Treatment of Adolescent and Teen Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

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Substance-induced psychosis is a condition set in motion or worsened by the abuse of certain drugs and alcohol. Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego offers teen patients comprehensive treatment for this condition, which can be frightening both for a person experiencing the symptoms as well as family members who witness them.

What is substance-induced psychotic disorder?

Substance induced psychotic disorder is distinct from other mental health disorders in that most or all of the psychotic symptoms are a result of substance abuse. The term “substance-induced” is used when symptoms at a specific point in time can be linked to substance abuse rather than an underlying mental illness.

Symptoms of substance-induced psychotic disorder

Psychotic disorders are characterized by what are called positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions and confused thoughts and speech. Negative symptoms include mood symptoms, social withdrawal and reduced motivation. Cognitive deficits are also present in psychotic disorders. A teen experiencing hallucinations sees or hears things that are not there. A delusion is an unshakeable belief in a specific fact even in the face of accurate evidence to the contrary. Confused thoughts result in confused speech that may not make any sense.

Psychotic disorders are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, thought and speech confusion, depression, social withdrawal and reduced motivation

Effects of drugs on mental health

Cocaine produces numerous psychiatric symptoms, including suicidal and homicidal thoughts. The symptoms can occur as a result of the drug’s initial effect or secondary to a worsening of a co-occurring psychiatric disorder. Teens using crack cocaine experience more frequent and intense symptoms, and paranoia is present in 68-to-84 percent of those using the drug. Cocaine has the potential to result in a spectrum of psychiatric symptoms and worsen many mental health disorders.

Amphetamines and cocaine can cause drug-induced psychosis, which can last for a few days, and are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, memory loss and confusion. The patient may see or hear things that are not actually present, believe they are being stalked or that there are conspiracies against them. They may not remember anything and often exhibit incoherent speech.

Psychosis can result from crystal meth addiction and is difficult to distinguish from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, drug-induced psychosis does not necessarily disappear when the meth use is stopped.

Effects of drugs on preexisting disorders

In a person with psychosis already present, the use of drugs or alcohol can be very dangerous and may initiate secondary disorders such as depression or anxiety. Recovery will be slower with more persistent psychiatric symptoms. Drugs and alcohol can be particularly harmful when used in combination with antipsychotic medications.

Treatment for substance abuse-induced psychotic disorder

Treatment requires a calm environment, refraining from the substance of abuse and antipsychotic medication. Symptoms resolve fairly quickly, but if the substance abused was cocaine, amphetamines or PCP, residual symptoms may last for some weeks

Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego offers world-class care and treatment for patients suffering from substance abuse-induced psychotic disorders. In addition to the primary diagnosis, our clinicians will identify any underlying disorder such as depression, anxiety or any other substance addictions. It is essential to treat all underlying conditions concurrently with the primary condition in order to achieve the best result.

If you would like further information, please call our 24/7 helpline to speak with a member of our team.

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