Co-occurring disorders, such as addiction and mental health disorders, are often treated simultaneously at numerous treatment facilities across the United States. Common mental health disorders treated at these facilities include depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more. Understanding how addiction and co-occurring disorders affect each other can give individuals a better idea of what they are going through and what treatment will look like. Here is the connection between schizophrenia and addiction.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes people to have trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. The disorder affects how the person behaves, feels, and thinks. Schizophrenia is commonly diagnosed after an episode of psychosis. Common symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, reduced pleasure in life, problems making decisions, and problems focusing. It can be treated using various medications and therapies.

Connection to Addiction

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), nearly 50% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia also have a history of substance abuse. Studies have shown that many individuals struggling with schizophrenia often use alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, and cocaine to help cope with symptoms. Addiction can form over time as the person continues self-medicating with these substances

Those that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and abuse drugs and alcohol have been found to have a higher risk of cognitive impairment, experience more severe cases of psychosis, and have more emergency room visits. 

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Treating schizophrenia and addiction is often done simultaneously to give the person the best chance at healing without recurring symptoms. Over time, the person will learn how to cope with symptoms, cravings, and negative emotions to maintain their sobriety. Treatment can take many forms, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medication management
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Life skills training
  • Substance refusal skills training
  • Family education and involvement

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.


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Healing on Your Terms

You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.