comprehensive mental health services after drug detox. The second group comprised 1375 teens who received treatment at a drug rehab that offered psychological help for all but severe mental illnesses after drug detox. The third group received treatment at a facility where no psychological care was given.
After a year, the teens that enrolled in the drug rehab that offered comprehensive psychological care had lower average levels of relapse and substance abuse issues than the other two groups.
Lead researcher Rajeev Ramchand, Phd., stated, "We wanted to look at whether youth who attended facilities that offered mental health treatment fared better than those who did not, because many people think that teens with a dual diagnosis of mental health issues and substance use disorder are the norm."
Ramchand and his colleagues at RAND presented their evidence to an annual meeting of College on Problems of Drug Dependence.