Schizophrenia and drug and alcohol use

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Mental illness and drugs

Next to smoking cigarettes, people with serious mental or brain disorders like schizophrenia are very prone to alcohol and other substance abuse. Interestingly enough, people with mental disorders use drugs and alcohol for the same reason as many healthy people; to fit in, relax and get rid of inhibitions. According to the article, some schizophrenics and other psychotic illness sufferers experience heightened effects of alcohol, meaning they are affected by significantly less of a drug or alcohol than someone without a psychiatric condition. Continued use of alcohol and drugs can cause those with mental problems to “relapse”, meaning a recurrence of symptoms and a need for hospitalization.

Via Schizophrenia & Substance Use

Substance use is a common problem for people with schizophrenia or psychotic disorders. About 50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia will also have problems related to their use of substances, and/or their dependence on substances. About half of youth who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis also have or will develop a substance use disorder.

The most commonly abused substance among individuals with psychotic disorders and schizophrenia is alcohol, followed by marijuana. Most people with schizophrenia are also dependent on nicotine (70-90 %).

Major mental illnesses such as Bi-Polar disorder or Schizophrenia are marked with hallucinations, delusions and other behavior problems. When you throw alcohol and drugs into the situation it is easy to see why a brain disorder and substances don’t mix, and ultimately add further damage to an already sick brain.

Abusing substances can interfere with treatment, cause violence, prevent stable re-integration into society, cause suicidal thoughts and have a profoundly negative effect on family and loved ones trying to help you. Recovery, however, is possible and with the help of a team effort of loved ones, mental health and addiction specialists who can guide, medicate and establish a therapeutic relationship to treat both the dependance and the disease there is a great chance of improvement.

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Sobriety Foundation

Schizophrenia and drug and alcohol use

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