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Can Drug Abuse Cause Schizophrenia?

Drug abuse can severely affect the brain and the body. Psychoactive substances in drugs can alter chemicals in your body to achieve the desired result.

Substance use disorder is a slow process that gets worse over time. It can negatively impact different aspects of your life, including your mental health. But can drug abuse cause schizophrenia? 

Reports show how drug users develop psychotic symptoms and disorders like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. But do drugs impact the brain in this manner? Let’s find out about drug abuse and its relationship to schizophrenia in this article.

What is schizoaffective disorder?

Schizoaffective mental health disorder makes an individual experience both schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms. Schizophrenic symptoms include audio and visual hallucinations, where you experience things that other people can’t. In some instances, you may also have delusions, which are unreal beliefs.

Schizophrenia symptoms usually manifest in a lack of emotional range. Individuals also experience slow and fragmented speech, word salad, and trouble implementing goals.

A schizoaffective disorder also includes mood disorder symptoms such as periods of mania. This occurs when major depression comes after intense energy. Sometimes a schizoaffective only includes depression and psychosis with no manic episodes.

How Does Schizophrenia Develop?

Schizophrenia influences about two million adults. This means that it affects one percent of all US Americans.

Physicians believe schizophrenia results from a change in the balance of brain chemicals. The brain has chemicals like serotonin, glutamate, and dopamine that increase bodily function. An imbalance in these chemicals can lead to schizophrenia.

The imbalance of chemicals influences the brains’ reaction to stimuli. This prompts symptoms of schizophrenia-like hypersensitivity and delusions.

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

Individuals with schizophrenia often experience substance abuse disorder as well. But can drug abuse cause schizophrenia? Physicians believe substance abuse does not cause schizophrenia. However, it can act as an environmental trigger.

Environmental triggers heavily influence the growth of substance abuse. Most individuals with addiction and schizophrenia experience traumatic events in their lifetime.

Research shows that individuals who develop schizophrenia also risk developing substance use. Individuals suffering from this mental health disorder also use drugs to self-medicate. This process usually leads to addiction and schizophrenia with both known as co-occurring disorders.

Why is Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Similar?

Schizophrenia and substance abuse are the same because they have similar symptoms. This may cause the doctor to misdiagnose them as co-occurring disorders. Nevertheless, schizophrenia rehab centers offer treatment for their patients.

There also exist negative symptoms linking schizophrenia with substance abuse. These negative symptoms start manifesting years before the schizophrenic start manifesting.

Bottom line: Can drug abuse cause schizophrenia?

While drug abuse can cause schizophrenia, we need more research to clarify this statement.

Individuals that suffer from both schizophrenia and addiction should seek medical attention at a schizophrenia rehab center. The medical professionals at these centers provide treatment and diagnoses for patients.

Individuals suffering from schizophrenia and addiction, discover that it’s difficult to recover. Most sufferers don’t seek treatment to battle their addiction. If you face such a scenario, the best treatment option would be an integrated approach.