Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness, one that often leads to substance abuse as the sufferer attempts to self medicate and make the symptoms of the mental illness go away. Someone who suffers from schizophrenia can have a variety of symptoms, depending on the severity of their condition, and current medications that they are on, and any substance abuse that they are engaging in. In severe cases the individual may have hallucinations and delusions, and a psychotic break or complete catatonia is possible when this condition becomes severe. Schizophrenics who go off their medications may become aggressive or even violent at times, and their perception of reality may not be normal. If you or someone you know has this mental illness and a substance abuse problem then a dual diagnosis is needed for a full recovery.
One of the biggest problems with schizophrenia and substance abuse is that it may be very difficult to determine which of these problems are causing each one of your symptoms. The treatment available for schizophrenia today is much different than it was in the past, and catatonia used to occur in roughly 33% of patients but today that number is much smaller. Substance abuse can actually make the symptoms of this mental disorder worse, and cause the patient to become violent or aggressive in a small percentage of patients. If you have been given a dual diagnosis it is critical that you choose a treatment program and facility that can treat both disorders effectively at the same time for the best results.