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Can Drugs Cause Schizophrenia? Mental Health & Addiction FAQ

Mental health issues affect millions of Americans every year. Many of these disorders are treatable through medication or therapy. However, some drugs can cause serious side effects. This article explores whether certain drugs or medications can trigger schizophrenia.
Can drugs cause schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms. The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but researchers believe genetics play a role. Some studies suggest that cannabis and/or stimulant use during adolescence increases the risk of developing schizophrenia later in life. Other research suggests that taking certain drugs and medications can increase your risk for developing schizophrenia.

According to the United Kingdom Health Service, Drugs do not directly cause schizophrenia, but studies have shown drug misuse increases the risk of developing schizophrenia or a similar illness.

 

What are 5 causes of schizophrenia?

1) Genetics: Studies show that people with a family history of schizophrenia may be more likely to develop the disease than those without such a history.

2) Brain injury: A brain injury (such as a head trauma) can damage the parts of the brain that control thinking and behavior. This can lead to schizophrenia-like symptoms.

3) Infections: An infection in the body can spread through the blood stream and affect the brain. It’s possible this could trigger an immune response that leads to schizophrenia-like symptoms, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to prove it.

4) Birth defects: There is some evidence suggesting birth defects can contribute to schizophrenia. For example, a child born with a cleft palate might experience speech problems that can make it difficult to communicate.

5) Environmental factors: Researchers aren’t sure what environmental factors can cause schizophrenia, but they suspect exposure to toxins or viruses in early childhood may increase the risk.

 

What is the main cause of schizophrenia?

“It has traditionally been assumed that changes in DNA sequence are solely responsible for the transmission of schizophrenia. However, twin studies show that it is also conceivable that an epigenetic mechanism may contribute to the transmission of schizophrenia. The possibility of a role for epigenetics, i.e., changes in phenotype not explained by DNA sequence, was raised first as an explanation of the incomplete concordance for schizophrenia in monozygotic twins (see, for example ), but still remains little tested due to methodological difficulties .”

PV GejmanAR Sanders, and J Duan. “The Role of Genetics in the Etiology of Schizophrenia.” Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010 Mar; 33(1): 35–66., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2826121/

 

Which drugs are proven to cause schizophrenia?

Certain drugs can trigger drug-induced psychosis. People who take these kinds of drugs are much more likely to experience drug induced psychosis. Some examples include:

Amphetamines (such as Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Vyvanse). Cocaine. Ecstasy. Heroin. Ketamine. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Methamphetamine. Marijuana. Nabilone. Phencyclidine (PCP). Phentermine. Psilocybin mushrooms. Quetiapine. Secobarbital. Theophylline. Tricyclic antidepressants. Valium. Zolpidem (Ambien).

Cannabis has long been associated with psychosis, but recent research suggests that marijuana use may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. This is because THC (the main psychoactive component of cannabis) binds to receptors in the brain that regulate dopamine levels. Dopamine plays a key role in the development of schizophrenia.

“Marijuana use during adolescence increases the chance of developing schizophrenia later in adulthood,” says Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. He adds, “This is particularly true for those who start using marijuana before age 15.”

 

What is drug-induced schizophrenia?

People who take these substances often report hearing voices, seeing things that aren’t really there, or having thoughts that seem like they’re from another person. These experiences are called hallucinations.

People sometimes hear music when no one else does, see images on TV screens that others don’t see, or feel like their bodies are being controlled by someone else. These experiences are called delusions. Drug-induced psychosis usually goes away after the substance wears off, but it can last longer if you keep taking the same drugs over time.

Can drug-induced schizophrenia go away?

In most cases, drug-induced schizophrenia is less severe than non-drug-related schizophrenia. In fact, many people with drug-induced schizophrenia never have any psychotic episodes again. But drug-induced schizophrenia is very different from other types of schizophrenia.

 

Why do some people develop drug-induced schizophrenia while others don’t?

There are several factors that make some people more vulnerable to developing drug-induced schizophrenia than others. For instance:

People who already have mental health problems are at greater risk. If you’ve had a head injury or a stroke, you might be more susceptible to experiencing drug-induced psychosis. You could also have genetic differences that put your body’s systems out of balance.

Your family history matters too. If you have relatives with schizophrenia, you’re more likely to experience drug-induced psychosis. If you have any family history with this disease, you are playing with fire every time you use these drugs.

If you think you’re starting to get symptoms of drug-induced psychosis, stop taking the drug right away. Don’t wait until it gets worse. Call your doctor right away.

 

 

Mental Health & Drug Abuse: By The Numbers

Mental health issues affect millions of Americans every year. In fact, mental illness costs the U.S. economy $193 billion each year. That’s why it’s important to understand the facts about mental health and drug abuse.

Mental health disorders are conditions that cause emotional or behavioral problems. Substance abuse refers to using drugs or alcohol excessively. People who suffer from mental health issues often turn to substances to cope with their symptoms.

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans each year. If left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences such as death, disability, and even criminal behavior. Learn more about the signs of drug abuse and how to get help.

 

How are substance abuse and mental health related?

There have been many studies done about the link between substance abuse and mental health. The relationship is complicated, and varies greatly from individual to individual.

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (SAMI) is a term used to describe the co-occurrence of substance use disorders, including alcohol and other drug dependence, with psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders.

The relationship between drugs and schizophrenia is a complex one, but there does appear to be an association. The exact nature of the connection remains unclear, however. In some cases, people who use certain substances may experience psychotic symptoms that mimic those associated with Schizophrenia, and they are treated medically as such although there is a strong distinction between the two.

The relationship between drug use, mental illness, and suicide is a complex one. While there is no doubt that the use of drugs can lead to depression or anxiety disorders, it’s not clear whether these conditions cause people to turn to drugs. It is also hotly debated as to whether the majority of drug addicts with mental health issues became drug addicts due to pre-existing mental health conditions or vice versa.

If you’re looking for the answer to this question, you’ve come to the right place! We have a lot of information on our website about how drugs can cause schizophrenia. If you want more detail, read through some more of our related articles.

 

 

 

How does drug use affect mental health?

There are of course many medications that have been researched to assist with the symptoms associated with mental health. Many regular drug users don’t suffer from mental health issues. Whenever drugs are used in excess and abused, there is an obvious risk of causing mental health issues. However, especially in the case of psychedelics and individuals with a family history of Schizophrenia, there is a significant risk of causing damage even during recreational use – the first time.

 

What percentage of addicts have mental health problems?

According to the NSDUH, around 45% of addicts have mental health problems.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Guide to State Tables and Summary of Small Area Estimation Methodology.”, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, 2019-2020.  https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt35341/2020NSDUHsaeMethodology112421/NSDUHsaeMethodology2020.pdf

 

Should one tell their psychiatrist about drug use?

If you believe you may be suffering from addiction and/or mental health issues, the first step in the right direction is to contact your local health professional. They will be able to assess your unique situation and give you the help you need. These things tend to get worse over time, never better. That’s why Alcoholics Anonymous calls Alcoholism / Addiction a progressive disease that gets worse over time. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Nobody wants to spend their life in a psychological hospital or jail cell.

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