Schizophrenia and substance abuse are often linked, and this is a serious problem. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that may cause an individual to have hallucinations and unhealthy thought process. This can lead to the person becoming violent, harming themselves, or harming others. Often individuals with this mental disorder turn to substance abuse, and the use of drugs or alcohol is intended to self medicate and make unpleasant schizophrenia symptoms go away. This only makes the problem worse though and it becomes difficult to tell the symptoms of the mental disorder from the symptoms of the substance abuse. Some facts and statistics about schizophrenia and substance abuse are:
- Early treatment of schizophrenia will minimize the risk of substance abuse, and this typically leads to a better outcome for the patient.
- If the person suffers from schizophrenia and has substance abuse issues then a dual diagnosis is required. Both problems have to be treated at the same time.
- Schizophrenics who abuse drugs or alcohol may not be diagnosed as quickly because a detox period is necessary. As long as the drugs or alcohol are in the system of the user then the mental disorder can not be identified and properly diagnosed.
- Roughly 1% of the population suffers from schizophrenia, and many prisoners in jails and prisons around the world have this mental disorder.
- Substance abuse can cause an individual with schizophrenia to become violent faster, and those who are not prone to violence may become so after drinking or using drugs.