Schizophrenia is not a key factor behind violent crimes

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According to findings recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association violent crimes committed by patients with schizophrenia may be more prevalent when co-occurring substance abuse is an issue. In fact, according to Seena Fazel, M.D., of the University of Oxford in England, without co-occurring substance abuse the link between schizophrenia and violent crime is weak. The authors of the study reflected on previous guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association that suggested violence risk assessments for all patients with schizophrenia; they said, “…assessment and treatment for substance abuse comorbidity should be prioritized in individuals deemed at risk. The public perception of the dangerousness of psychiatric patients is pervasive and is a key factor in their stigmatization.” Click here to read an article from Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News that discusses the issue more.

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