Drug-Induced Psychosis

by cadabamshospital

03 November,2020 | Reading Time: 5 minutes

An excessive intake of drugs, alcohol, or both can cause someone to enter a state of psychosis, known as drug-induced psychosis. Drug addiction refers to the obsessive use of high amounts of drugs and withdrawal symptoms can appear when the person is not using drugs.

Drug abuse not only affects the people who take it but also the ones around them, including their family and friends. Of the most important, do you know what are the worst-case scenarios of drug addiction? Drug addiction can pose serious negative consequences not only on the well-being of a person but also on the physical, mental as well as professional life. Let us see how it affects the health of a person with drug addiction:

Physical Effects of Drug Addiction

  • Respiratory problems such as emphysema, lung cancer, and breathing problems
  • Pain in the abdomen, constipation, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Seizures, brain damage, stroke
  • Changes in the appetite, sleeping patterns, and body temperature

Psychological Effects of Drug Addiction

  • Depression, mood swings, anxiety, violence, paranoia
  • Complication of psychiatric illness
  • Decrease in energy levels
  • Engage oneself in risky behaviours
  • Confusion

Behavioural Problems from Drug Addiction

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggressiveness
  • Impaired judgment 
  • Loss of Self-Control
  • Impulsiveness

What Is Drug-Induced Psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental condition, accompanied by delusions and hallucinations. When a person is experiencing a period of psychosis, their thoughts and understanding of the world are skewed. It even affects a person’s ability to judge what is truly happening in reality and what is not. The individual experiences a complete psychological break from the world where they cannot register or comprehend. In some cases, they are likely to harm themselves or others.

Immediate medical assistance is suggested for the safety of the person with psychosis and everyone else involved. It also provides a chance of recovery from their drug-induced psychosis.

Drug-Induced Psychosis Symptoms

Symptoms are visible depending on the individual’s mental state. Some of the drug-induced psychosis symptoms include:

  • A noticeable drop in school or work performance
  • Difficulties concentrating or thinking clearly
  • Paranoid ideas, suspiciousness, or trust issues
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Intensive or manic ideas/feelings or emotional withdrawal
  • Poor self-care and hygiene
  • Difficulties differentiating between reality and imaginary
  • Difficulties in speaking or communicating
  • Hallucination
  • Delirium
  • Body tremor
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light/sound/touch
  • Agitation/excitement
  • Irritability/ Restlessness
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

What Causes a Drug-Induced Psychosis?

Drug-Induced Psychosis

Drug-induced psychosis is caused by an over-intake of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. When too many are taken at one time or they are combined in the wrong way, an individual can fall into a state of psychosis.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 7 to 25 percent of individuals are diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis.

  • Alcohol- Alcohol can cause delusions, mental confusion, disorganized speech, and disorientation. There can be episodes caused by both active drinking and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Marijuana- Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen that causes extreme paranoia. Not all marijuana users experience this; some can comfortably intake marijuana with little to no problem.
  • Amphetamines- Amphetamines such as methamphetamine, cocaine, or Adderall commonly can lead to paranoia, persecution delusions, and auditory and visual hallucinations.
  • Hallucinogens- Hallucinogens do not cause long-term drug addiction psychosis. However, while having a “trip” perpetual anomaly, hallucination, and other substantial subjective changes in thoughts, emotions, and consciousness are evidenced.

Treatment for Drug-Induced Psychosis

It is always advised to take individuals with drug addiction psychosis symptoms to a doctor or psychiatrist as soon as possible. The treatment for drug-induced psychosis involves:

Assessment: The individual undergoes an assessment to determine the severity of their psychosis and accordingly, the doctor or psychiatrist will plan the drug-induced psychosis recovery chart, diagnose and treat the individual. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine the severity of the drug-induced psychosis symptoms when the person is still drunk or high. Since the drugs and alcohol are mind-altering, they impact the individual’s ability to see the world through a proper frame of mind.

Detox: The first step in drug-induced psychosis recovery involves sobering the individual up. For each individual with drug-induced psychosis, recovery is different. It totally depends on their mental state while sober. Accordingly, the doctor will determine if detox is needed or not. In some cases, if there is a high dependency, seeking addiction or alcoholism treatment may be beneficial. Detox can prevent unpleasant consequences or the withdrawal symptoms resulting from sudden cessation of drug use and helps them to be independent of drug use. The several types of detox method are cold-turkey detox, short-term medicated detox, and long-term medicated detox.

Medications: Psychotic symptoms such as hallucination, delusions and disordered thinking can be reduced by antipsychotic medications.

Psychotherapy: Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and family therapy help individuals in recovering. Individuals struggling with alcoholism and addiction learn to live sober with help from inpatient rehab or an intensive outpatient program. The best possible idea is to remove them from the temptation of drugs and alcohol for their recovery.

Counselling: Drug-induced psychosis recovery includes a variety of counselling programs, each designed to work together while providing individual benefits.

  • Group Counselling provides each patient with an opportunity to connect with peers, all struggling with addiction and recovery from addiction, to recognize common challenges and work together to find realistic ways to overcome these triggers. This form of counselling will help each patient to be stronger socially when the opportunity to relapse presents itself.
  • One on One Counselling is more personal counselling. Each individual patient has his or her own unique challenges and triggers. Often, drug addiction comes from an underlying disorder (such as depression or anxiety) and in order to be strong enough to recover from addiction, one must also treat any underlying disorders. Facing these obstacles will help each individual become a stronger person mentally and to be prepared for the battle of recovery from drug addiction.
  • Family Counseling will help educate both the patient and loved ones (friends or family members) of the patient about drug addiction. This form of counselling is very beneficial to the relationships that matter, as ongoing support is important for recovery from alcohol addiction. Family counselling ultimately strengthens the relationships that have been affected by addiction.

Relapse Prevention: Another important treatment is used to prevent the individual from relapse after recovery known as relapse prevention. It is a set of relapse prevention tools and techniques that are provided to help them fight and prevent from getting back to their addiction habit after a recovery process.

Apart from these, spiritual counselling, nutritional support, physical activity and other factors also provide the needed help for a permanent recovery.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery and sobriety since every individual’s recovery differs just as every episode of drug addiction psychosis differs.

Are you looking for drug-induced psychosis treatment? Call us to book an appointment with our counsellor or mental health professional.

Disclaimer – It is important to note that addiction should be referred to as ‘substance use disorder’ to better address the effects of this psychological condition. Words like addict, junkie, etc should be avoided as they place the blame on the individual. Individuals/person/people suffering from substance use disorder or substance dependence syndrome should be used.

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