Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Drug addiction and schizophrenia

My son is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is almost compulsive about taking any medications and drugs other than his prescriptions. He leaves his care homes (too numerous to count) to do street drugs. He steals my medication and takes 9 or 10 pills at a time He claims he has back pain to get pain medication. He has been to prison, drug rehab, group homes, and has had his own apartment. Does anyone else have a relative who is mentally ill and a drug addict? This has been going on for 17 years. Thank you for any advice.

Good Morning J-
Yes, we too have watched our son struggle with SZA and drug addiction- pot ,coke, crack, ecstasy, heroine…even abused his prescribed meds. Though I don’t have advice I can share -The rollercoaster has brought us as a family to some very dark places so I understand where you are coming from. Our battle has gone in for close to 6 years with the drugs and only 4 of a real diagnosis-
He has lived in similar situations , and presently he is back at home successfully working a program - sober for two months!
Gaining a bit if onsite and talking more about when his meds are not working… the system is broken and there is almost no support for those with dual diagnosis- we did a lot of kicking out of the house and if you want to live this type of life then be our guest… at one point he was living under a bridge…
our walk side by side with our loved ones through this hell is isolating at times but I continue to keep faith, set boundaries of what is acceptable and what isn’t, accept the rough days and try to improve my communication each day by listening with an open heart even when behaviors/ delusions are so far out …
. We have joined NAMI support groups, read books , articles , videos to see if anyone has any advice/ solutions and sadly I’ve only found strength in knowing we are not alone, there is hope in every day and that it’s OK to take care of ourselves too. 17 years is a heavy burden, I pray that you find peace among the chaos of our loved ones existence, to feed your our soul-

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and for your prayers. Good for your son for working a program! Yes, it helps to know you’re not alone, because sometimes it really feels like it. I will pray for your and your family as well.

yup my mother before she was was diagnosed with schizophrenia had a major back surgery and was addicted to her pain medication so for at least five years she was on a constant high from it and went through several withdraws at the end of the month when she ran out, we got her off of that medication but she soon developed schizophrenia and got her some help but she broke her foot in the psychiatric hospital and now is on that same medication she was addicted to years ago and still gets off of her anti-psychotic meds aswell. i understand partially what your going through and its very hard and hurtful. i cant give you much advice but i can feel for what youre going through and it sucks but you can get through this! NAMI support groups are really helpful to just feel normal, i hope you can feel comfort as you have this heavy burden on your shoulders.

You are so correct: hard, hurtful, and heartbreaking. My son has very little insight into any of this. Thank you for your kind response and encouragement. I’m wishing better days for you and your family.

My neighbors brother and family are all addicted to alcohol and drugs. I’ve seen him on a high and there is nothing you can to do to stop him. He just wants more and stops at nothing to get what he wants. Stealing, threatening, scary! He drinks beer like water and takes pills, smokes, speed. He has passed out, gone into convulsions, dehydrated, delusional has almost died twice.
One time he was so close to death, we thought it was the end.
Then he made a turn in the right direction, he has been better, going to his appts., taking his meds, functional at home, helpful to the neighbor (who had given him another chance)
Anything is possible, we pray, we hope and we pray some more…AnnieNorCal


Hi im new here but I can relate to your story I have a daughter who is 35 this month.I believe that we have it even harder My daughter is a drug user + scitzophenic so its twofold. My daughters choice if drugs is the worst drug available. She us very bad if she has money + I worry if shes taking the drug + not her meds or taking her meds + using drugs at the same time recipe for tragedy!! She also tells me so many lies its hard to know whats true or nit true. And I often wonder did she get her illnesses from drug taking or has she inherited the illnesses ?? So confused I just got out of hospital with severe anxiety over so much worry about her. Its so exhausting I feel for you cheers ps The drug taking has been going on for 7 years scitzophrenia diagnosed in 2017

Mine was addicted to heroin and meth. Thankfully he has been clean for 4 years