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What is drug and alcohol treatment for people with schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction can be important for people with schizophrenia. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with schizophrenia have a higher chance of being addicted to alcohol or drugs than the average person. In fact, substance abuse is the most commonly diagnosed problem that occurs along with schizophrenia. Special programs exist for people with schizophrenia who have drug and alcohol problems because traditional treatment programs usually don't work well for those with schizophrenia. Mental health clinics combine schizophrenia and addiction treatment programs together to treat both problems simultaneously. It is important that doctors screen for addiction in people schizophrenia, because substance abuse may increase the risk for non-compliance with medications or therapy sessions. Schizophrenia symptoms may increase for people abusing drugs, especially if they are using stimulants or marijuana.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.