How Schizophrenia Increases Your Risk for Drug Addiction

Schizophrenia Increases

Schizophrenia: Understanding the Effects

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that can change the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. It is a complex, long-term condition that affects different people in different ways. The condition affects up to 1 in every 100 people in the world. People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. They might also find it difficult to concentrate, form relationships, and express emotions.

Risk of Drug Addiction

For those with schizophrenia, the risk of drug addiction is very real. Research suggests that those with schizophrenia are almost twice as likely to become addicted to drugs as those who do not have the disorder. People with untreated schizophrenia are seven times more likely to become dependent on drugs. This is due to a number of factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and social isolation. The substance abuse also increases the chances of developing a mental disorder such as schizophrenia.

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Underlying Factors

There are a number of underlying factors that increase the risk for drug addiction in those with schizophrenia. These include the fact that people with schizophrenia may turn to drugs to cope with their symptoms, which can be extremely disabling. Also, drugs can induce a feeling of temporary relief from their distress. People with schizophrenia may be more prone to drug abuse since their condition often isolates them from their peers and family. Furthermore, the availability of illegal drugs can be all too tempting for those struggling with the condition.

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Risk of Poor Health

Unfortunately, drug abuse in those with schizophrenia can worsen their mental health symptoms and put them at an increased risk for poor physical health. They may be more prone to infection, as drug abuse lowers immunity levels and increases the risk of contracting diseases. Those with schizophrenia are at an elevated risk of developing cardiovascular problems and liver diseases due to the chemicals related to drug abuse, such as alcohol and nicotine. Additionally, many of the drugs commonly abused by those with the disorder, such as cocaine and heroin, can lead to long-term health problems and even death.

Treatment for Substance Abuse

It is important for those with schizophrenia to seek treatment for substance abuse in order to prevent any further damage to their mental and physical health. Treatment options may include talk therapy, support groups, group activities and a variety of medications. Treatment should be tailored to meet the individual’s needs, as well as incorporate their family and other important individuals in the recovery process.

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Prevention of Substance Abuse

It is important to remain vigilant and take steps to prevent substance abuse in those with schizophrenia. It is necessary to have positive coping mechanisms in place, such as physical activity, healthy eating habits, and getting sufficient sleep. Engaging in meaningful activities such as work or school can also help. Finally, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional if any signs of substance abuse become apparent.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Drug Addiction, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Prevention, Treatment, Risk

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