Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between behavior, emotions, and thoughts. When a person suffers from schizophrenia and substance abuse, the effects can be life-altering.
A diagnosis of schizophrenia leads to false perception, negative and inappropriate actions and feelings, disengagement from reality, and withdrawal from personal relationships. It leads the individual into delusions and fantasies, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
Addiction is a mental and physical condition manifested by continuous and compulsive substance abuse regardless of the negative and harmful consequences on an individual’s life. Addiction can be many things, but the most common are either drugs, alcohol, or even both.
Unfortunately, when an individual has schizophrenia, the chance of drug use increases by 50% (per SAMHSA). Since substance abuse risks increase drastically with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is important to know the symptoms. Seeking treatment is the first step to overcome this painful neurological disease.
The explicit cause of schizophrenia is not known. However, the structure of an individual’s brain, altered brain chemistry environment, and genetics play a role in this mental health disorder.
Schizophrenia is diagnosed with persistent thoughts or experiences that are out of touch with reality. It also shows symptoms of disorganized behavior or speech and reduced participation in and individual’s normal daily routines or activities. Other common symptoms of this mental health disorder is a loss of memory and difficulty with concentration.
Treatment is typically permanent and utilizes a combination of prescription medications, psychotherapy, and other specialty care services by a medical doctor or mental health professional. Some signs and symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Sensory: Visual hallucinations or auditory hallucinations
- Cognitive: Inability to understand or make normal use of speech in coherent ways, disorganized thinking, difficulty learning, and distorted beliefs about mistreatment or accomplishments.
- Behavioral: Social withdrawal and isolation, poor hygiene, irrational fears of eating, drinking, and touching or being touched. Other symptoms include constrained speech, lack of energy and motivation, loss of interest in normal activities like work or social gatherings. People may have an inability to relate in socially acceptable ways, unpredictable behavior, and problems with impulse control.
- Emotional: lack of emotional involvement, odd emotional responses, odd facial expressions, loss of empathy, and extreme and confusing mood swings and changes.
Understanding Substance Abuse And Addiction
Substance abuse is a physical and psychological dependence on drug use, alcohol, or even both. When an individual starts using drugs and develops a substance abuse problem or an addiction, the individual will form negative and toxic habits. The individual won’t be able to stop substance use, regardless of the negative impact on themselves and their families.
Substance abuse has a definitive and negative impact on the way the individual acts, feels, and thinks. Individuals that battle with substance abuse are usually aware of the problems that are created by their addiction. However, they find it increasingly difficult to stop their substance abuse without assistance.
Addiction is commonly considered a side effect of poor mental health. So individuals often face a dual diagnosis of mental health issues like schizophrenia. This harmful combo can cause severe mental health and physical health damage. An individual who faces a battle of schizophrenia and substance abuse should pursue dual diagnosis treatment.
If treatment does not address both the diagnosis of schizophrenia and substance abuse, it becomes a continuous cycle. This includes adverse physical and mental health side effects, even resulting in death.
Co-Occurring Disorders (Schizophrenia) And Substance Abuse
Individuals often use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication in an attempt to relieve them of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Unfortunately for the individual, drug use or excessive drinking will increase the symptoms and make the individual feel much worse.
Both schizophrenia and substance abuse have negative side effects. Each results in behaviors that affect every aspect of their lives. This includes daily activities, family responsibilities, work, and personal relationships.
Some symptoms of substance abuse with an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia include but are not limited to:
- Unpredictable behaviors
- Severe mood swings
- Withdrawal from social life and family
- Auditory hallucinations
- Visual hallucinations
- High-risk behaviors
- Poor judgment
- Difficulty concentrating
- Delusions about themselves and others
- Irrational and disorganized thoughts
- Inappropriate or odd emotions and affects
- Rapid speech
Treatment For Schizophrenia And Substance Abuse
There are several different types of treatment for schizophrenia and substance abuse. The most effective treatment for these co-occurring disorders is a combination of psychiatric medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a mental health therapy that focuses on teaching individuals healthier coping skills. This works to help people positively handle their negative behaviors, feelings, and thoughts without drug use or abusing alcohol.
There are also many different types of psychiatric prescription medications that can be a part of treatment. These medications can grant relief from the unpleasant side effects of this painful dual diagnosis.
The most common psychiatric medications that treat schizophrenia and substance abuse include the following:
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
- Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
- Loxapine (Loxitane)
- Perphenazine (Etrafon)
- Trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
- Quetiapine (Seroquel)
- Clozapine (Clozaril)
- Risperidone (Risperdal)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- Aripiprazole (Abilify)
- Asenapine (Saphris)
- Lurasidone (Latuda)
Schizophrenia And Substance Abuse Treatment Program Options
At Daylight Recovery Services, we offer several different treatment program options for a dual diagnosis of schizophrenia and substance abuse. Our treatment programs options for schizophrenia and substance abuse include:
Detox is a program that works to rid the body of the substances they have been abusing. This occurs in a safe, medical facility where the individual will have a specific plan. This includes an evaluation where our medical and mental health team screens the individual for both physical and mental concerns.
After the evaluation is complete, the individual will start the stabilization phase of our detox program. At this stage, our medical and mental health staff will use a combination of psychological therapy and medical treatments like antipsychotics and psychiatric medications. These will help to stabilize the individual and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
The final step of the detox process is the preparation for the treatment phase. The individual will either enter our residential program (inpatient) or a relapse prevention program.
Residential programs work to allow individuals to remain at our treatment center with 24/7 care after detox is over. Our residential program requires the individual to spend a minimum of twenty-eight (28) days at our facility.
Every individual and their battle with schizophrenia and substance abuse is different. So we will determine the length of stay at our facility depending on the individual’s needs and financial situation. Our residential program offers support from our trained medical and mental health staff.
Community involvement with others within the residential program is an important aspect of the program. We provide a safe space free of common triggers as well as a comprehensive therapy plan.
Holistic Treatments (Alternative Therapies)
Holistic treatment programs use alternative therapies to treat the individual by focusing on healing both the body and mind at the same time. The types of holistic treatments available through our program include exercise, nutritional and massage therapy, meditation, and acupuncture.
Telehealth Treatments (Online Therapy)
Telehealth treatment (online therapy) allows the individual to receive dual diagnosis treatments virtually rather than in person. These types of treatment programs consist of telephone-based treatments, Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) technology, web-based treatments, and video conferencing.
Relapse prevention plans are designed to offer continued care after an individual has finished a treatment program. This type of plan prepares someone for how to handle temptations in real-life situations.
For someone who is also suffering from schizophrenia, it is best to be as prepared as possible. Triggers are often very overwhelming when also battling a mental health disorder.
Our evidence-based treatments give the individual the skills they need to recognize, cope with, and manage their relapse triggers that lead to drug use or excessive drinking. This treatment program addresses all aspects of schizophrenia and substance abuse.
We also provide consistent real-world support by offering different treatment program option. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be valuable outlets.
Our Schizophrenia And Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Corona, California Can Help
If you or someone you know is battling with schizophrenia and substance abuse, it is time to turn towards professional treatment from our trusted treatment center.
Looking for schizophrenia and substance abuse treatment centers may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a critical step toward recovery, and we’re here to help. We understand the importance of what you and your loved ones are going through, and we are ready to help you on the road to lasting recovery and improved mental health.
Daylight Recovery Services is a comfortable, licensed schizophrenia and substance abuse treatment center in Corona, California. We offer various types of treatment programs with access to many mental health and addiction therapies to assist with this type of dual diagnosis disorder.
This continuum of care and support is provided by a compassionate and highly trained medical and mental health professional staff. So you or your loved one can be as comfortable as possible, and confident that you’re making the best possible choice to help overcome schizophrenia and substance abuse.
Take the first step towards lasting recovery and improved mental health right now! Contact us today for a free consultation!