Unfortunately, schizophrenia and addiction often influence each other. The exact prevalence of schizophrenia is difficult to measure, but estimates range from 0.25% to 0.64% of U.S. adults. Although schizophrenia can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be:
- From the late teens to the early 20s for men
- The late 20s to early 30s for women
It is uncommon for schizophrenia to be diagnosed in a person younger than 12 or older than 40. It is possible to live well with schizophrenia.
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people.
However, repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be long-lasting and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Symptoms can include hearing voices that are not there, thinking other people are trying to hurt them, or having delusions (false beliefs).
What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?Contact Us
The symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into four categories: positive, negative, cognitive, and mood symptoms.
Positive Schizophrenia Symptoms
Positive schizophrenia symptoms are characterized by a loss of contact with reality. These can include:
- Delusions: False beliefs that are not based on reality. For example, believing that you are being watched or followed (paranoia) or that you have special powers or abilities.
- Hallucinations: Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that do not exist. For example, hearing voices or seeing things that are not really there.
- Disorganized thinking (thought disorder): This can manifest as incoherent or jumbled speech. For example, switching topics abruptly mid-sentence or making up words that have no meaning.
Negative Schizophrenia Symptoms
Negative schizophrenia symptoms may include:
- Flat affect: Not having facial expressions or emotions. For example, not changing your facial expression in response to something that would normally elicit a reaction (smiling at a funny joke, crying at a sad movie scene) or appearing emotionless.
- Alogia: poverty of speech. This can manifest as speaking very little or in a rambling, incoherent manner.
- Avolition: Lack of motivation or interest in life. For example, no longer taking part in activities you once enjoyed, such as hobbies, socializing with friends, or going to work or school.
- Anhedonia: Loss of the ability to feel pleasure from activities you once enjoyed. For example, not deriving enjoyment from time with friends or participating in activities you love.
- Attention deficit: Difficulty sustaining focus on a task or activity. You may feel like your mind is always racing or that your thoughts are jumbled and unclear.
- Cognitive deficits: schizophrenia can cause problems with memory, learning, and executive functioning (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions). This can make it difficult to function at work, school, or home.
Risk Factors for Schizophrenia
Substance abuse is a risk factor for schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than people without schizophrenia. Cannabis use, in particular, is linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia.
Cannabis use can trigger schizophrenia in people who are predisposed to the condition. It can also make symptoms worse in people who already have schizophrenia.
People with schizophrenia are also more likely to develop addiction problems. This may be because they self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. It may also be due to changes in the brain that occur as a result of schizophrenia.
Can Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Be Passed Down?
Schizophrenia and addiction often co-occur. In fact, studies show that people with schizophrenia are two to three times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than the general population. There are a number of reasons why people with schizophrenia might be more vulnerable to addiction.
For one, people with schizophrenia often self-medicate in an attempt to relieve symptoms like:
In addition, antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia can sometimes have side effects that increase the risk of substance abuse, such as cravings and impulsivity.
There is also some evidence that schizophrenia and addiction may be passed down in families. Studies of twins have found that genetics may play a role in both disorders.
And while scientists haven’t yet identified any specific genes that are linked to both schizophrenia and addiction, they have found that people with schizophrenia are more likely to have a family history of addiction.
If you have schizophrenia, it’s important to be aware of the risks of substance abuse and addiction. Addiction is a complex disease that can involve everything from alcohol and other drugs to gambling and sex. People with addiction often feel like they can’t control their behavior, even when it’s causing problems in their lives.
People with schizophrenia might be more vulnerable to addiction for a number of reasons. For one, people with schizophrenia are often prescribed medications that can be addictive. Additionally, schizophrenia can lead to isolation and social withdrawal, which can increase the risk of addiction.
What Medications Are Used to Treat Schizophrenia?
There are a number of different medications that can be used to treat schizophrenia. The most common are antipsychotics. Antipsychotics work by reducing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain. This can help to reduce symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.
Some antipsychotics, such as clozapine and olanzapine, can have serious side effects, including weight gain and diabetes. These side effects can make it more difficult for people with schizophrenia to stick to their treatment plan. Additionally, some people with schizophrenia may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to relieve their symptoms.
Self-medicating can lead to addiction and make schizophrenia symptoms worse. If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s important to seek professional help.
Treatment for Schizophrenia and Addiction
People with schizophrenia may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to try to cope with their symptoms. This can lead to substance abuse and addiction. Treating schizophrenia generally requires a combination of medication, therapy, and support.
- Medication can help to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Therapy can help people with schizophrenia to manage their symptoms and cope with the challenges of the condition.
- Support from family, friends, and schizophrenia support groups can also be important.
Detoxification is the process of getting rid of addictive substances from the body. Therapy can help people with addiction to understand their condition and make changes to their lifestyle.
Co-occurring disorders like schizophrenia and addiction can be difficult to treat. But with treatment, people can recover and live healthy lives.
CALL US NOW
Orlando Treatment Solutions will iron out the details for you in a manner that will make you confident in your path to sobriety. That first simple call is your ticket to making Orlando Treatment Solutions your solution for addiction. Get the freedom from addiction that you deserve today.Call us now on (386) 264-6000
Orlando Treatment Solutions Offers Comprehensive Treatment
Orlando Treatment Solutions offers comprehensive treatment for those suffering from schizophrenia and substance abuse. Our unique approach combines medication, therapy, and support to help our clients recover and lead full, productive lives.
We understand the challenges that schizophrenia and addiction can pose, and our specialized staff is committed to providing the highest level of care. We offer a variety of services, including individual and group therapy, medication management, and case management.
We also provide support for families and loved ones. Our goal is to help our clients achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with schizophrenia and addiction, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our program.
Years of experience
Our Program Leaders have had extensive experience in Addiction Treatment and are ready to help those who are struggling with addiction.
Our Staff consists of many licensed addiction treatment facilitators and other staff who are ready to share their experience and their success’.
Orlando Treatment solutions has helped over 2,000 people who have struggled with alcohol and drug addiction find freedom from addiction.
GET IN TOUCH
Reaching out to Orlando Treatment Solutions may be the most important call of your recovery process. A caring professional is waiting for your call to be your guide to addiction-free living.