An estimated 2 million adult Americans suffer from schizophrenia. This translates to 1% of all Americans. Globally, schizophrenia affects over 21 million people. When suffering from this brain disorders, individuals are unable to differentiate imagery and reality. What’s more, they can have difficulties responding to different social situations appropriately in terms of their emotions. This leads to interpersonal relationship issues. In some cases, other aspects of their lives, such as school and work can also be affected.
Schizophrenia is treatable but incurable. Nevertheless, it affects the ability of a person to feel, behave, and think clearly. When schizophrenia and drug addiction are combined, the outcomes are dangerous and deadly in some cases. Some treatment facilities provide dual diagnosis programs. These involve the treatment of both schizophrenia and drug addiction.
As such, anybody with a substance abuse problem and symptoms of schizophrenia should not just seek free drug rehab. This is a facility that provides treatment for drug addiction at a low or no cost. It can be a religious-based or state-funded facility AddictionResource that enables people with low incomes to undergo treatment. However, such a facility might not help individuals that need dual diagnosis unless it provides it.
Causes Of Schizophrenia
What causes schizophrenia is not known yet. However, research has linked schizophrenia to substance abuse. Nevertheless, the mechanism of substance use in this brain disease is not known. Researchers have, however, suggested a combination of psychological, environmental, genetic, and physical factors that increases the vulnerability of a person to this condition.
- Genetics- The gene that is responsible for schizophrenia has not been identified yet. However, scientists believe that some genes increase a person’s risk of developing the condition. This explains why schizophrenia runs in some families.
- Environment- Researchers have established a correlation between some environmental factors like pre-birth malnutrition, exposure to some viruses, bran development issues, and genes. These can also lead to the development of schizophrenia later in life.
- Brain chemistry- Imbalance of some neurotransmitters can also play a role in schizophrenia. However, the mechanism of this imbalance in the condition is not understood yet.
A person that seeks free addiction help may have such possible underlying causes of schizophrenia. As such, it’s important to choose a facility that provides dual diagnosis if they exhibit signs of schizophrenia.
Currently, experts are examining the possible causes of this condition. They are doing this through behavioral research, genetics studies, and advanced imaging. These techniques enable them to explore how the brain functions and its structure.
Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Several signs should prompt an addict to seek dual diagnosis instead of getting just any free drug addiction help. These are the symptoms that characterize schizophrenia. It’s crucial to note that these symptoms vary and they can be behavioral, cognitive, and emotional.
Common among them include:
- Delusional thinking
- Disorganized catatonic or motor behavior
- Sleep pattern changes
- Lack of motivation
- Reduced emotional expression
- Social withdrawal
- Not caring about hygiene or appearance
Schizophrenia And Substance Abuse
Addiction and schizophrenia co-occur in most cases. Research indicates that the link between addiction and schizophrenia is attributable to the high prevalence of substance use among people with this brain condition. It’s estimated that 50% of schizophrenia patients have a substance abuse history.
In most cases, schizophrenia patients abuse substances trying to alleviate depression and anxiety or to self-medicate. Nevertheless, some experts argue that substance abuse is not the cause of schizophrenia. However, it serves as an environmental trigger for this condition.
A person that has a genetic risk factor can develop the condition after abusing addictive substances for an extended period. Drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines can exacerbate the symptoms of schizophrenia and worsen severity.
Perhaps, a major reason why a person with a substance abuse problem and schizophrenia symptoms should not just get free drug addiction treatment is the similar symptoms of these conditions. The similar symptoms of drug addiction and schizophrenia make diagnosing co-occurring disorders difficult. Nevertheless, researchers are studying these disorders concurrently and independently to boost dual diagnosis accuracy.
The Bottom Line
Substance abuse may not cause schizophrenia. However, schizophrenia patients have a higher chance of being diagnosed with addiction as compared to those in the general public. When a person exhibits symptoms of schizophrenia and has a drug addiction, they should seek a dual diagnosis. This will ensure that the co-occurring disorders are treated simultaneously to enhance their chances of recovery. Thus, a free drug treatment program that is based on a dual diagnosis is the best option for schizophrenia patients with substance abuse problems.