Approximately 50 percent of those who suffer from schizophrenia are also struggling with substance abuse. This is a staggering statistic. Schizophrenia symptoms, when compared to those of substance abusers, are often very similar, making it challenging to appropriately diagnose those who are suffering from the disorder from those who are high. For anyone who has schizophrenia, the use of drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana becomes a trigger that increases the intensity and severity of the psychological symptoms of the disease.

A chronic brain disorder, schizophrenia is believed to only affect a small portion of the U.S. population, approximately less than 1 percent. Those who suffer from this disorder can experience delusions, hallucinations, difficulty concentrating, as well as decreased motivation. The good news for schizophrenics is that treatment options can help minimize and manage symptoms. Certain illicit substance use, however, can trigger very bad reactions for schizophrenics. 

Research Between Schizophrenia And Substance Abuse

It is unknown what the exact correlation for schizophrenia and the high frequency of drug abuse is for sure. It is widely believed that some sufferers will use drugs or alcohol to help numb unpleasant symptoms of the disease. Others will experience negative side effects from their medications meant to treat the disease and believe that the use of drugs or alcohol helps. Still, there is also the theory that some individuals are predisposed to have a psychological disorder in combination with being high-risk for substance abuse at the same time.  

Substance Use

Schizophrenics will most often be addicted to nicotine. The rate is so high, it is estimated to be more than three times as high as that of the smoking population of the entire United States. In 2017, there were over 34 million individuals in the country that smoke cigarettes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Interestingly enough, smokers who also had schizophrenia increased their likelihood that they would experience intense symptoms of their disease. Additionally, smoking has been shown to cause disruption in the antipsychotic medications these sufferers take to control the disease. As a result, they need much higher doses of these medications.


When an individual suffering from schizophrenia is also suffering from a substance abuse problem, both issues must be addressed and appropriately treated for the best chances for successful outcomes. The chances for relapse becomes much higher when one only looks to treat the substance abuse problem without addressing the mental health issue. Conversely, treatment for only the mental health issue and not the substance abuse problem a person faces may result in the patient stopping the mental health treatment plan they are on.

Drug And Alcohol Alternative Treatment Center In Tennessee

Substance Abuse As A Trigger For Schizophrenia It is difficult enough to deal with a mental disease or a substance abuse problem individually even when only one exists. When more than one issue persists in a person’s life, the co-dependency each issue has on the other can cause a disastrous spiral downward at a fast pace. The best way to stop the diseases from getting out of hand is to seek and obtain treatment. The medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place will look at all the aspects affecting a person’s behavior and develop a plan to address each issue. Our center is located in the idyllic rolling hills of Tennessee which offers a soothing and serene environment to heal and recover.   

Discovery Place’s  Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center’s team is here for you  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time. Call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center at 1-800-725-0922 to get the answers you need and the help you deserve.



  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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