How does drug abuse mirror schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Drug abuse can mimic schizophrenia in several ways. Some drugs, like marijuana and PCP, are known to cause psychotic symptoms in some people, especially when high doses of the drugs are consumed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, long-term drug abuse causes other symptoms that are also found in people with schizophrenia. For instance, people who abuse drugs may show a lack of interest in school, work, and daily life, just like people with schizophrenia. Drug abuse may also result in poor hygiene, another symptom of schizophrenia. Drugs may affect one's ability to think clearly or speak effectively, which are also signs of schizophrenia. Restlessness, paranoia, and depression are also symptoms shared by those who abuse drugs and people with schizophrenia.

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