Columbia University Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
May 20, 2009

Because of the role of substance abuse in violence among schizophrenia patients, prevention is key, commented Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

In this population, substance abuse remains common -- 30% to 40% abuse alcohol and roughly 10% to 15% abuse drugs -- and treatment programs have shown little success thus far, he said in an interview here at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

"Efforts to prevent people with schizophrenia from using drugs of abuse are very important both to help them stay away from detrimental effects and to protect society from the potential for violence," Dr. Lieberman said.

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