Drug-Induced Psychosis: What Coloradoans Should Know December 6th, 2019 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Blog & News Drug-Induced Psychosis: What Coloradoans Should Know

Drug-Induced Psychosis: What Coloradoans Should Know

Person placing their hands to the temples appearing in pain.

One scary and serious side effect that can happen with drug use is drug-induced psychosis, which is a set of symptoms that sometimes occur when people use certain types of drugs.

Symptoms of Drug-Induced Psychosis

Drug-induced psychosis is present when patients experience delusions and/or hallucinations with drug use. Hallucinations can include seeing, smelling, or hearing things that are not really there or a feeling of bugs crawling on your skin when they are not, for instance. Delusions involve being convinced that something is true when it is not, such as that a famous person is in love with you or that you have a health condition when you really do not.

Drug-induced psychosis most often comes after heavy or long-term use of a substance, but can sometimes happen the first time a drug is used. Once you have one episode of drug-induced psychosis, you are more likely to have them again in the future and are also more likely to develop schizophrenia or bipolar disorder at some point as well.

Drugs That Cause Drug-Induced Psychosis

Cannabis (marijuana) is the drug that most often causes psychotic episodes in users, even though many consider its use relatively safe. Use of cannabis by those under age 18 is correlated with an increased risk of psychosis, and cannabis has the highest rate of conversion to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder after a psychotic episode, nearly 48 percent in one study. The relationship between marijuana and psychosis is a disturbing one that should not be ignored.

Woman taking a pill with a glass of water.

Methamphetamine also has a fairly high incidence of drug-induced psychosis with long-term use. Many users report feeling like bugs are crawling on them as well as becoming paranoid that someone wants to hurt them. A history of sexual abuse also increases the risk of meth psychosis.

Cocaine use can cause some symptoms of psychosis in up to 50 percent of users, with tactile hallucinations and delusions of persecution being most common. Even after cocaine use is stopped, psychotic symptoms can continue for weeks or months.

To a lesser extent, amphetamines (speed), ecstasy, and prescription drugs like ketamine can also cause drug-induced psychosis in some users. Ecstasy particularly has a reputation for causing psychosis for some users the first time they use it.

Psychiatric treatment and medications can help with drug-induced psychosis in some cases, with individual and group therapy as well as ongoing medication being used to lessen or stop symptoms. Treatment success may vary depending on the duration of use and amount used, as well as how your body reacts uniquely to the drugs taken.

Whether you have suffered drug-induced psychosis previously or have never experienced it before, treatment is an important step to keeping symptoms under control or preventing them in the first place. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake offers treatment programs to help with all kinds of substance abuse and its effects. Contact us today to take a positive step on the road to recovery.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.