schizophrenia and addiction

Can Drug Abuse Cause Schizophrenia?

Can drug abuse cause schizophrenia? That depends on a lot of factors, including your family history and genetics. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders can be a cause and a symptom of addiction. Fortunately, there are many substance abuse treatment programs available that can support your addiction recovery in a safe and comfortable environment. 

At True Self Recovery, we welcome men and women from all walks of life who are struggling with addiction to cocaine, meth, heroin, and other lethal substances. Our team uses the latest treatment modalities that combine behavioral therapy and medical support with group and private therapy sessions run by a certified behavioral therapist. If you or a loved one is abusing drugs and ready for a positive change, call [Direct] or fill out our online form today for more information about our substance abuse treatment programs. 

Drug Abuse’s Effect on the Brain

Drugs and alcohol have a significant impact on the brain, especially for children and teens whose brains are still developing. The chemicals in drugs and alcohol attach themselves to cell receptors in your body and signal a massive release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter best known for causing happiness and euphoria. Dopamine also affects muscle control, memory retention, motivation, and higher cognitive thinking.

When you abuse drugs or alcohol, your body stops the natural production of dopamine and begins to rely on the substance of choice to release more. This means you will not be able to feel happiness and pleasure without more drugs until all of the toxins are cleansed from your body. If the abuse is long-term and you try to quit, you may experience the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Increasingly strong cravings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Stomach pain/cramps
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

These symptoms will persist for several days or longer as your body relearns how to function without drugs or alcohol. At True Self Recovery, we will discuss the correlation between drug abuse and schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders with you and answer any questions you have about addiction and the recovery experience. 

How Can Drug Abuse Cause Schizophrenia?

Can drug abuse cause schizophrenia? Drug abuse and schizophrenia and not directly related to each other, but men and women who abuse drugs and alcohol on a regular basis put themselves at a higher risk of developing schizophrenia or other mental health disorders. Can drug abuse cause schizophrenia? The answer is not a simple yes or no, as there are several factors that come into play.

Your DNA

Genetics plays a big role in how likely a person is to develop schizophrenia. You pass along the genetic markers for disorders such as addiction, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia down to children. If there is a family history of a specific illness, you will have a similar genetic makeup that makes it more likely you will suffer from the same disorder. 


Men and women who use drugs and alcohol to treat depression, PTSD, or other mental health disorders put themselves at risk of worsening their current condition. They wrongly assume that because they are only using a small amount, they are safe from addiction and the harm it causes. In reality, the longer they continue the abuse, the more likely they are to worsen their mental health symptoms and develop schizophrenia or other disorders. 

Environmental Factors

In addition to genetics playing a role, there are external factors that can lead a person to abuse drugs and alcohol. Peer pressure and the desire to fit in can cause children and teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol early on.  If the abuse continues, changes in the brain can become permanent and lead to schizophrenia or other mental health disorders.

Can drug abuse cause schizophrenia? In the right circumstances, drug abuse can lead to schizophrenia and other mental health disorders. The best way to prevent this is to stop the abuse and talk with a therapist to cope with the feelings or past experiences that are fueling the addiction. 

Find Help for Drug Abuse and Schizophrenia at True Self Recovery

At True Self Recovery, we are a full-service addiction treatment center with residential and outpatient treatment options to see you through every step of your recovery. During admissions, we will assess your physical and mental health along with the severity of the addiction to create a comprehensive treatment program. The types of therapy we offer include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Holistic therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Community reinforcement and family training
  • Life skills training

To discover all of the benefits of our substance abuse treatment programs, contact True Self Recovery at (888) 596-2608 today to speak with our friendly team. 

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At True Self Recovery in Arkansas, we offer free insurance verification for our clients who feel they need some help. When you contact us, we will carry out the thorough analysis of your addiction problem, and then recommend a workable Aetna drug treatment program. Next, we will contact your insurance provider on your behalf and verify your benefits. We will also let you know if you will be responsible for any out-of-pocket expense not covered under your plan.

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