Drug induced psychosis and a variety of other mental illnesses were previously treated with modern-day illicit drugs in the early 20th century. Many popular authors, scientists, and celebrated personalities used drugs allegedly to help them understand the world more deeply.
During the years that ensued, additional research on psychosis revealed that many of these drugs were inflicted with a multitude of adverse side effects; the user would become dependent on them. The use of various substances such as cocaine, marijuana, and hallucinogenics during the same period as a pre-existing illness could aggravate cerebral health difficulties such as psychosis.
A national drug policy developed by the Australian Government indicates that some drugs can produce drug psychosis similar to schizophrenia and bipolar disorders when taken for long periods. Hallucinations in psychosis are usually outside the scope of experience and cognition of the individual. Drug psychosis is considered to be an illness accompanied by delusions and/or hallucinations.
Delusions, on the other hand, are shifts in reality that the user believes something that does not exist at all. Hallucinations are mainly visual, and their effects can be enhanced with the use of certain psychedelic drugs.
Furthermore, drug induced psychosis patients lose touch with reality as they experience hallucinations that are outside the cognition and awareness of the person experiencing them. There are several forms of psychosis that are often caused by drug abuse. However, a particular kind of psychosis called depersonalization is caused by the abuse of drugs in general.
People are often without mental health problems when they abuse substances like heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogens. Nevertheless, patients with mental health problems can result in exacerbated symptoms of drug induced psychosis when abusing these substances.
Research shows that using some medicines over a long time can result in the onset of mental illness in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
The substance stimulates a person’s ability to perform better in a challenging situation, and the outcome is an improved sense of well-being. On the other hand, drug abusers become chronically psychotic as a result of the stimulant abuse, leading to lifelong withdrawal symptoms from drug induced psychosis.
Why Do Some People Exhibit Psychosis as a Result of Drug Use?
In some cases, a person can develop psychosis resulting from ingesting a contaminated substance which causes a psychosis. Those who mix several substances or are withdrawing from medication can suffer adverse reactions as well.
Symptoms of drug induced psychosis such as delusions and hallucinations may already be present in you, even if you do not use alcohol or other drugs. Consequently, you may be predisposed to develop psychosis.
Your drug induced psychosis symptoms would have to continue even if there were no drugs present, as this would not be considered drug-related psychosis. A diagnosis needs to be made if the signs proceed even without the drugs, as this would not be psychologically-induced psychosis.
The symptoms of drug-induced psychosis are most pronounced when you stop using the drug, whereas they may develop gradually to include delusions or hallucinations as the cultural retreat and loss of motivation worsens.
Ways that Stimulants Induce Symptoms of Psychosis?
It is thought that people who are addicted to psychostimulants and other stimulants exhibit drug induced psychosis. This mental condition is typically caused by people who misuse stimulant pills or use illegal energizer medicines in high doses. However, amphetamines, along with other stimulant drugs, are among the most common stimulants that lead to its development.
It has been found that individuals who consume excessive amounts of potent stimulants lead to this kind of psychosis. Specific stimulants, including cocaine, Adderall, or unauthorized amphetamines are known to cause psychosis.
The excessive consumption of caffeine is also a contributing factor to the development of psychosis symptoms. To emphasize, whether one develops a condition due to their substance use depends not only on their substance use but also on the abused drug.
Various Factors can Increase Your Chances of Catching Psychosis, Including:
- Genetics and individual neurochemistry
- Ingestion of a particular item
- How much of the drug was consumed
- Stress levels of the person
- Lack of sleep
- A mental illness that goes undetected
The previous risks of psychosis may cause hallucinations and confusion, as well as the inability of separating reality and fantasy. If you or a loved one abuses stimulant drugs, you may want to know about the risks mentioned before.
Drug-Induced Psychosis: Signs and Symptoms
It may be challenging to identify which symptoms are due to the drug use itself when a user has a mental illness before drug use. Most symptoms, if the situation is irrelative to medications, will usually continue once the drug is stopped.
On the other hand, the like effects of psychosis tend to subside soon after the drug ceases to be used. However, this is not the case for all drug users as they can experience lingering symptoms even after their drug use is curtailed.
As the patient of drug induced psychosis ages and/or drugs are used, early symptoms of psychosis progress.
Symptoms Include Fantasies and Illusions, but there are Other Things to Look For:
- Feelings: lack of emotion, trouble showing feelings, flat affect (impersonal expression or no emotion)
- The inability to motivate; lethargy
- Socially isolated
- An incoherent manner of thinking and acting; a disorganized method of speaking
- Actions that are erratic and sometimes fatal; violent behavior
Symptoms of Psychosis
If you are Experiencing an Episode of Psychosis, you May Also Suffer from the Signs of Typical Psychosis:
- Catatonia: Usually, this symptom of psychosis occurs only in extreme cases of psychosis. The individual appears rigid and out of control. Due to the effects of an ecstasy drug, it is less common with psychosis caused by stimulants.
- Delusions: Mostly, a person can have different kinds of delusions like feeling persecuted and chased.
- Disorganized Thoughts: Individuals who are not organized in their thinking, incoherent in their behavior, and inappropriate in their social interaction may produce disorganized patterns of thinking.
- Hallucinations: A symptom of psychosis is hallucination, usually beginning as auditory hallucinations, progressing into visual hallucinations or tactile hallucinations. Furthermore, these hallucinations are affected by the delusions a person experiences while experiencing psychosis.
A person experiencing psychosis will have physical symptoms associated with their drug abuse in addition to the symptoms of an organic episode of psychosis.
Since they resemble psychosis, regular psychosis can be distinguished from psychosis. The symptoms of drug induced psychosis are readily detectable because the physical effects are an immediate consequence of taking the drug.
Stimulant Abuse Has the Following Signs and Symptoms:
- High blood pressure
- Heat exhaustion
- Feeling nauseated
- Dilation of the pupils
- Excessive breathing
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Substances that Raise the Risk for Psychosis Caused by Drugs?
In the brain, serotonin and dopamine release is interrupted when drugs are consumed, which causes internal changes and changes in structure and function. The effects of drug-induced psychosis can be caused by nearly any drug when used in heavy, long-term doses. Some, however, are more closely related to these symptoms of drug induced psychosis than others.
Amphetamines and Cocaine
Some stimulants can lead to long-lasting, psychotic symptoms lasting days, months, and years after the drug use stops. Long-term use is associated with memory loss and difficulty with attention. Psychiatric Practice reported a study that found half of the cocaine users were experiencing psychotic symptoms after the use of the drug. Use of cocaine-freebasing or through a needle increases the risk of experiencing these traits.
Alcohol can cause mood distortions, disordered communication, and uncertainty. These symptoms of psychosis from drinking usually go away on their own when sobriety occurs. Alcohol is also one of the most commonly abused drugs in comorbid schizophrenia patients, along with cannabis and cocaine.
It is believed that experimental medicines such as PCP and LSD mimic actual psychosis in a similar way to those used in treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Psychosis, however, should not be expected when using these drugs for the first time. It will only begin to manifest after replicated consumption over time.
Because of the nature of mental illnesses and substance use, it’s essential to identify what factors contributed to the symptomatology. By not correctly identifying the source of the symptoms, therapy may seem inadequate in the long- and short-term.
Treatment of Drug Addiction
Those who exhibit either the drug abuse symptoms previously mentioned, in addition to organic psychosis symptoms, are likely to have stimulant-induced psychosis. Through medical supervision and the use of pills, dependence therapy, and continued support, this condition can be treated successfully.
For instance, after medical stabilization, a patient may begin taking certain medications such as antipsychotics or benzodiazepines to reduce their symptoms. Finally, people may receive therapy to cope with the symptoms of their episodes.
Detoxification Program with Medical Assistance
A drug induced psychosis episode can be treated by removing the drug that contributed to the episode. We prescribe carefully selected drugs to help with withdrawal symptoms, so you will not receive further interaction with drugs that could lead to dependency or conflict with your current drug use.
In addition, in the course of detoxification, you may likewise attend therapeutic sessions to discover how to handle withdrawal signs and how to develop healthy habits to maintain a drug-free living. Detoxification is followed by residential secondary care programs, which can support your recovery after detox.
Co-Occurring Conditions Remedy
The removal of a drug from the body may relieve symptoms of mental illness, however, if you already have underlying mental illnesses that contributed to your excessive drug use, or have been diagnosed with conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you may require additional treatment.
With our state-of-the-art facilities, we can aid you in getting a proper diagnosis and finding an appropriate therapy. We can assist you with your treatment process to facilitate your recovery. Our experts are willing to answer all your questions. Reach us at 615-490-9376 to find the best remedy for your drug induced psychosis.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.