Schizophrenia can be an extremely challenging condition to live with, and this is even more so when it is co-occurring with substance abuse and addiction. The symptoms of schizophrenia can cause someone to lose touch with reality, and using drugs or alcohol is, unfortunately, a common way that those with schizophrenia cope with the struggles of this condition. Finding competent, dual diagnosis treatment can be a critical part of recovering from schizophrenia in the presence of substance use disorders.
What Is Schizophrenia Treatment?
Schizophrenia is characterized by dissociation and disconnection from reality. This can include intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, and paranoid delusions. Treatment for schizophrenia very often requires medications and psychiatric care to reduce the perceptual distortions that this condition causes. Aside from medications, there are also other techniques that can be effective. These can include certain therapies, mindfulness practices, and fitness therapies.
While the exact numbers may vary between studies, there is certainly a connection between schizophrenia and substance abuse disorders. Depending on the study, it has been found that between 47% to over 50% of people with schizophrenia in the US also suffer from substance use or alcohol use disorders. The high co-occurrence indicates that there may be a strong correlation between these conditions and that effective treatment requires treating both conditions simultaneously. 1, 2, 3
Importance of Treatment
Finding the right kind of competent and compassionate care can be crucial if someone hopes to achieve long term recovery. Because schizophrenia and drug or alcohol withdrawal may exhibit some similar symptoms, having a clearly defined diagnosis is extremely important. Attending treatment for only one condition or the other, either mental health or substance abuse can be ineffective. Most mental health treatment programs may minimize or overlook the impact that substance abuse has on mental health. This can be true for substance abuse only treatment centers, as they may misdiagnose or overlook the symptoms of schizophrenia, assuming they are related to withdrawal. Finding a knowledgeable and experienced dual diagnosis treatment center can make all the difference when someone is struggling with these two conditions.
We believe that taking a measured, and compassionate approach to dual diagnosis treatment can produce the best possible outcome. We utilize the most effective medications and psychiatric care as well as clinical therapy and holistic treatment techniques. Our experience tells us that the more tools that someone has to aid in their mental health and substance abuse recovery, the better their chances for long-term recovery and a positive outcome. In this regard, we try to provide the most comprehensive treatment plan possible.
Types of Treatment
The Summit Wellness Group offers several different treatment programs, all of which are dual diagnosis. We use a range of different techniques to provide the most comprehensive care possible. Just a few of these treatment techniques include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Chiropractic Care and Yoga
- Massage Therapy
- Mindfulness and Meditation Practices
- Adventure Therapy
We have different treatment models that can suit any schedule. These programs offer well-rounded, dual diagnosis treatment and care while also remaining flexible enough to fit any schedule.
- Sober Living: This is a residential, recovery-friendly living unit that provides a safe, healthy place to live while undergoing treatment.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): This is a comprehensive, 30 hour per week treatment program. Clients are able to attend daily groups while also returning to their own home each night.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): This is the most flexible program model as it is 9 hours per week, with groups during the day or evening; whichever is most accessible for the individual client.
Studies have shown that people with a dual diagnosis of schizophrenia and substance abuse disorder seem to benefit most from an integrated therapy approach. Receiving treatment for one condition or the other, and not both conditions simultaneously, can end up being ineffective at best. The treatment program with the highest chances of achieving successful, long-term recovery in someone with co-occurring schizophrenia and substance use disorder is one that addresses both of these challenges at the same time. 3, 4
- Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences: Comorbid Substance Use Disorder in Schizophrenia – A Selective Overview of Neurobiological and Cognitive Underpinnings
- Psychiatry Journal: Impact of Substance Use Disorder on Presentation and Short-Term Course of Schizophrenia
- European Addiction Research: Treatment for Outpatients with Comorbid Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorders – A Review
- Journal of Psychiatric Practice: Improving the Care of Individuals with Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorders: Consensus Recommendations