Narcotics have an irreversible effect on the brains of people already suffering from mental illness, finds a Montreal researcher.

Dr. Stephane Potvin of the Universitie de Montreal discovered some 33 to 50 percent of psychiatric patients also suffer from drug addiction. His study suggests that drug consumption leads to the deterioration of the cerebral structures.

Moreover, research has shown that people suffering from mental illness, and more specifically schizophrenia, are more sensitive to the effects of drugs.

“They become dependent more quickly and they tend to abuse drugs more easily. It is evident that drug use can worsen the symptoms of mental disease,” says Dr. Potvin.

“The odds that a mental disorder manifests itself in an individual can increase if he or she consumes drugs.”

Potvin is also interested in the support that people suffering from mental illness and drug dependence receive.

Typically resources aren’t the same for both and detoxification centers have a very different approach than centers devoted to those suffering from mental disease.

To rectify this dilemma, Potvin calls for an integrated treatment approach for those suffering mental disease and drug abuse.

Source: University of Montreal