What is Drug Induced Psychosis?

Living with a mental health condition can be challenging, but it\’s important to know that help is available. One such mental health problem that individuals may experience is drug-induced psychosis. This condition occurs when someone interprets the world differently from those around them due to episodes of psychosis triggered by substance abuse. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the definition, symptoms, causes, and treatment options for drug-induced psychosis.

What is Drug-Induced Psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental health problem characterized by episodes of delusions and hallucinations. Drug-induced psychosis occurs when these episodes are a direct result of substance abuse. It can either worsen or trigger the onset of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which are characterized by symptoms of psychosis.

Symptoms of Drug-Induced Psychosis

The symptoms of drug-induced psychosis can vary, and they may gradually worsen as the frequency and dosage of the drug increase. If you have an underlying mental health condition, using psychoactive drugs can exacerbate your symptoms and accelerate the onset of psychotic disorders. Some of the common symptoms of drug-induced psychosis include:


Paranoia is a prominent symptom of drug-induced psychosis. It involves an intense and irrational fear that others are plotting against you or spying on you. This feeling of constant surveillance can lead to extreme anxiety and distress.


Delusions are irrational beliefs that a person holds, even when presented with evidence that contradicts these beliefs. They can take various forms, such as persecution delusions, jealousy delusions, or grandiose delusions.


Hallucinations are intense sensory perceptions of things that aren\’t real. They can manifest as auditory hallucinations, where you hear voices or sounds that others don\’t, or visual hallucinations, where you see objects, people, or shadows that aren\’t present.

Anti-Social Behavior

Individuals experiencing drug-induced psychosis may exhibit anti-social behavior, withdrawing from social interactions and isolating themselves from others. This behavior can be a result of paranoia, delusions, or the desire to avoid triggers that worsen their symptoms.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can occur during episodes of drug-induced psychosis, causing intense fear and physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chest pain. These attacks can be overwhelming and debilitating.


Confusion is another symptom that individuals with drug-induced psychosis may experience. It can make it difficult for them to think clearly, concentrate, and maintain coherent thoughts. Confusion can further contribute to feelings of disorientation and distress.

Causes of Drug-Induced Psychosis

Drug-induced psychosis is often caused by the misuse or excessive use of certain substances. Some of the drugs commonly associated with drug-induced psychosis include:

  1. Cannabis: Heavy and prolonged use of cannabis, particularly strains with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can induce temporary schizophrenia-like symptoms, including paranoia, delusions, anxiety, and hallucinations.
  2. Cocaine: Cocaine abuse can lead to paranoia, hallucinations, and delusional thinking. The stimulant properties of cocaine can significantly impact the brain\’s reward system and trigger psychosis.
  3. Amphetamines: Abuse of amphetamines, such as methamphetamine or \”speed,\” can cause psychosis symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
  4. Hallucinogens: Psychedelic drugs like LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline can distort sensory perceptions and induce hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms of psychosis.
  5. Club Drugs: Substances like ecstasy (MDMA) and ketamine, often used in party or club settings, can trigger psychotic symptoms, especially when consumed in high doses or combined with other drugs.

It\’s important to note that drug-induced psychosis can also occur when individuals have adverse reactions to specific medications or when they misuse prescription drugs by taking them at higher doses or for longer durations than prescribed.

Treatment for Drug-Induced Psychosis

Treating drug-induced psychosis involves addressing both the immediate symptoms and any underlying mental health conditions. The first step in recovery is to undergo a medically assisted detoxification program to remove all traces of drugs from the body. This process ensures that further interactions with addictive substances are avoided and helps stabilize the individual medically.

After detoxification, a comprehensive treatment plan is developed based on the individual\’s specific needs. This plan may include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a practical and problem-solving approach to therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors. By working with a therapist, patients can learn to manage their emotions, paranoia, and triggers that contribute to their psychosis symptoms.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage symptoms and stabilize mental health conditions. Antipsychotic medications, antidepressants, or other targeted medications may be recommended depending on the individual\’s symptoms and underlying mental health diagnosis.

Family Therapy

Family therapy can play a crucial role in the recovery process. Involving family members or close loved ones in therapy sessions can provide a support system and help prevent relapse. It also allows for a better understanding of the challenges faced by the individual and promotes a more empathetic and conducive environment for recovery.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies, such as mindfulness meditation, art therapy, or yoga, can complement traditional treatment approaches by promoting relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being. These therapies help individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms and enhance their overall mental health.

Recovery and Beyond

Recovery from drug-induced psychosis is a journey that requires ongoing support and commitment. It\’s essential to address any underlying mental health conditions and maintain a substance-free lifestyle to prevent relapse.

In addition to professional treatment, it\’s crucial to surround oneself with a supportive network of friends, family, and peers who understand and empathize with the challenges of recovery. Engaging in support groups or aftercare programs can provide a sense of community and guidance during the recovery process.

Finding Help and Support

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug-induced psychosis or substance abuse, reaching out for help is the first step towards recovery. There are numerous resources available, including helplines, treatment centers, and support groups that specialize in addiction and mental health support.


Drug-induced psychosis is a challenging condition that requires professional intervention and support. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options, individuals can take the necessary steps towards recovery. Remember, help is available, and there is hope for a brighter future. Through comprehensive treatment, therapy, and ongoing support, individuals can reclaim their lives from the grips of drug-induced psychosis and move towards a healthier and happier existence. Call us at 833-610-1174.

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