About 50 percent of people living with a mental illness have a substance abuse problem. In fact, a 1994 study found that 47 percent of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have Dual Diagnosis. The Royal College of Psychiatry found that people with schizophrenia are more likely to abuse alcohol. Another study in 2003 discovered that people with schizophrenia are six times more likely to abuse drugs. The most common drug of choice (in the order of popularity) is alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. The substance abuse is higher among males, ages 18 to 44. Among those who have a Dual Diagnosis they are more prone to violence, either domestic violence or suicide attempts. Substance abuse accounts for 37 percent of all suicides, and 77 percent of people who have schizophrenia and commit suicide are males.
Why do people with a mental illness abuse drugs?...Recreation use just like everyone else or to overcome symptoms and side effects of medication. Drugs may temporarily treat anxiety, depression, and stress. However, drugs could also worsen symptoms in the long-run.
Does drugs cause a person to have schizophrenia. No, but they can share similar symptoms to a mental illness.
Were these statistics shocking to you, why or why not?