Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Son with Schizoaffective Disorder and Substance Abuse


My son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, PTSD with a dual diagnosis. His drug of choice is pot. He is on an antipsychotic and mood stabilizer. Right now he is participating in an IOP, but still smoking regularly. A bit counterproductive, but I’m hoping he will be taking something from the program. I know the sessions are difficult and painful at times. His smoking has increased…how do we get past this. He says all he wants to do is smoke. I feel he is just going through the motions with this program…I also think he needs to be on an antidepressant maybe he won’t want to smoke as much…
Dr. Says if he stops smoking he may be less depressed, easier said than done.
He was 20 when symptoms began and he will be 23 in a few months. Also friends are starting to turn their backs on him which breaks my heart.


I’m sorry to hear that man. People do turn things around all the time. Finding out how to motivate them to do so is the key. Good luck man, it’s tough to advise on situations like these.


Thanks for your comment, I will keep trying to find something that will motivate him.


I have reached 65 years of age, but I didn’t expect to live to be 30.

By the time I was 23, I knew that I had a mental ilness and I knew that I didn’t hae much hope of a life unless I got off pot.

When Iwas 24, I joined AA, and that was realjy helpful

When I was a young man, like 23, I still was very interested in having girl friends. Also I wanted to know that there would always be coffee and tobacco somewhere accessible to me!

Incidentally, now I don’t smoke anything. I do well, I guess!



Thank you so much for your comments, it really gives me hope for my son :slight_smile:


@notmoses This would your area of specialty?



I’d be cagey about going that route, especially if his depression is more or less the result of Mary THC. Was he relatively excitable, driven, “Type A,” impulsive, hyper-reactive, maybe even manic before he got into his “girlfriend?” If he was, and the doc knows about that, he’s on the right track.

And I asked the question because sza is fairly often co-morbid with bipolar. And I do NOT recommend anti-D’s for a bipolar =unless= his downer is truly autonomic, and then only for three to six months.

Mary provides such a “compelling” distraction for the sza. Sigh. If he continues to be “in love,” he’s not likely to go anywhere meaningful with the sza, but he’ll stay “safely” lethargic. (Did he do any hallucinogens, btw? Any psychosis elsewhere in the genetic environs?)


My son 21 and is diagnosed with schizophrenia and addiction. Also has ADHD and a defiance disorder. His drug of choice is pot. I would agree with notmoses about being cautious on adding an antidepressant. My son thinks he is depressed however that is because normal feelings and reality are pretty mundane compared to being high, euphoric and his sz world.

It’s a vicious cycle and I wish I had the answer on how to make one realize they are not helping but hindering themselves. In the end the more he smokes the more depressed he will be when not high. The worse the sz symptoms will be. I have tried to work with medications so that he won’t want pot… The pull of addiction is stronger then that. For my son anyways he doesn’t use to self-medicate his sz symptoms. He uses because he is an addict.

I did once get my son to attend a program for addiction. He went to one or two meetings. He was getting nothing out of it since he doesn’t think he has a problem. I continued in the program for myself for counselling.


He was very impulsive and active as a child. Going from one activity to another.
Always kept very busy and craved immediate satisfaction…was an accomplished athlete until schz reared it’s ugly head. I think you are right about his gf being in the way of his recovery… Have you heard of Sarcosine or Nootropic drug?


I’m seeing that as well, he’s more depressed and agitated when he isn’t high. I believe he is an addict too, which makes this whole thing even more difficult…and frustrating.


Points to a considerable potential for something in the bipolar spectrum (see

I would take =all= this into consideration before I scripted anti-Ds. And if I did, would make sure I saw the pt every month.