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Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

What Is Schizophrenia?

  • Schizophrenia is a chronic encephalopathy that affects but one-hundredth of the U.S. population. While there’s no cure for schizophrenia, research is resulting in new, safer treatments. These approaches hold the promise of the latest, simpler therapies.

  • Co-occurring disorders, when a psychological state disorder and another health disorder like a substance addiction occur concurrently, are common among those with schizophrenia. Approximately 50 percent of people with schizophrenia have a history of drug abuse or addiction, consistent with a spread of studies cited by the U.S. National Library of drugs.

  • The most common form is paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia, with paranoia, as it’s often called. People with paranoid schizophrenia have an altered perception of reality. They’ll see or hear things that don’t exist, speak in strange or confusing ways, believe that others try to harm them, or desire they’re watched continuously. It can cause relationship problems, disrupt normal daily activities like bathing, eating, or running errands, and cause to self-medicate alcohol and substance abuse. People with schizophrenia withdraw from the surface world, act call at confusion and fear, and are at an increased risk of attempting suicide, especially during psychotic episodes, periods of depression, and within the first six months after starting treatment.

  • Co-occurring substance abuse disorders can hinder the effectiveness of schizophrenia treatment and the other way around. People with schizophrenia also are less likely to seek treatment for their mental health conditions when using drugs or alcohol.

  • Substance abuse also increases the risks of suicide, trauma, and homelessness among those with schizophrenia, additionally to other health risks. The foremost commonly abused substances among individuals with schizophrenia are nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelic drugs.

What is substance abuse?

  • Substance abuse is one’s use of drugs that aren’t legal, alcohol, prescription drug, and other legal substances in an excessive amount of or within the wrong way.

  • Substance abuse differs from addiction. People who engage in substance abuse can’t quit or change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, can become a disorder.

  • A definition of drug abuse cited frequently is that in DSM-IV, the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) issued by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-IV definition is 1) maladaptive pattern use resulting in clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the subsequent, occurring within 12 months, 2) Recurrent substance-related legal problems, and 3) The symptoms haven’t met the standards for Substance Dependence for this class of substance.

Treatment for schizophrenia

  • The best treatment options available for schizophrenia include therapy, medications, or a combination of both.

  • As upsetting as a diagnosis of schizophrenia are often, ignoring the matter won’t make its getaway. Beginning treatment as soon as possible with an experienced mental health professional is crucial to your recovery. At an equivalent time, it’s important not to invest in the stigma related to schizophrenia or the parable that you can’t recover. A diagnosis of schizophrenia isn’t a life-sentence of ever-worsening symptoms and recurring hospitalizations. With the proper treatment and self-help, many of us with schizophrenia are ready to regain normal functioning and even become symptom-free.

  • Diagnosis and treatment are often complicated by substance misuse. People with schizophrenia are at higher risk of misusing drugs than the overall population. If an individual shows signs of addiction, treatment for the addiction should occur along with side treatment for schizophrenia.

Treatment available for Substance Abuse

  • Most substance abusers believe they will stop using drugs on their own, but the bulk who try don’t succeed. Before treating the substance abuse disorder, the drug abuse sufferer might need help in lessening physical withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs they are using. That initial phase of treatment is named detoxification or “detox.” It often requires inpatient hospital treatment.

  • Because of these on-going cravings, the first essential component of treatment, also called recovery, is preventing relapse. Treating drug abuse often requires treatment during a rehabilitation (rehab) program and depends on both the person and, therefore, the substance getting used. In behavioral therapy, a counselor (like a caseworker, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, or nurse practitioner) provides strategies to deal with drug cravings and ways to avoid relapse. Treatment often includes individual and group psychotherapy.

  • Random drug testing is usually an integral part of encouraging the person with drug abuse problems to refrain from further drug use. Drug-abuse hotlines are often a useful resource for people to initiate treatment and stop relapse.

Often, a substance abuser has an underlying behavioral disorder or other mental diseases, one that increases the danger of drug abuse. When a person suffers from a substance abuse disorder, additionally to a different mental-health disorder, he or she is mentioned as having a dual diagnosis. Such disorders must be treated medically and through counseling alongside the treatment of substance abuse.


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