Study Says Addiction May up Risk for Schizophrenia Later

A number of studies in the past have conclusively shown that substance abuse and schizophrenia share a close relationship. Adding to this body of research, a recent study presented at the International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, in October 2016, has claimed that the use of alcohol and other illicit substances is strongly associated with schizophrenia later in life.

The researchers examined huge data of the nationwide Danish registers and used several statistical techniques to arrive at their conclusion.

They found that substance abuse increases the risk of developing schizophrenia by six times. The respective risk factor for different substances, as found by the researchers, are:

• Cannabis increases the risk by 5.2 times.

• Alcohol increases the risk by 3.4 times.

• Sedatives raise the risk by 1.7 times.

• Hallucinogenic substances up the risk by 1.9 times.

• Amphetamines increase the risk by 1.24 times.

• Other substances by 2.8 times.

The researchers stated that any kind of substance abuse can up the probability of schizophrenia later. And the worst part is that the perils loom large even after 10 to 15 years of substance abuse diagnosis.

The researchers also observed that people who had a proclivity to develop schizophrenia were more likely to use substances and the chances were high for people to exhibit both the tendencies. However, they also noted that the relationship between substance abuse and schizophrenia is quite complex.

Parental dependence on substances ups risk for schizophrenia

Another study by the same team, led by Dr. Carsten Hjorthøj of the Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Center Copenhagen, probed the parental dependence on substances leading to schizophrenia.

The diagnosis was divided into two categories, one was before the birth of the offspring and the other after the child was born. They found that maternal cannabis abuse before the birth of the offspring raises the risk of schizophrenia by six times in the newborn. The risk remains more or less the same if diagnosed after the baby is born. When it came to paternal cannabis abuse, the risk factor compounded by 5.5 times, irrespective of the diagnosis made before or after childbirth.

A diagnosis of alcohol abuse in the mother before the birth of the child increased the chances of the baby developing schizophrenia by 5.6 times. However, the risk was only two times if the diagnosis was made after the birth of the child. With a paternal diagnosis of alcohol abuse, it was 4.4 times higher when the diagnosis was before birth and 1.8 times higher when it was done after the birth.

Even second-hand exposure to cannabis could lead to schizophrenia, as with other substances. But not so with alcohol as there is nothing like second-hand exposure in alcohol abuse, which predicts a lower risk of schizophrenia, especially after the birth of the child.

Mental conditions induced by substance abuse are quite common among people and the chance of a relapse is high too. For a permanent solution, it is desirable to treat both the conditions simultaneously as leaving one condition unattended would only be a futile endeavor.

Dealing with addiction

Substance abuse is a malady, not only because of its role in enhancing the risk for psychological disorders but because it can wreak havoc in many other ways. A person dependent on any substance fails to lead a normal life and finds himself in the midst of a quagmire. However, addiction is curable with timely intervention in a credible organization.

If you have a loved one grappling with an addiction, contact the Texas Drug Addiction Treatment to get assistance regarding the best drug addiction treatment centers in Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855–980–5757 for immediate assistance regarding comprehensive treatment and long-term recovery.