Treating Drug-Induced Psychosis

Medically Reviewed

Treating drug-induced psychosis can be a challenging process. A drug-induced psychosis consists of a psychotic state that is triggered by either drug use or withdrawal from substances.

Hallucinogenic drugs like PCP or LSD may induce psychotic symptoms for a short period, while opioids or marijuana could cause psychotic symptoms due to long-term abuse.

Shadow people on a sepia-toned beachAlcohol withdrawal that turns into delirium tremens (DTs) will eventually lead to psychotic symptoms.

Cocaine or synthetic marijuana may induce psychosis or related mental illness in those predisposed to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or similar conditions.

The treatment of drug induced-psychosis will ease symptoms and cause them to stop completely.

It’s vital for an individual to enter a treatment program that specializes in the treatment of psychosis and has professionals that can determine whether these symptoms are just temporary or long-term.

Steps To Treating Drug-Induced Psychosis

When a potential client enters a treatment program, they must know the necessary steps provided to drug-induced psychosis. These steps include:

  • The assessment stage
  • Entering a detox facility
  • Prescribing the necessary medication
  • Determining which psychotherapy would be useful for the client based on their needs
  1. Assessment: When an individual enters a treatment program or is hospitalized with psychotic symptoms, they will be assessed by a medical professional and psychotherapist. The doctor will draw blood or take samples from the individual to determine the source of their psychotic symptoms. If the individual shows traces of drugs or alcohol in their system, the doctor will assume the chemicals worsen the psychosis. The psychotherapist will then determine the type of psychosis, which allows them to determine the treatment or medication they will need moving forward.
  2. Detox: To ease symptoms, the individual must cease the use of their drug or alcohol consumption. It means the person must undergo medical detox to ensure their safety. The process may occur in a hospital or treatment center, but will typically involve the use of medications. Some of the medicines used will work as detox medications and mood stabilizers. Detox is crucial because psychiatric medications may interact poorly with alcohol or illegal drugs.
  3. Medications: Antipsychotic medications work to reduce the impact of psychotic symptoms someone experiences, which includes delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking. While some of these drugs will be used for short-term use, others may be taken long-term to ease psychosis. Some of the antipsychotics a doctor may use include Thorazine (generic name chlorpromazine), haloperidol, loxapine, thioridazine, and fluphenazine.
  4. Psychotherapy: The most significant portion of drug rehab is psychotherapy. Individuals struggling with long-term psychosis can benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).  It can help a client recognize the early signs of psychotic symptoms, which allows them to seek appropriate treatment. CBT may also help manage mood symptoms such as anxiety or depression that could lead to self-medication with illegal drugs or alcohol. For individuals going through treatment in a program, psychotherapy will help them develop healthy coping skills to avoid substance abuse. It will also provide them a plan to prevent drug relapse.

If you are struggling with drug-induced psychosis, you must speak to a medical professional immediately to determine a level of care appropriate for your needs.

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