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"How Stimulants Can Potentially Cause Schizophrenia and Other Mental Illnesses"

My name is Candice Ballinger and I am a published author and poet. I love writing poetry of all kinds.


Drug-Induced Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a very serious and debilitating mental illness, it features a complete break from your reality. Symptoms include:

Positive Symptoms: Deviant symptoms, that are present but are supposed to be absent, indicating the patient has lost touch with reality.

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Disorganized Behavior and Speech
  • Paranoia
  • Psychotic Symptoms

Negative Symptoms: Deficit Symptoms, reflect the absence of normal characteristics.

  • Anhedonia
  • Blunted Affect
  • Apathy
  • Poverty of Speech

Cognitive Symptoms: reflect the patient's ability to communicate, as well as poor decision-making skills, and poor-problem-solving skills, and their strange behavior.

  • Thought Disorders
  • Bizarre Behavior

The use of certain prescriptions and/or drugs can trigger symptoms of schizophrenia. And the use of some drugs can also cause psychosis symptoms.

Drug-induced schizophrenia doesn't last like the mental health disorder. No, it's actually a miserable but temporary state that the person has to go through. However, the long-term use of drugs can lead to this very severe mental health disorder causing it to develop and never go away, always having to deal with the symptoms that come with it.


" Substance Abuse Leads to Mental Illness"

How Mental Illness Can be Developed from Substance Abuse

There's a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry that addresses this issue. It states that about one-third of patients with drug-induced psychosis eventually developed mental illnesses of some kind.

It is well known that having an underlying mental health disorder can become a major risk factor for developing a substance abuse disorder. And this study concludes that a high number of addicts developed a psychotic disorder resulting from substance abuse.

This happens most often with people who abuse cannabis and then later have a psychotic break. After the initial event, 50% of the people ended up with sustained mental illness, states The British Journal of Psychiatry. Young male marijuana users were at the highest risk for developing mental illness.

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"Stimulant Medications and Methamphetamine Abuse Leads to Mental Illness"

The Brain on Meth

Meth is a man-made central nervous system stimulant. The mechanism action of meth is a lot similar to other stimulant drugs in that large releases of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine lead to very strong and powerful euphoric effects.

Long-term meth users can develop problems with memory loss, verbal skills, and could possibly develop Parkinson's disease. Brain damage from meth use can possibly be permanent. In 2004, a study by Dr. Paul Thompson, at the University of California, Los Angelos, showed the brain's center for making newer memories, lost 8% of its tissue. That is similar to that of someone with early Alzheimer's.


Schizophrenics Using Drugs

Schizophrenics and Substance Abuse

I have found that substance abuse is so much higher among those who have schizophrenia. In 2003, Pencer & Addington suggested that up to 60% of schizophrenics use illicit drugs. Schizophrenic symptoms usually improve with the use of certain tranquilizers, most tend to abuse stimulants more often than not, while some abuse other drugs, such as:

  • hallucinogenics
  • marijuana
  • opiates

Schizophrenics Using Stimulants

The overall use of stimulants can often worsen schizophrenic symptoms, resulting in psychosis and other psychotic symptoms, and can sometimes cause feelings of depersonalization.

Schizophrenics Using Alcohol

Alcohol has to be one of the most used substances among schizophrenics. And studies have shown that alcohol is a transparent predictor of suicide and violence in those with schizophrenia. Symptoms may worsen from alcohol abuse, especially if used excessively causing withdrawal. When they are withdrawing from alcohol some psychotic symptoms could be experienced sometimes by people who in fact don't have schizophrenia.

Schizophrenics Using Marijuana

Just like alcohol, marijuana is highly used among those who have schizophrenia. And it can be concerning because the use of marijuana has been associated with the early age of symptom onset. Marijuana can also cause psychosis.

SAMHSA's National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP(4357)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Candice Yates

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