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Sunday, January 10, 2010 Adam's mom, Community Member, asks

Q: Do people w/sz drive cars?

Hi Everyone,


My son has been in an RTC for 7 months. He is making progress, finishing school, relearning social skills, and they are getting his meds straightened out. I saw him for 8 days over Christmas and although there's still work to do, he is improving. He will return home in June and turn 18 in July. His break occurred right before his 16th birthday. Iwas wondering how many of you drive and how it is driving while on anti psychotics. He takes mostly Abillify, some resperdol, straterra, welbutrin and something that starts w/ a "c" that is supposed to help w/ side affects of Abillify if I have that right. We live in Southern, CA and there is not alot of public transportation. I also want him to have as much independence as possible, but of course do not want him to be a danger to himself or others. Just wondering what your experiences w/ driving have been.


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Answers (4)
Christina Bruni, Health Guide
1/12/10 10:08am



I obtained my driver's license when I was 18 and had been driving cars up until the time I turned 33 and sold my last car because I knew I would be living in the City.


Your son will just need to monitor whether the medications make him too drowsy to operate a car or heavy machinery or things like that.


However rest assured for 15 years I drove cars while taking 5 mg of Stelazine.  I haven't driven a car since 1998 and in the spring I might take driving lessons to brush up on my skills so I could drive to Woodstock or to other places on vacation.


When I was younger [about 19 or 20] I got in car accidents though.  The older I was, I had an excellent driving record and so was able to obtain car insurance through GEICO at the time when GEICO only took excellent drivers and not everybody in creation.


So I would say that driving would be possible for your son.


Best regards,

Christina Bruni

David Robbins, Community Member
1/10/10 3:53pm

The answer in a word if people with sza drive..yes! I love to drive.


I was 24 when my pdoc asked me if I drove. I said no. He said you are an American, get your license. I did and passed the road test the first try. 

Later on I drove pizza delivery and eventually drove taxi 12 hours a day.

Last year I drove to Oklahoma three times and once to Florida. Three years ago I drove cross country.


I currently take 5 meds. None of which affect my driving. I took Abilify awhile back with no affect on driving.


Of, course all meds affect others differently.


Take care,



Janet, Community Member
1/10/10 6:59pm

Yes I drive and even when I was hospitalized the first time for over 2 and one half months I was able to go back to driving without to much trouble. I do not drive on expressways but drive in enough areas to get me around. In fact my Mom seems to like me to do the driving whenever I can. Although I have had a few accidents I consider myself a safe driver.

kalvie, Community Member
1/14/10 3:03am

i drive, not very well though. i cant drive at night due to my antipsycotic zyprexia. but the only thing you should be worried about is substance abuse, not saying that that will be the problem with your son, it has been the problem with me and some friends of mine with schizophrenia. i have 5 DUI's and im not 21 yet, please watch your son ma'am. i worry about people i dont even know with schizophrenia.

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By Adam's mom, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 01/10/10