Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders cover a range of mental health disorders as outlined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Though separate and individual disorders, they share commonalities, including problems with:
- Disorganized thinking or speech
- Disorganized or abnormal movements
- Negative symptoms including less emotional expression, less movement, and less speech
Someone with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia will display symptoms in several or all of these areas.
A treatment center for schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders paired with substance abuse is important for helping people struggling with a dual diagnosis to heal. Drug or alcohol use on top of these disorders, or drug or alcohol use that triggers or modifies these disorders, needs to be treated carefully to prevent psychotic episodes and ensure overall safety. The staff at a rehabilitation center for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders combined with substance abuse will be trained in detoxification, medications and therapies ideal for individuals with this health history.
If you or someone you know is struggling with schizophrenia or another psychotic disorders, call us at 1-888-319-2606 Helpline Information . We can help you get the information you need in finding the right rehab and recovery center. Also, we are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Schizophrenia will include at least two symptoms listed above most of the time over a one month period. Additionally, continuous symptoms will be present for a 6-month duration. During this time, there will be functional problems in work, school, relationships, and self-care. Symptoms can fluctuate over time, but will consistently return in most cases.
Impacting only 0.2% of this population, this is an uncommon condition that presents as delusions that involve themes of love, jealousy, persecution, or grandiose ideas. Besides the delusions, most patients will continue to work and participate in everyday activities since the associated behaviors that are overtly odd.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is classified as a period of psychosis that is short, is not caused by other conditions, and doesn’t recur. It may have a sudden onset, and symptoms of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or catatonic behavior may be present. Only one symptom must be present for the diagnosis. Normally, symptoms last more than a day but less than a month.
This psychiatric diagnosis presents with recurring psychotic and abnormal mood episodes. This must last at least two weeks to be diagnosed as such. In this way, the diagnosis resembles schizophrenia paired with depressive and/or manic episodes. Delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized thinking, and significant issues with occupational or social life are normally present. Like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder can be severe enough to drastically impact someone’s life in negative ways.
Substance/ Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorder
This diagnosis implies that the onset of the psychotic symptoms, like hallucinations or delusions, were caused during or after intoxication. Additionally, the symptoms my present during withdrawal from the substance. The difference is that the person cannot identify the hallucinations or delusions as being a product of the substance and interpret the sensations in a different way.
Schizophreniform disorder is diagnosed when a person has the symptoms of schizophrenia for most of the time during a month, but they do not last long enough to be classified as schizophrenia (six months). A person with this disorder may still function, or the symptoms can be disruptive. The onset of this disorder is rapid, whereas the onset of schizophrenia may take a number of months to develop. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cannabis may be a casual factor in mental disorders, like schizophreniform disorders, which is experienced by approximately 9 percent of users who are addicted to marijuana.
Treat Substance Abuse and Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorder Simultaneously
Treating psychotic disorders on the schizophrenia spectrum is challenging enough alone. To complicate matters, substance use is a frequent concern for these individuals with rates of alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use being much higher than the general population.
It’s ideal to treat schizophrenia or psychotic disorder concurrently while treating the substance abuse issues. The best dual-diagnosis program will offer inpatient services, as this is the safest way for a dual-diagnosis patient to be treated if the need is present. Individuals will have 24-hour care, which is vital as they are tapered off drugs, alcohol or other medications.
The evaluator will have to take care in accurately assessing the needs of the person to note if the psychiatric or substance abuse issues require critical care before other treatment can proceed. A person that is experiencing high levels of psychotic symptoms will not be an ideal candidate for some substance abuse treatment.
If an individual is addicted to a substance, they will first complete detoxification. This process may take up to a few weeks as the substance is removed from the body, and when a patient has a psychotic disorder, doctors will have to also balance medications and symptoms to make sure the patient stays safe.
Once detoxification is complete, individuals will attend therapy therapy in an inpatient, residential, or outpatient setting, which can help them, in many cases, manage their mental health issues. It may also help those who are not currently experiencing psychosis to learn to avoid triggers and to take medications correctly. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is commonly used for those with psychotic disorders.
Antipsychotic medications are also frequently used to help patients maintain a level, healthy brain function and to return to a normal life by managing symptoms. Depending on the severity of an episode, addicted individuals may require extended periods of observation to have medication adjusted to the desired level.
“Once detoxification is complete, patients will attend therapy, which can help them, in many cases, manage their mental health issues.”If you or someone you know is looking for a treatment center for schizophrenia or psychotic disorders in combination with substance abuse, call us at 1-888-319-2606 Helpline Information . We can help you find the best dual-diagnosis center for your needs.
- Volkow, N. D. (n.d.). Substance Use Disorders in Schizophrenia—Clinical Implications of Comorbidity. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2669586/
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association