Recognizing and Treating Schizophrenia and Addiction

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People with schizophrenia are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem than the general population. As with other cases of mental illness, it’s easy to confuse drug abuse and schizophrenia because they exhibit similar symptoms. Though researchers do not believe that drugs cause schizophrenia, substance abuse and mental illness go hand in hand.

If you or a loved one has schizophrenia and substance abuse, Awakenings Treatment Center can help. We offer safe, supportive dual diagnosis rehab in California. With our flexible treatment options, clients use our services through all stages of their recoveries.

Below is more information about schizophrenia and its relationship with drug and alcohol use.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects roughly three million Americans. People with this condition have trouble distinguishing fiction from reality. As a result, they struggle in their relationships and careers. Even though schizophrenia is sometimes confused with multiple personality disorder, the two are very different. Most people with schizophrenia are not violent and do not have multiple personalities.

What Causes Schizophrenia?

The exact cause of schizophrenia is not known, though there are a number of factors that can put a person at risk. These include:

  • Schizophrenia runs in families. Having a family member with this condition raises a person’s risk.
  • Brain chemistry. When certain chemicals are unbalanced, it can lead to hypersensitivity and hallucinations. Researchers are also discovering decreased brain matter in people with schizophrenia.
  • Environmental factors. Health problems during birth and exposure to certain viruses and infections may also raise the risk for schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia and Addiction

It’s common for schizophrenia and addiction to occur at the same time. People with schizophrenia often use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Even though drugs and alcohol don’t cause schizophrenia, they do make symptoms worse. Furthermore, it’s more difficult for a person to stick with their treatment plan when they are battling addiction and mental illness.

The first step in dealing with dual diagnosis is removing the drugs and toxins from the body through detox. Once the body is free from harmful substances, a clinical team can better understand the severity of the schizophrenia and the best way to treat it. Typically, dual diagnosis treatment in Agoura includes antipsychotic medications and therapy.

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, Awakenings Treatment Center is experienced in treating individuals who are recovering from substance abuse and schizophrenia. Contact us today to learn more about our trauma treatment center.