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Drug Induced Psychosis

Its Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Drug-induced psychosis is generally caused by taking too much of a particular drug or alcohol. The increased level of toxicity provokes paranoia and a psychotic episode.

Additionally, this occurs when an individual has an adverse reaction from mixing different substances or withdrawing from a drug—also known as toxic psychosis, alcohol-induced psychosis, and drug-induced psychosis.

There are numerous causes, many symptoms, and effective treatment options. Early intervention is critical to prevent permanent damage. It is an all too common problem and misdiagnosed where the underlying substance use addiction is overlooked.

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Drug Abuse Psychosis and Its Causes

The cause of drug-induced psychosis occurs because of addictive drug use, prescribed medicine abuse, or alcohol abuse. In addition, environmental factors such as maternal stress, psychosocial stress, traumatic brain injury, and drug abuse can instigate psychosis. Research has shown that intoxication and withdrawal from various central nervous system depressants and stimulants may induce hallucinations and delusions. Individuals lose touch with reality as they experience hallucinations. These occurrences are outside the cognition and awareness of the person experiencing them.

The Symptoms of Substance Use Psychosis

Anyone experiencing a drug or alcohol-induced psychosis may not have insight into whether their delusions and or hallucinations are real. Early intervention is required to ensure the induvial receives immediate help.

The common symptoms include:

  • Delusions—Thoughts and beliefs that are not based in reality.
    • Types of delusions are persecutory, grandiose, referential, erotomanic, nihilistic, and somatic.
  • Hallucinations—Experiencing something with one or multiple senses that is not based in reality.
    • Types of hallucinations are auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory.


The length of time psychosis lasts depends on medical history, particular substances, and how much was ingested. For example, pain medication-induced psychosis may take up to two weeks to resolve. Psychosis involving amphetamines may persist for weeks, and alcohol-induced psychosis may last for days.

Treatment for Drug-Induced Psychosis

The treatment primarily depends on the specific patient and their unique needs. Generally, ceasing the use of the substance and monitoring the individual in a safe environment is enough to stabilize the person.

However, the underlying substance use addiction must be addressed. While removing the substance from the individual’s system is critical, their addiction requires treatment. This may involve a medically supervised detox with long-term residential rehabilitation and aftercare support in some cases.

Moreover, there should be a focus on repairing physical and mental health through natural environments and holistic methods.

There is a significant benefit of being in a non-stimulative environment healing the mind and body through natural approaches during rehabilitation.

Coping and Aftercare

Although it is a frightening experience, it is directly related to substance abuse and addiction. It is critical to find the proper support.

Aftercare helps in developing coping methods. It teaches that maintaining routine, structure, and stability is essential after completing treatment. In addition, it is an opportunity to remain connected with other sober like-minded people.