Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness in which persons are unable to interpret reality. Moreover, various mental or psychotic conditions are also developed in this disorder. Furthermore, persons suffering from schizophrenia can also experience various other mental abnormalities. The onset of schizophrenic symptoms is based on a combination of genetic, environmental, and various physiological factors. Furthermore, the rate of drug-induced schizophrenia is greater as compared to other factors. However, read this article to understand better how can drugs cause schizophrenia. You will be completely aware of all drug-induced schizophrenia factors.
Schizophrenia is one of the chronic brain disorders that alters the perceptions of thoughts and emotions. Affected persons are unable to maintain the balance between reality and the imaginary world. They face difficulty in the effective interpretation of the signals generated by external stimuli. Schizophrenia directs the mind to the confused states, so affected persons can not determine what they are experiencing and what is the actual reality. In most cases, schizophrenia can result the psychosis. A schizophrenic person experiences complications in regulating the varied life aspects. Moreover, approximately 24 million people suffer from schizophrenic disorder in their life stages. Furthermore, schizophrenic symptoms appear in 3.2 million Americans. However, their rate of occurrence is rapidly increasing due to several environmental factors.
Common symptoms of Schizophrenia
Due to overlapping symptoms, it is very difficult to identify the actual symptoms of schizophrenia. However, if the individuals in your close circle are aware of the diagnostic symptoms, then they can better identify them.
The most common symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Trouble in speaking
- Unusual and involuntary body movements
- Disorganized thinking
- Loss of facial expressions
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of concentration and focus
Misdiagnosis of Schizophrenia
However, persons suffering from schizophrenia misdiagnose their current situation and move towards the incorrect pathways. They consider themselves possessed or paranoid. They don’t focus on their life and suffer from anxiety and depression. To relieve their stress, they start taking alcohol and drugs.
Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia
These are the two distinguished medical terms. Both belong to two different groups of symptoms.
Positive Symptoms: Some symptoms of schizophrenia are considered positive which include disorganized perceptions, thoughts, hallucinations, and paranoia.
Negative Symptoms: In addition, negative symptoms of schizophrenia include difficulty in speech, showing diverse facial expressions or actions, etc.
Causes of Schizophrenia
Although the exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, some common causes of schizophrenia are as follows:
Environmental causes of schizophrenia
Numerous environmental factors can develop schizophrenia. One of the leading causes of schizophrenia is environmental stress. Moreover, various infectious organisms present in your surroundings can also cause the onset of this disease. Environmental factors can also develop schizophrenia symptoms in developing fetuses during pregnancy. Furthermore, different autoimmune diseases also play an important role in this disease.
Schizophrenia is one of those medical disorders that run in families. Most of the females are also affected by these disorders during their pregnancy stages. Stress can cause the onset of schizophrenia. Likewise, the occurrence is also increased after the pregnancy stages. Moreover, a single genetic factor is not involved in causing the onset of this disease. Multiple genetic variations are responsible for the onset of this disease. Furthermore, the occurrence of this disorder is also greater in identical twins. If one twin is affected by schizophrenia, then there is more likelihood of another twin to suffer. Due to similar genetic makeup, both twins can develop the disease, although raised in different environments. Likewise, the impact of genetic factors in causing this disease is also similar in non-identical twins. The presence of genetic factors in affected persons answers the question can drugs cause schizophrenia.
Can you get schizophrenia from drugs?
Excessive intake of drugs in the body can elevate the risk of developing schizophrenia. However, the rate of occurrence is higher in the teenage years. On the other hand, the rate of drug-induced schizophrenia is quite different in each individual. Drugs or medications that can induce psychotic disorders can also cause schizophrenia.
Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
If we talk about the diagnostic tests for schizophrenia, then there are numerous ones. However, the most common laboratory tests include:
- Comprehensive metabolic panel
- Brain MRI
- Complete Blood Count
- PET Scan
- Drug screening test
- Urine screening test
Difference between Drug-induced Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Both schizophrenia and drug-induced psychosis are distinct. However, symptoms of both conditions exhibit greater resemblance. But the major difference lies in their lifespan. The extent of the duration of schizophrenia is more as compared to drug-induced psychosis. Schizophrenia can last for six months or more. Some people only exhibit psychosis having a smaller duration. However, if the person is already affected by schizophrenia, the extent of severity can increase accordingly.
Brain abnormalities in schizophrenia
Several studies have indicated that numerous changes occur in the brains of individuals affected with schizophrenia. Various structural and functional changes occur in the brain development. However major differences occur in the following regions of the brain:
- Frontal lobe
- Temporal lobe
Memory formation, judgment, and Different vital functions can altered due to abnormalities in the frontal lobe of the brain.
Furthermore, emotions, thoughts, and memory processing get altered due to undesired changes in the temporal lobe. Moreover, the processing of sensory information is also affected in affected persons. This occurs due to the reduction in the size of the hypothalamus that occurs in affected individuals with time.
Increased Rate of Brain Aging
Various aging mechanisms get started when the person gets older. The brain gets exposed to the inevitable aging process. The most prominent changes that occur in the brain include the shrinkage of the brain. Moreover, the coordination between neurons is also disrupted. Various appropriate pathways of information processing are also affected due to reduced blood flow to brain cells. However, people suffering from schizophrenia experience rapid brain aging. The brains of the schizophrenic patients appeared to be around 3.5 years older as compared to the nonaffected individuals.
What drugs cause schizophrenia
Drug-induced schizophrenia is common. Moreover, the most common drugs that can develop schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like symptoms include:
Cocaine and Schizophrenia
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can exhibit adverse health symptoms. Excessive use of cocaine can lead to schizophrenia. Various studies have reported that most of the patients suffering from schizophrenia have a history of taking cocaine within a year. Cocaine abuse can cause a reduction in dopamine levels. Moreover, it can cause the blockage of serotonin reuptake inhibitors and dopamine presynaptic structures. The occurrence of schizophrenia in persons who take cocaine is higher as compared to healthy persons. Moreover, if the cocaine use is extended for a longer period, various schizophrenia complications can occur.
However, excessive use of this drug can also cause the overproduction of dopamine hormones. This can exert a negative impact on the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and other parts of the brain. Furthermore, cocaine can interrupt the normal functioning pathways of the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
Can drugs cause paranoid schizophrenia?
Paranoia is a medical condition that involves disrupted behavior patterns in an individual. People suffering from this condition remain suspicious and show a lack of trust toward others. Moreover, the most common symptoms of paranoia involve hallucinations and delusions. Primarily, different studies have reported that abuse of cannabis can cause paranoid schizophrenia. Misuse of this drug can worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia. An affected person can experience severe hallucinations and dizziness. However, various studies reported that this drug is not directly linked with the onset of this disease.
Can street drugs cause schizophrenia?
Yes. Different street drugs are responsible for developing schizophrenia symptoms. Recent studies have suggested that half of the American adults suffering from schizophrenia are also diagnosed with alcohol or any addictive drug abuse. Approximately, 26% of the schizophrenia symptoms appeared in the body after the intake of street drugs. Cocaine, cannabis, and methamphetamine can cause schizophrenia and various other mental disorders. Among all, cannabis is under the limelight due to its strong association with the onset of schizophrenia. The prevalence of this disorder is rapidly increasing due to the current modified forms of street drugs.
Can you get schizophrenia from drugs?
A large number of drugs or addictive substances can cause drug-induced schizophrenia which is as follows:
Cannabis and Schizophrenia
Cannabis is also named as marijuana. This drug is developed from the extractions of cannabis plants. This drug is extensively used for various recreational purposes. Cannabis drugs can trigger the symptoms of schizophrenia. Moreover, this drug can also elevate the symptoms of other medical disorders. However, the diagnosis of schizophrenia caused by cannabis can occur at early life stages. In addition, the risk of schizophrenia doubles in teenagers due to excessive use of cocaine. Persons suffering from psychosis should avoid the intake of cannabis. This drug can also elevate the ratio of psychosis along with the occurrence of schizophrenia.
THC in cannabis
The THC levels in cannabis are directly linked with the severity of the disorder. THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a major psychoactive compound that is present in the cannabis drug. THC specifically functions in producing a high sensation. Although THC can treat pain, fatigue, or insomnia, can also cause the onset of schizophrenia. The greater the THC quantity in cannabis, the more worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Hallucinogens and Schizophrenia
The link between hallucinogens and schizophrenia also makes the concept evident that can drugs cause schizophrenia. Hallucinogens are specifically involved in the development of hallucinations. Different psychotic disorders can be easily identified by developing hallucinations. Moreover, one of the potential symptoms of schizophrenia is the hallucination.
Various hallucinogenic drugs induce similar schizophrenia-like symptoms by binding with the 5-HT2A receptors. These receptors belong to the serotonin receptor family and play a significant role in cognitive and learning behavior. However, hallucinogens aren’t directly involved in the development of actual hallucinations. In contrast, they produced the effect of pseudo hallucination which involves the alterations in the perceptions. Moreover, each person responds differently to different environmental stimuli.
The most common hallucinogens involve:
- Lysergic acid diethylamide
Effects of Hallucinogens
After taking hallucinogens or hallucinogenic drugs, a person experiences the following symptoms.
- Seeing vivid colours
- Sense of exhilaration
- Intense attention
- Paranoid delusions
Furthermore, the persons suffering from schizophrenia reported the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in thought processing
- Complications in-memory processing
- Mood disorders
- Blurred thoughts
- Intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness
Amphetamines and Schizophrenia
Just like other drugs, amphetamines can also trigger the symptoms of schizophrenia. According to a recent survey by the US National Institute of Drug Abuse, more than five million people are taking an excessive amount of amphetamines. They are stimulant drugs and their major role is the rapid processing of information between the neurons. Due to amphetamine abuse, interneurons move rapidly and direct the person into a more excited state. Despite this drug toxicity, most of the people take it during their normal routine. As it makes the person alert, most of the students take this drug to wake up during their test preparation. Likewise, some people take them to avoid sleep and stay active on the job.
Toxic Health Effects of Amphetamine
Excessive amounts of amphetamine can pose serious health risks which include:
- Mild to severe seizures
- Cardiac arrest
- Coma or death in severe cases
The link between Amphetamine and Schizophrenia
Various studies don’t support the fact that amphetamine is directly involved in causing schizophrenia. However, the majority of the research supports the fact that amphetamines induce psychosis. Amhetamine-induced psychosis has symptoms similar to schizophrenia. Moreover, excessive intake of amphetamine can also induce anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and various other mental disorders. However, stress or anxiety is also treated by amphetamines. Most of the medical treatments involve their use. In contrast, their abuse should be avoided to prevent any lethal consequences.
Anxiolytics and Schizophrenia
Anxiolytics are the anti-medications. They have a role in causing drug-induced psychosis which in turn can develop into schizophrenia. Approximately 65% of the schizophrenic patients suffered from anxiety. Moreover, the occurrence of anxiety and depression in schizophrenia patients is around 40%. However, it is quite difficult to distinguish the symptoms of anxiety and schizophrenia. The positive effects of the anti-anxiety medications take a few days to occur.
Is drug-induced schizophrenia permanent?
The adverse effects of drug-induced schizophrenia are not permanent. With effective treatment, you can recover. However, the duration of recovery varies based on the severity. Most of the people recovered within a few days. While some experience the symptoms that last for weeks. If the schizophrenia patient also consumes alcohol or any additional drugs, symptoms can get worse.
What drugs cause schizophrenia-like symptoms?
Due to the resemblance of symptoms with schizophrenia, some disorders are misdiagnosed as schizophrenia which include:
- Delusional disorder
- Schizoaffective disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Schizophreniform disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
Some brain tumors may cause psychotic symptoms that seem like schizophrenia. Likewise, people having traumatic brain injury might develop symptoms such as psychosis. Doctors often use tests like CT scans to figure out whether a person has a brain tumor or brain injury as opposed to a mental illness like schizophrenia. Furthermore, different brain tumors can also develop schizophrenia-like symptoms. Likewise, different psychotic symptoms that exhibit resemblance to schizophrenia symptoms can also occur.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
Schizophrenic patients are usually treated with medications and different therapies such as:
Different physicians have their concepts regarding the dosages of medicines. Each dosage acts differently in the body. However, the most widely used medications include:
Antipsychotic medications play a significant role in regulating the symptoms of schizophrenia. However, different dosages exert different types of improvements. Antipsychotic symptoms initially work to reduce the symptoms of delusions and hallucinations. The most common types of antipsychotic drugs include:
Atypical Antipsychotics are also recommended by various physicians. They can reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. Furthermore, they cause fewer side effects. The most common atypical antipsychotics include:
The typical antipsychotics are also effective in treating schizophrenia. However, they can also exhibit short or long-term side effects. Most of the physicians also suggest typical antipsychotics when other medications are not effective.
The most commonly used typical Antipsychotics include:
As schizophrenia patients suffer from anxiety and depression, most of the common antidepressants include:
In addition, different mood stabilizers are also recommended. They can effectively treat various schizophrenic symptoms. They are also responsible for maintaining mood and behavior. Some common mood stabilizers include:
Treatment of schizophrenia involves some renowned therapies which are as follows:
This therapy involves the application of electric current to certain regions of the brain. The generated electric impulses significantly function to lessen the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Schizophrenic patients always require effective guidance and support to deal with the symptoms. Therapists can diagnose the symptoms and guide the patients to cope with the stress.
Other than behavioral therapy, family therapy is also effective in overcoming the symptoms of schizophrenia. Family members better understand each other and can help to identify the trigger factors of the disorder.
Social skills training
Persons suffering from this disorder are unable to engage in different social activities. However, with effective social skills training, they can better adapt to social environment.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that comprises diversified symptoms. Persons suffering from this disorder usually face a lack of motivation and interest. Moreover, hallucinations and delusions occur when the condition gets severe. Various factors including environmental, genetic, and physiological can cause the development of this disorder. Among environmental factors, drug-induced schizophrenia is more common. After reading this article, you will be able to know that can drugs cause schizophrenia or not. Moreover, you will also get knowledge regarding what drugs cause schizophrenia. Renewed Mental Health Group is the top-notch platform that provides the best treatment services for drug-induced schizophrenia.