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Schizophrenia and Opium Use

Schizophrenia and Opium UseSchizophrenia is considered a life-long condition. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it can be managed through a comprehensive supportive program. This program would include medication, psychotherapy, life skills training and ongoing supportive care. Schizophrenia affects more men than women and often appears in the late teens and twenties. At such an age, many people are not prepared to commit to a life-long regime and turn to destructive solutions, such as alcohol or drug abuse, in an attempt to relieve their symptoms. However, this strategy is counterproductive for a schizophrenic and often leads to loss of employment, homelessness and a greater risk for harm.

Opium is not a prescribed medication; however, it is the source for morphine and codeine, both of which are used either alone or with other components in many medications. In addition, heroin is derived from opium.

Opium Abuse Effects

People who struggle with schizophrenia may turn to opium or heroin because these drugs can provide pleasurable effects, including the following:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Numbness from pain
  • Alleviation of anxieties

However, people who have become tolerant to the pleasurable effects and who seek to maintain them often become addicted. Opium addiction does have negative effects, including the following:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Impaired mental abilities
  • Decreased sexual urge
  • Vision impairment
  • Abnormal mood swings
  • Excessive urination

These physical and psychological problems greatly affect a person’s daily activities, and if that person also has schizophrenia, these effects may lead to depression or anxiety. Excessive use can even lead to coma or death.

Effective Treatment for Opium Abuse and Mental Health Issues

When a person has both schizophrenia and an opium abuse issue, an effective treatment approach for these co-occurring conditions is an integrated treatment plan. The key to an integrated treatment plan is the fact that the treatment for the mental health issue is seamlessly combined with the treatment for the substance abuse.

An integrated treatment plan is designed to respond to both conditions, regardless of which condition is more prevalent in the person’s life. One of the key benefits of an integrated treatment plan is that it is carefully monitored and regularly adjusted to match a person’s progress through the program. As a person achieves success at one level of treatment, the plan is modified to enable the person to continue progressing.

For people with schizophrenia, it is important that they understand the need to maintain a structured life that includes the proper management of the appropriate medication, as well as a lifestyle that assists them in managing their symptoms effectively. An integrated treatment program includes services to meet this need by providing psychotherapy, life skills training and nutritional and fitness education. In addition, an integrated treatment program works with the individual to develop a network of support services in the community so that the schizophrenic has resources in his or her everyday life.

Get Help for Opium Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Schizophrenia is a complex mental health disorder that is often treated with a variety of medications. However, if you are schizophrenic and have an addiction issue, integrated treatment is a viable option for you. Please call our toll-free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about co-occurring disorder treatment programs. We are here to help.