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Symptoms of Substance/Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 20th 2017

Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

There are a number of toxic and other substances that can cause the psychotic reactions of delusions and hallucinations. Hallucinations are sensations that only the person experiences. Delusions are fixed, mistaken ideas that the person holds. These are often odd or incorrect ideas about themselves and the world around them. This can include voices speaking to them that only they can hear.

Substance/Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorder can happen in multiple ways. People may consume toxic substances by accident. This could be because they don't know any better, such as when a child eats lead paint chips, or someone eats mercury in tuna fish. It can also happen by mistake, such as when someone eats a poisonous mushroom they thought was safe, or gets food poisoning from mishandled food. It can also happen when someone takes too much of a prescribed medicine or when their medicines interact in unexpected ways. Doctors might also miscalculate the effects of medicines that they prescribe. Finally, people may overdose on recreational drugs they commonly use (such as cocaine), or become dependent on drugs or alcohol and experience these psychotic symptoms while in withdrawal from those substances. The substance/medication-induced psychosis is triggered and then maintained by intoxication or withdrawal. However, the effects can continue long after intoxication or withdrawal has ended.

pile of pills Drugs of abuse that can cause this include:

  • alcohol
  • amphetamines
  • marijuana
  • cocaine
  • hallucinogens
  • inhalants
  • opioids
  • sedative-hypnotics, including medicines that are sometimes used to treat anxiety.

Common over-the-counter and doctor-prescribed medications that can cause psychosis include:

  • anesthetics (knock-out drugs)
  • analgesics (pain-relievers)
  • anticholinergic agents
  • anticonvulsants
  • antihistamines
  • cardiovascular (heart) medications
  • antimicrobial medications
  • antiparkinsonian medications
  • chemotherapeutic medications
  • corticosteroids (steroids)
  • gastrointestinal medications
  • muscle relaxants
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS like ibuprofen)
  • anti-depressants.

Environmental toxins reported to cause psychotic symptoms include:

  • anticholinesterase
  • organophosphate insecticides
  • nerve gases
  • carbon monoxide (car exhaust)
  • carbon dioxide
  • volatile substances such as fuel or paint.

For the diagnosis to be made, the delusions and hallucinations must not be happening because of another mental health disorder or happen only during delirium.

Symptoms must also cause significant stress or affect the person's work, relationships with others, or daily activities.


Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

please help asap..... - tracey - Mar 12th 2015

does anyone know of over the conter medicine to help with drug induced don is 23 and is in denial.he thinks hes ok but is definatly not.hes been in mental hospital but keeps coming home.iam at my end witt and feel like running away.all the doors are closing.i font want to have to get him sectioned..please help..

neurofeedback - - Feb 14th 2015

Has anyone here tried neurofeedback to ease paranoia? My son has psychosis (triggered by marijuana), is undergoing medication, is now pretty stable but is still paranoid. I'll appreciate any feedback on this.

Re:mother in pain - - Jan 7th 2015

Our son has been a meth addict for 6 months now. He suffers paranoid-schizophrenia and blames us for all his troubles. People follow him and they are after him all the time. We went to Nar-anon and it was tremendously helpful. They helped us to NOT enable him and to NOT blame ourselves. Just get on with our lives as we cannot change him. He must do it himself after he hits rock bottom.

Mother in pain - - Dec 5th 2014

i hear you and I understand exactly what you are going through! My son just turned 31 and my family has been going through sheer hell because of his illness! He to has been in trouble with the law and in and out of hospital for drug overdose and phycotic episodes due to drug abuse. We have also begged doctors to keep him in hospital till he is well and on each occasion they have kept him as long as the drugs wore off and sent him home! 4 times this has happened in the past year, every time my door bell rings my phone rings I think it's the police to tell me he's done something or

Mother in pain - - Nov 18th 2014

I am the mother of 2 sons, my eldest is 30 now and has been in and out od pschiatric hospitals for about 7 years. He has been in trouble with the law several times, as a result of this he cant drive. He lives at home, makes it his purpose to blame us for everything wrong in his life eventhough all we have done is given him many opportunities to change. In his mind, we are part of a conspiracy, when i adk him why we would try to hurt him if it only makes us have the responsability to care for him and burdening ourselves to not having s life he doesnt quite know what yo say. He wants to smoke pot all day, he says it helps. I am realizing everyday that he is manipulating us. He acts crazy, by walking in circles, opening and closing the door 50 tomes a day. My husband and i feel alone , no one cares his family is lost to us. My mother is helping but she is ill. We feel we are at the end of our rope. I am living in hell, and i have always put my kids first, i have dedicated my live to them. Now i have to suffer this hell. I see no possitive end to this. last time he was in the hospital the sent him home after 2 days; same or worst then when he vame in. This is the health system that destroys lives to save money. God help all the parents that are suffering with no hope. 

I felt tired about this life ...I don't know what wron..thinking about chest pain - ben - Sep 7th 2014

I am 30 yrs discover have pain chest on my left side, and never go to hospital for check up but often red what about chest pain in internet and am scare about it and I dont know what to do serious pain, what make me take essex of alchol is was dissapointed through my mother , she lied me out business am doing she sold my store that should come to where she is, all my thought is that she has prepare another good tinz for me to doing, when am got  there saw that was  dissaointed and can not go back to the x store again ...because do not much money am earn again,  like in my pucket . that why felt drinking always now disscover that have chest pain what would do ? syntom use to feel ,back pain on the left side  , discomfort on my chest left, squeezing some time .and  i have 4 yrs kid and wanted to train her in my life what will do about all this? pls need help....

handling arguements with partner during drug induced pschosis - bbw - Sep 7th 2014

in new relationship, girl il is long time and current meth user seems to be having pschotic epissodes during our interations; imagining i am being agressive,  negative and of trying to attack her when i am making normal calm conversation or asking something from here.  she Recalls shared events and conversations completely differently from how things were. Totally opposed to hear otherwise and insisting its me who cant remember things or that im lying to myself really well aswell as her.

Regular arguments over how she misinterprits my tone of voice when i say things and takes insult of offence that was never there.

will not listen to any attempt reason and sees this as another personal attack or agression even though unwilling to let me speak my mind or explain what has really happened. i  realy like this girl but dont know how to handle things beween us without aggravating her further each time she imagines i am treating her inappropriately..

First Psychotic Episode - Josh - Sep 1st 2014

For many years I knew there was something not quite right with me. I always had anxiety and mild paranoid thoughts. I thought these two things were generally normal in teenagers. During my high school years I did some hard drugs. Ecstasy was my favorite. I probably took 150+ pills over the course of 3 years. I took lsd and shrooms a few times. not too much. In total maybe 5 times. I didn't like them as much. I tried cocaine twice. I've never experimented with any other hard drugs. I have, however, been an avid pot smoker since I was 15. I am 20 now. I would take breaks occasionally from weed, but i'd always go back to it. In the past year I noticed when I would smoke weed, I would have auditory hullucinations whenever I was paranoid or if my anxiety was rather high. I didn't think much of it, figured it was the weed. I smoked weed for about the last 6 months straight. Every day I would smoke. Usually just at night. I wasn't always high... i couldn't be for my job. A month and a half ago, I quit cigarettes and weed at the same time for my girlfriend and now i only stick to vaping. I went on a trip to see my girlfriends family out of state and everything was fine until about 5 days in... I started to have auditory hullucinations while sober. This has never happened before. I thought I was reading the minds of her family. I obtained mostly negative thoughts that they had about me. It was as if they were judging me. I was always somewhat of a negative thinker, and these thoughts were always in the back of my mind whenever I was in anxiety ridden situations, but they were never in the form of an auditory hullucination. I was hearing their voices in my head in a whisper, sometimes inaudible, making comments about me. It was mostly just singular words like \\

Sister Lost - kakalina - Jul 30th 2014

My sister sees her face on other people and other peoples faces on someone else. She talks in riddles and walks back and forth blaming everyone for why she steals, does drugs, lies, she thinks I'm calling her names or saying things that are hurtful even when I'm not talking, etc. I need to know of a great place that takes insurance in Snohomish County to get her treatment for co-occuring disorder. She will be homeless because she has done to much damage and is a danger. I need to find a place quick. She scheduled for a Drug Assessment, but I think she needs a psych eval. because the drug treatment place I do not feel possesses the ability to deal with her level of need because they tried before and she drank A1 sauce and was kicked out of the treatment facility. Please help. A desperate sister who doesn't want to lose her sister forever.

21 and need advice 2014 - Darrion - Jul 22nd 2014

I am now 21 and suffer from random moments ofpossible psycosis and my mom was on meth when she was pregnant with me the whole 9 months and i have these urges to hurt or even kill people and animals and anything that is around me and i know that i dont want to but sometimes i can hardly control mysef and i have dealt with it my whole life and some proffessionals say its from the meth or others say its from all the abuse i suffered at the hands of my step dad and im just scared that one day i wont be able to control it anymore and the worst part is that i have a little boy of my own and i dont want to lose the control and end up hurting him or his mother but sometimes it gets to the point where i cant fight it and i just cant put him thru that and i refuse to give in but i just feel helpless with it because i have sought help but since the doctors dont know the cause then they wont attempt to diagnose me. does anyone here have any advice that might help me in a direction because i relly need help right away

Nobody has touched on this - Mary - Nov 7th 2013

I am a 41 year old woman that has had a drug addiction for many years. I have been clean for 7 months now and over a year ago, I was high on meth and thought my husband had killed people and buried them in our yard somewhere. But I still think this really happened and I do not know if it is just a delusion or if it really happened. I constantly look around the house and try to find evidence that this has happened and I cannot get through one single day without thinking this. It is destroying our relationship.

To you can pull yourself out of this oct 2009 - Mom - Sep 12th 2013

My daughter is having problem like you described please email me on how to help her.   Please help share how to pull her out of this .   How can I get in touch with you?

My son - PJ - Jul 7th 2013

As I was searching the web for how long does meth induced psychosis last, I came across this site.  Right now my son who just turned 21 last month attempted suicide (jumped off 25 foot bridge at end of April).  He is at USC County Hospital, in behavior unit....unable to transfer to mental facility due to casts.  He has been experiencing signs of possible, Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder (was smoking meth for the last 2 1/2yrs and who knows what else), schizophrenia, manic depression and catatonia.   They have him on Zyprexa(shot) 5mg morning, 15mg evening, and Ativan (2mg 3x day).   He has said to me on several occasions when he leaves the hospital he is going to quit the meds (RED FLAG).  He did quit the Zyprexa(tab) abruptly (while in the hospital still for physical injuries) which then was 20mg a day, and went back into psychosis, then catatonic.  He has been repersed, thats when the Zyprexa shots came in, then later the Ativan.  He is now on 30 day temp conservatorship, and I am in process of becoming his conservator.  I am looking into getting my son in the best facility that will hopefully help him (he has medical).  If you have any insight that might be best please let me know.  Where can I find a facility in Southern California that will work with him with out meds, I know once he is out he will stop them (abruptly, when needs to wean off) and not have the ability to control them without the proper care. Thank you, for your time

Due to Aderall - Mike - Jan 31st 2013

I have similar problems as a schizophrenic would have because of a prescription I received for treatment of ADHD. In other words, I wouldn't have this disease process if I hadn't been given a certain medication by the name of Aderall. It really screwed up my life. Aderall gave me delusions and made me feel euphoric and on top of the world. But then it also gave me the horrible voices I've had to deal with and to now, is why I have to be treated with antipsychotic medication. At its worst, I had delusions that the government and the president was out to kill me. I wanted to run away to Canada. That is how substance induced psychosis is like schizophrenia in a way. Even four years from the last time I took the Aderall, I still hear the voices and other gibberish I still have in my head.

Twitter - Sally - Nov 8th 2012

My level headed 30 year old daughter became delissional and paranoid thie past weekend. She thought paparazzi were outside her places waiting to take pictures of her and my grandson. They found traces of Molly, marijuana, PCP and cocaine in her blood.


Energy Drinks and Psych Meds? - - Sep 21st 2012

About a month and a half ago my husband had a psychotic episode that ended him up in jail.  He has been institutionalized at least 3 times.  He is 31 years old and has a history of meth use.  Prior to us dating he told me that he was diagnosed schizophrenic and bipolar and has also been labeled 51/50.  In the 7 years that we have been together he has had 3 violent episodes.  The first one that I witnessed was in a church at a funeral.  He had not taken his meds for only 2 days and really didn’t get much sleep.  In the church he started hearing voices that another young man sitting across the church was trying to hurt his dad.  He literally got up, walked over to the young man and started hitting him.  This turned into a very bad situation as the young man he hit happened to be a gang member with a gun in his car.  To make this long story short, I had to get him home right away to pick up his meds.  He got really aggressive towards me in the car as I was driving and being that it was my first experience of that nature with him, I was afraid.  Got the meds, he took them and about 2 hours later he fell asleep.  Slept for about an entire day and a half and woke up “normal”. 

The next major episode was about a month ago.  He was talking to his dad who was cursing him out and calling him a liar as he was asking for help with our car that broke down.  This is what triggered him to NOT take his meds for about 3-4 days.  He ended up roaming the streets for that time.  I found him at my parent’s house and he did not look well.  He started on me about me being the devil and how I’m hurting everyone around me.  In the next breath he’s crying asking me to make the voices stop.  I did not want him to get out of control at my parents home so I asked him to take a walk with me.  As we were walking he started to get more and more delusional and out of control.  He tried pushing me into the street with oncoming traffic.  He then hit me so hard in the back of the head and this was the first time he has ever touched me while in this state of mind.  I told him that I was going to call the police and he just started crying and took off running.  I couldn’t find him.  I did not call the police.  I felt sorry for him because what he was going through.  I went to work that night and did not hear from him so I went online and found out he had been picked up by the police for resisting arrest, assaulting a peace officer and battery on a peace officer.  At court I found out that he was picked up in a grocery store not too far from where I left him earlier that day for harassing people in the store.  Calling them evil, they are the devil etc…He came out of jail and went back on his meds and everything seemed to be going just fine.

Three days ago I noticed that he had not been sleeping and that he was starting to act weird again.  I assumed that he started using meth again.  He told me to walk with him to the police station so he can turn me in for hurting people.  I followed because I figured it was probably the safest place for me at that moment.  He told the police that I was the devil and that I have been sending gargoyles after people that he loves etc..They took him to a psychiatric facility.  The nurse called me to ask me questions and get a background on his situation because he has not spoken to them since he was admitted.  Apparently he is not being compliant with taking the medication they are giving him so they have been giving him Emergency Shots.  (what is that?)  Anyhow, he tested negative on a drug screening so I guess he was NOT using meth.  I did however notice that there was an empty can of Amp (energy dring) in the trashcan at home and my sister saw a full can in the fridge which was gone by the time we got home from work.  When I mentioned that to the nurse she said that the combination of the medication (Carbamazepine and Risperidone) and the energy drink may have exacerbated the psychosis.  Everyone says I’m strong for the way I’ve handled this situation with my husband for 7 years because I hold it all in and try my best to learn about his illness.  I try to educate myself to not only understand what he is going through but to also protect myself and him.  I am thankful that I believe in God and that he has carried me through these 7 years of what seems like torture.  Sorry for the long story but here goes my question:

What types of food or beverages other than the obvious should I try to keep out of his diet?  He has a sweet tooth and I’m pretty sure that is probably not a good thing.  He drinks lots of soda but never has had an energy drink until a few days ago.  Help me please.  Educate me so that I don’t go crazy myself!  I want to understand and do what I can to keep him as sane as possible.  Thank you so much for reading and for any advice you may have to give.Blessings to all who suffer from this terrible disease and for those who have to live with them.

it's so hard - - Aug 14th 2012

my husband has a history of using/selling drugs but he sobered up for a really long time.Just last year, one of his old friends moved back into the neighborhood and things just started to change. J found meth in his pockets and he admitted that he's back to selling drugs.I gave him an ultimatum so then he stopped.It's been more than a month since he stopped for real (i lnow coz i make a constant sweep of his clothes,the house , even d garage..i even check his bank acct constantly) but I've noticed a change in him. At first he just kinda got quieter, then he started to laugh&giggle out of nowhere.It bugged me so I turned to some of his friends who went thru the same thing & they said its normal if a person is withdrawing from drug use.I learned to live with it but still, it's so hard to look at the person you love & you dunno what's running in his head:( We have a daughter and I always fear that he would snap or sumthin while im at work but so far he's been okay.he still goes to work but he's like a zombie almost, like he has his own world.everytime i try to talk to him he'll respond with a one-liner and thats's so hard, i'm desperate..i dunno how to help him! i' e been asking him to get a checkup but he insists he doesnt need it.I'm crying as I'm typing this coz i dont know what to do anymore. and oh, he thinks I'm the one with the problem coz I get mad at him "without any reason and cry out of nowhere".no matter how I try to explain and talk to him it seems like nothing gets through his head.I cant get through him.what do I do?

bath salts - CHELE - Jul 5th 2012

My man now my "ex"  tried bath salts and he has not been the same since.  he has accused me of cheating and lying to him.  His logic is not logical any more and you can see how determinded he is to be believed.  I have supported him as much as possible thru my hurt with this. He has pushed/scared me away.  Family and friends have also seen this and he is in denial or still wants to feel it's not him.  I pray he gets help ASAP before he hurts himself. 

Dreadlock girl - - Jun 20th 2012

Recounting my past would be waste of time but my advice to you, having experience personally with this same problem, would suggest that you live on the surface for a little while. Do Not let your memories cloud the view of today. This will pass and the symptoms will dissolve...if you let it go. So you f#cked up...but today is a new opportunity to take pride in the strength of choosing to absyain from a poison that was not meant for even recreational use. I'm just now picking up the remaining peices of the crumbled life and loved ones left in the wake of my addiction.

my 17 yr. old son - liz - Mar 9th 2012

I had to drive my son to the hosp. a few nights ago.March 5. he was not himself. He seemed to be at times but then would say things that were totally not what was being discussed at the time. On the way he screamed something was trying to get into his head. or that something was trying to come out and he would hold his chest. He would say things like i'm biggy smalls and his uncle was Tupac and now i see. and so many things he said that was crazy. They diagnosed it as being drug induced pychosis. They tell me this could be permanent damage. It could last 3 to 5 days. 2 wks 2 mths or even a yr. we have no answers. The only hope i have at this moment is what a nurse told me I've seen worse, I've seen them come in where they can't feed themselves. And they've pulled through.left here normal after hearing this i have hope that my son will pull through. He was started on Risperidal 0.5mg. and the very next morning was increased to 1 mg. the DR. will be increasing it all the way to 2 mg..if anyone can help with advice or anything..please do

Going mental - Howard - Mar 1st 2012

Been a marijuana addict for about 12 years and i'm 28 years old. It seems like my drug use has changed my brain chemistry inducing stress, delusions, anger, foggy thoughts, terrible memory, paranoia, depersonilization and soicial angst and no interest in things i used to enjoy. It feels as if its getting worse and its making my drug use worse aswell. I find myself struggling to think clearly, even after a few days without it.

When i was around 20 i had a gran-mal seizure and was told i developed epilepsy. the neuroligist was told of my frequent marijuana use and i was told it was do to a binge drinking issue. I think my brain was damaged in the 4 seizures ive had and to top it off they put me on a terrible drug called depekote which basically poisined me and i had to go see a specialists at the mayo clinic and was changed over to a new drug called lamotrigine.

Im just wondering if anyone knows weither its from the pot smoking, or damage from the seizures and or the medication they prescribed, or a combination of both.

Theres times i feel better but there few and far between. my next move will be to see a psychiatrist.

Dont abuse drugs no matter what the circumstances because in the end you'll pay for it. Theres no way to fix your brain once its damaged. Most marijuana smokers are in denial and suffer in silence, they defend the drug thats changing there mood and personality and way of thinking. I see it all the time, trying to defend legalizing pot comparing it to alcohol, believe me there both bad for you ive been smoking it for along time and im pretty sure i will never be the same as i was before.

Drugs are for F&$king losers. believe me charlie sheen isnt WINNING.

Stay strong and healthy. Thats the way to live your life


Drug Induced Schizophrenia Misrepresented as Autism - Johnathan - Feb 7th 2012

Here's another strange case of drug induced schizophrenia: investigate the autism fraud of Amanda Baggs a woman who in her 20's suddenly became "severely autistic" but upon careful research of her background and witnesses who went to school with her stepping up and saying she wasn't, well, it's a bit of a shocker and shows a real sad case: “ I know people who went to Simon's Rock with her when she was a teenager. She was a functioning, talking gifted student. Somehow along the way, now at 26 she is what she is now.
I have never met an autistic who became one in their late teens. She used to speak, then LOST it after using LSD and smoking weed.

Amanda Baggs is thought of as a hoax for several reasons.

She talked growing up and didn't ahve speech delays.
Potty trained on time
Went to gifted college to study psychology
She didn't stim when other knew her at that time
She spoke and had friends...even an autistic girl she wrote about and admired

When it all changed for her is after Amanda took LSD for months and smoked weed. After that she was found digging in the ground looking for mind control devices. The police found her and took her to an institution. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenic. She was also diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.

Reply to - You can pull your self out of this - - Oct 29th 2009 - Jessica - Nov 10th 2011

Hi, does anyone know how i can get in contact with someone who has posted on here? or if you wrote the post entitled You can pull your self out of this - - Oct 29th 2009 can you please contact me - . my boyfriend is experiencing EXACTLY what you were, and its caused by a meth addiction. We cannot get him to see what is actually going on, and its destroying his life and everyones around him. And he will not stop using because he reckons its the only time he gets any break from the torment in his head, and the only time his mind is clear enough to get to the bottom of what's going on.

please help meth induced psychosis - gucci - Sep 8th 2011

well i have been with my husband for 15 years he is 34 i am 31 we have been addicted to meth for most of our relationship. before we were married i did cheat on him quit a bit but so did he. we have both slept with another person since we were married. i guess i can say for the last 10 years he has been recording me and swears he hears me having sex with somebody in every single recording but hes wrong i dont hear the same things he hears. it wasnt until about 3years ago that he started video taping me while i sleep and swears he sees me actually having sex with people that are not there its not true i have been completely faithful to him for the last 6years, then he started cutting up all couches mattresses and floor and walls cause he swears there is a man in the bed trying to have sex with me not only does he see it he hears talking to. i couldnt lay my head on my pillow without him thinking im trying to communicate with people he wont sleep on a bed with me cause he feel rolling or hands under mattress. its gotten so bad hes been getting seriously violent with me to the point he wants to dam near kill me cause he thinks im doing alll these things and lying to him i cant fight him no more someone gonna end up really hurt or in jail, i dont know how to help him i do everything for him and all he does is consumes his time with this crazy uneccessarry bs its all in his head im not doing any of these things. i have moved out of my house he wouldnt let me take my car so he has that, along with our 2dogs, i just dont know what to do or how to help him. hes got sentencing in january where he could be facing up to 1 to 5 years unless he gets help gets clean and can prove to the judge why he shouldnt go to prison. i have never called the cops on him after he beat me cause anytime i tried he'll hit himself to tell cops i hit him so we both get locked up


Proposed recovery of a psychotic drug user - - Jun 6th 2011

I am not a trained professional. Classic, institutional psychosis is permanent, incurable to the extent of my knowledge.However I make a distinction between clinical insanity and cases where addicition is the major cause of psychosis.

Your son needs sobriety dearly. Even a most innocent plant such as nicotine/cannabis could provoke his condition at this point. Rest and recovery is where I'd put my money. He is likely to have been in a sensitive emotional/mental state regardless of outward appearances.

The anti-social behavior he is displaying may or may not be a side affect of the gigantic amounts of seroquel they have him taking. Really nasty stuff. I see what they're doing though, seroquel might be forceful enough to override the damage done to his head. Pcp has, arguably, the highest availability and potency as compared to any other street drug. If for no other reason he should stay on the seroquel simply so that he is mentally too immobile to find the means to retoxify.

In my opinion the critical brain damage wears off shortly after the drug leaves the body, but it could be years before his brain adjusts to the changes it has been forced to make in order to compensate depending on how much he actually smoked (no way to tell). 

After he is taken off the anti-psychotics, I'd say roughly 1-3 years should be enough time for his receptors to fully grow back and resume their normal ability to function, although I have no experience in the matter. This may not mean he will necessarily be 'the same' but with any luck the most evident and persistent signs of his psychosis would have subsided by then. They say the brain loses neuroplasticity and stops developing at age 25. There is still time.

Alcohol psychosis - Christine - Mar 25th 2011

Question on what I can hope for the future? My husband is in the hospital and was a heavy daily drinker.  He developed pancreatitis, then got pneumonia and was on a vent to breathe. He has lost a lot of weight and they installed a gastro tube to feed him. He is better medically but has been in the hospital a month and is still having hallucinations and has very active dillusions. The doctor is moving his to a nursing facility.  And said he gives it 2-3 weeks and then they will do a neuro consult, what I want to know is will he ever be normal again?  Will he come home or stay in the nursing facility forever as he is now I couldnt take care of him.  So what can I hope for?

my son has pcp psychosis - help - Feb 24th 2011

how long does pcp psychosis last? is the brain damage perminent? my son started pcp in September 2010 and was in the hospital January 18-31.He is 21 and has been smoking weed since he was 16. he seems like a different person. they have him on seroquel now cause GP changed his meds from abilify right when he got out. they keep uping his meds. be doesnt talk much unless you force him to. how long until he returns to normal or will he?

Help For My Son,Jimmy - - Feb 20th 2011

 My son,Jimmy has been in a mental ward for the last 4 weeks.In the beginning he was claiming to be Jesus Christ and other people.His behavior was violent,and he threatened to kill me numerous times in the past.They put him initially in a straight jacket inside a cement room with a bed.He has a history of alcohol and drugs so I want to know how you can tell the difference between mental problems and drug induced pyshotic episodes?Since he is only 15 years old,I am confused as to whether to keep him in a mental ward until he is 18years old or send him to a maximum security drug rehabilitation center??How long does a drug /alcohol induced psychotic episode last?

Dr. Dombeck's Note: certain drug intoxifications (e.g., speed-type drugs like meth or cocaine) can mimic psychosis directly but various drugs can also release latent tendencies/vulnerabilities to psychosis that were otherwise latent and hidden.  If the latter situation has occurred, the situation is distinct from drug intoxification effects and psychosis may linger for some time.  Consult with your psychiatrist for the best estimate for what you can expect.  With appropriate treatment there is good reason to hope for a good outcome and remission of the psychotic episode. 

drug induced pychosis - mother of 22 yr old son - Jan 7th 2011

It's Jan 2011, my son is experiencing drug induced pyschosis for the 3rd time in 4 years.  Total abstinence form all drugs to include alcohol, lots of love and prayers, and I have been treating him with 3000mg of niacin and 3000 miligrams of Vitamin C after each meal, as well as juicing with my juicing machine, and giving him multivitamins and melatonin.  He seems to be getting calmer, only time will tell.  We have been down the anti-pyscotic drug route and hopefully will not have to hospitalize him again.  It can take up to 4  wks or more the pro's say.  Look into the treatments Dr. Hoffer has to offer as pertains to the niacin and Vitamin C.  Ultimately the individual has to stop drug abuse and get a life or they will die, or be hospitalized or homeless,  and in the mean time drive their family insane.  God Bless you all

Unexplained episodes - Christian - Oct 17th 2010

I've been having what I call episodes where I become a person incapable of functioning like I normally would. They usually last from 7 to 14 days. The most frustrating thing for me is the feeling that I'm high on some drug, or like I'm not really here. It's extremely hard for me to talk, people have told me that I talk slow and soft. It's a great effort for me to move, but I am still able to. I also noticed that I become numb all over. For example: one time I was outside and an ant was biting my foot, I felt something, but it didn't hurt, and I didn't care. It's hard for me to smell and taste anything. If it weren't for my boyfriend I probably would eat. I stop taking care of myself, etc. brushing my teeth, hair, shower. I get dehydrated. I can still think, I know what's going on, but it's almost as if I'm dreaming and can't wake myself up. I've gone to countless doctors and they have all been stumped. I've been to psychiatrist after psychiatrist and all have different opinions. Once I had psychosis, then I had bipolar, then borderline personality, and the one I believed was the major depressive disorder. The episodes actually began after I smoked cannabis one night, but have been laced with methamphetamine. I noticed something wrong because I've smoked pot before and I knew it was never this intense and it never lasted this long. The first time lasted about 2 weeks. A month later it happened again, only that this time I never took anything. After that it kept happening, usually with a couple of months in between, but I can never tell when. I thought I had figured out a pattern, but after this time I'm starting to wonder if my brain has figured out a way to get the same exact experience I did that night without the help of any elicit drug. I know for a fact that my therapist or doctor have any clue on what's going on because they always ask me if I had been drinking or something. I'm worried that somehow, one day, I won't come back from that episode. Please help me or help me find someone who knows where I can get help. 

suggestions? - Greta - Sep 19th 2010

Anyone knows where to get help for my son who is 25 and refuses treatment? He diagnosed himself with schzophrenia and will not go to any rehab. We have done family interventions. He is  On drugs and alcohol and his condition is getting worse. Any way to convince him to get treatment?? Will lawyers,judges,cops or anybody who can help? Any suggestions Welcome.Thanks.

need help and support group for me n my family - Ms.barnes - Aug 24th 2010

my son got sick last sunday> he recently went threw 3 bad situations in he's personal life recently. #1 watching he's uncle die from lung cancer. 2#he's job firing him after the funeral base on job performance. 3# girlfriend playing games with he's him love one min then fighting and taking it back... maybe cheating on him,don't know for sure. he's money school work girlfriend. trying to be a man and holding responsbility and make your parents proud. these are some of the things he has mention to me. he's 21 yrs old. he was is high achevier. he use to multitaking and now he became depressed and overwhelmed by life. i took him by emt to the hospital and they keep him and me and he's dad on lock down in the psy ward for 2 days and wanted to comment him to a long term institute. i need to know what can i do to protect my son? i quit my job to take care of him. i also need help finacally to take care of him, what can i do? and what are is rights as far as school? he goes to school for auto body repair collusion. and i need outside hospital resoures. he was a regular weed smoker from the age of 14 and nothing like this ever happen. also 1 and half yr ago he was beaten in he's front left lobe of he's brain by nypd. i was a witness, mis identity. they thought he looked like some one else. so my concern right now is getting help for my son and resources that may be avalible. and i would like to find out if this is from the injury drugs or depression of the 3 events that happen to him or a combination of all the above. when i observe him i notice he has paranoid schizophrenic. please help us thanks sincerly Ms.Barnes

please save me - - Jun 21st 2010

im a very normal person in the public but i see demons in my sleep, everyday i cry for three hours in my closet and i become very ill when i drink and smoke cigarrettes. I wake up and scream in the morning uncontrollably and i dont know why? I feel like im so mental i dont know whats going on and depression has sunk to its full potential. I need phsciatric help PLEASE!!!!!

Please Help - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Mar 10th 2010

Hello Janina,

I believe that, if you have a psychosis, it can be assessed whether you are under the influence or not.

However, what you are describing is actually a form of blacking out when you are intoxicated. I have no way of knowing if this is symptomatic of a drug induced psychosis but it is a very strong signal to you, from your body, that you need to stop drinking. In other words, you brain is having a hard time coping with the alcohol you take in. You really need to stop.

If you have a tendency towards schizophrenia or any other psychosis, a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist anc assess you for it.

Dr. Schwartz

Please Help - janina - Mar 10th 2010

for the past year whenever i drink heavily i have random out bursts that are completely out of charracter, but as soon as i sober up i have no recolection of these actions, i didn't belive my partener when he told me of them, untill i seen video footage of me physically attacking him, you seen in the mornings after ive been drinking i always feel guilty because he does not drink, so i constantly appologise for my actions. but it asnt untill just recently that i found out that not only do i do things that i would never do sober, i also say things that are completly irrelevent and dishonest. i do suffer from depression and i have had schitzophrenic tendencies in the past, from what ive read up about on drug induced phycosis i think i may have it, but theres no way of my doctor being able to diganose me without seeing me in that state, correct??

I came out of it - - Feb 23rd 2010

There's always a 50/50 chance, at least in my case it was...I came out of it thank God.  I smoked some weed laced with PCP unknowingly and ended up in a mental institution for two months with numerous suicide attempts.  The delusions I thought were real lasted three months.  Every once and awhile a flashback will still come back, but it goes away as fast as it comes. 

Does psychosis eventually go away - - Jan 9th 2010

Hey i had a bad trip on shrooms and during it i thought i was losing my mind. I've been feeling out of it now for about two months after the trip. went to a couple of psychologists and psychiatrists and they said it's either a drug induced psychosis or depersonalization. I started taking invega about 3 days ago and only thing i notice are it's side effects. My symptoms are i feel like nothin around me is real even though it is and all i do that kind of keeps my mind off things is play video games, but for some reason i could still do really well in school too. Somebody help I just need an awnser and want to know if this will go away. 

help yourself. - - Nov 10th 2009

after over dosing on acid 3 years ago, i was on the brink of inevitably loosing my mind. My head was not the same and i knew it. For everyone looking at this thinking you might be crazy, this will help. The most safisticated pharmacy on the planet is in your own head. if you think your going crazy, your going to go crazy. You need to keep family and friends closer then you ever have before. the purgatory of the mind can be your worst enemy in this game. Be with friends daily, go out and get a girlfriend. Seeing all these things that these people do throughout there day will solidify your thoughts on whats going on around you and thus in a sense refresh your thought process. Social interaction is key to your rehabilitation. After 3 years i not only feel fine day to day, but i feel i have a hightened sense of thought process and social behavior. How you perceive whats going on inside of your head will determine if your "crazy" or not. Everyone is crazy in one way or another. I am 20 years old and im loony bin nuts, im not even sure if any of this makes sense whats wrong with that?? if you read this all i ask is remember this; if you dont control your thoughts... who does??

can we be normal - - Nov 3rd 2009

my partner has been living with a drug induced psychosis for the past year and a half recently he has been in hospital and is now been treated with risperidone.. he is much better and really trying.. we have a child together and i really just wanted to know can we move on from this an have a normal life or will it always be with us

You can pull your self out of this - - Oct 29th 2009

I overdosed on Shrooms over one year ago and never stopped tripping... My experience was so real when I was tripping that I woke up the next morning and still felt it. I had a religious encounter that felt amazing, but then they turned on me. My trip felt like a combination of The Recruit and the Truman show LOL I NO. I felt as though everyone was watching me and could read my thoughts.  I though EVERYONE was in on it even my parents. I would have diagnosed myself as a paranoid schizophrenic. Whatever I heard or seen on TV. I found a way to relate it back to me. There was so many coincidence I convinced myself that it was real.  My brain was spiraling out of control, getting further and further away from reality. I thought people could read my thoughts, and I couldn’t trust anyone. I couldn’t take it anymore; I dropped out of school and got fired from my job. It got really intense and it was the darkest period of my life, and im only twenty.  I thought my parents were in on it, and fought with them everyday.  I was so depressed that I wanted to end my life... BUT A MIRICLE HAPPENED. I found out what triggered these delusions and I pulled myself out of it.  I got a girlfriend and she helped TERMENDIOUSLY. I have a very positive outlook on life and LOVE EVERYDAY. I wouldn’t say that I am 100% but im about 99% better.  I’m taking this experience and this chapter of my life from the positive perspective.  I understand psychology SO MUCH now, and how the brain works… If anyone feels anything like this tell me and I can help you! You can pull your self out of this.

Call 911 - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Sep 9th 2009

Unfortunately, there are times when it is necessary to call 911. Emergency situations in which someone is fearing for their own life or the life of a loved one are the very situations where the police must be called. It is also not true that the individual will be arrested. Vast experience with this very situation that I, as a psychotherapist, had to confront, taught me that the individual is brought to the hospital for evaluation and then placement in a mental health facility. When there is doubt, call 911. It could mean the difference between life and death.

Dr. Schwartz

Don't Call the Police - - Sep 9th 2009

Whoever called the police- That was not the right thing to do. All the police would do is arrest you. Then you have to go to court,(which would be very unnecessary) face a judge, and pay court costs.  You be the judge.  You don't need an old "Mr. know it all" judge telling you what to do with your loved one.  The best thing to do would be to check the person in at some kind of mental hospital.  Or, maybe see a psychologist or another professional who specializes in drug induced psychosis. Find out if there are group meetings that provide help and information for people suffering from this temporary illness.  There are a few options you can take, but calling the police is the worst thing you can do, they wouldn't help the situation at all.

I dont know whats wrong with me - - Jul 8th 2009

I am 21 years old and have been using alcohol and cocaine quite a bit since I was 18 and everything was fine now It's not anymore I get these violent things in my head sometimes and have to hold back on doing things and also wake up in the middle of the night and cant fall back asleep because I keep seeing the same thing whenever I close my eyes and try to go to sleep, so I can't sleep Is there something wrong with me or just quit everything and it will go away?

Husband on Darvocet - Nancy - Jun 9th 2009

My husband has been on Darvocet,valium and fiorinal with codiene for the past 15 years. For about a month his behavior was irrational. My 17 yr old and I came home to find the bathrm sink off the wall, food taken out of the freezer, things in the fridge that were not supposed to be there, tried to get him to the hospital (he refused) the next night he left something on the stove and forgot about it, there was smoke everywhere.I locked myself in the room with my daughters. ( I should have called 911) He went to the hopital finally but I don't think he wants help for his darvocet abuse( he has fibromyalae) Toxic phychosis is what it was. I want to leave.

Call the police.... - - Jun 6th 2009

We are dealing with this issue with my mother in law currently. She is now in the hospital. We had to call the police and inform them that she wanted to hurt herself. The police found her and took her to the hospital. She has a hearing with the court who will determine her fate after the diagnosis from the docotrs.

HELP PLEASE - kIM - Jun 2nd 2009

My husabnd has been having drug induced psychosis for the last 5 years or so and seem to be getting worst. Sometimes he will talk for 5 hours straight and not a word of it will make any sense. He refuses to get help for his drug addiction or for his mental problems. No one can help us because they say he has to ask for help himself. If he could ask for help himslef we wouldn't be having a problem. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him into a program without his consent? I am desperate.

Unsure of Diagnosis - Geoff - May 25th 2009

I am currently struggling through the rapid impact of narcotics, though I am unsure whether this directly is related to narcotic consumption or an underlying condition that awaited to no longer be subsided, My symptoms consist of; constant visual hallucinations, adding an blockade to the clarity in sight, I feel restrained to do the excessive images that indicate confinement of oneself, almost to the degree of an catonic state, pleasure fails to be existent, though it is apparent when I am secure in my bedroom, fantasizing of past scenarios that depicted drug abuse. The professionals seem conflicted to provide me the comfort of a label, due to the minor insight I dostill possess, indicating I am partially in reality, Anti-psychotics have offered sedation, and a lack of stimulation, reassuring myself the normalcy I've come to become familiar with is entitled "psychotic."As I swallow an arrangement of pills, I await an miraculous cure, though time has extended over an year within this condition, College was once a destination I fulfilled, now I continue to result to the dream state, for an vision of existing within a academic enviroment, rather than the perimeter of an mental hospital.

mom of son with drug-induced psychosis - - May 2nd 2009

There is help for you -- you don't need to do this all alone.  Get online and look for psychosis support groups in your area that you could call.  If nothing else, call a hotline out of the yellow pages and they will be able to direct you somewhere.  Stay strong - your son would not be hurting you like this if he could help it.  But you need to get him and your family the help you all need.


I need more help with my 6ft 2 strong aggresive son who has psychosis my life my husbands and my daughters life is a living hell and has been for the past 2yrs or more. I love mt son he has been sectioned 2yrs ago he is one minute like a gentle giant and the next a abusive violent person who thinks he can do what ever he wants when ever he waqnt when he want and godhelp anyone who trys to stop him. My daughter can not live here any more and after he broke his stepdads nose at the weekend can not life here any long things seem to be getting worse and as much as I ask for help from him careworker its not happening, I sit wishing him dead, because the way things are going I will die of the amount of stress I am trying to keep things going and hold down a fulltime job. But this past month I feel like I am drowning and do not know which way to turn... It there anyone out there that can advise ir help. Please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What would help? - Uta - Feb 13th 2009

My son is suffering from a psychotic disorder, and has been for one and half years.  He will not admit to having hallucinations even though it is quite clear he is having them by anyone who is with him when they are occuring.  He also gets mean and gets a scarry expression(like he is real mad and he is trying to hold himself back from doing something violent). He has sleeping issues also.  I have researched his symptoms and Drug Induced Phychotic Disorder seems to fit the best.  My son is 30 and has been using since his first year of college.   He quit doing most drugs at the time of his first psychotic episode.  He seems to have hallucinations and irritability when he drinks or smokes pot.  He seems to be more detached from the family than he used to be also.

He wants a normal life, a job he likes, wife and kids and a home.  He can't be around people without getting restless and distracted.  He says he couldn't go to school right now or be in an office.  He is having a hard time finding work that provides enough money to survive,  he may be homeless soon.  He still will not ask for help. 

Is there anything I can do to make it easier for him to get help; I love him so and would do anything to make life easier, happier and more meaningful for him.

Dextromethorphan - - Jan 28th 2009
On a Friday, I started using dextromethorphan. I sustained the trip until the following Tuesday, with no sleep. I feel almost normal now, it is Wednesday, and I slept last night for two hours. It was very hard to let myself fall asleep. I cannot turn my head, I see things in the corners of my eyes. My neck feels strange, it has a bump that wasn't there before, I am afraid to sleep because I feel vulnerable.

Maniac behavior of 15 year old boy - Vijendra - Nov 17th 2008

2 years back a boy of 13 years was chatting with some girl whom he wanted to marry. Now he is 15. As it was not done he have now a typical behavior. He cries on phone to his girl's parents and threatens to kill or abduct. He is taking now wine and other drugs during daytime or after. Surprisingly he teases some other girls too on roads. He has been chided or beaten for this many times. But his absurdity is not lessening. What sort of treatment is required?

Substance Abuse Psychotic disorder - Mandy - Oct 26th 2008

I am in love with someone who is in treatment for dual diagnosed symptoms due to drug abuse. The dr are not quite sure if he will be able to live a normal life without medications. They have told me that this is not only drug related but also a genetic problem. His family however do not agree with this and say there is no family history of any mental illness. Can someone answer this question.....can schzophrenia be developed with drug use and is it curable or is this an illness which is genetic and abusing drugs only worsens the symptoms? He is under treatment in hospital for past 1 month and at this point he wants to be with me but because of his delusions and hallucinations.....I dont know how he will feel once he is treated.

recovering addict and psychosis patient,23 - karan - Sep 29th 2008
i abused every drug that i could possibly lay my hands on and landed up in the hospital after beating up my father on an episode of intensely  strong psychosis.....can never forget what they had to go through wid me...i consider myself lucky cause im alright now but drugs spoil your life in all ways possible...the high is just not worth yours parents dreams.

pranning!!? - dhik13 - Sep 12th 2008

substance abuse is normal, so if you are in drugs, be sure to face the consequences. get a life, take your parents as your inspiration through the journey of your life.

Isn't it ironic? - Linda - Aug 16th 2008

I agree with the previous post.  My son 23, is now in the hospital, suffering from drug-induced psychosis, and i am waiting for the next diagnosis, which may very well be schizophrenia.  I am looking at the possibility of a dual diagnosis, and I unfortunately have to say that his step-father is a drug addict (mostly cocaine, to my knowledge) and he has been my EX for 7 years.  Here's the irony..He's a pharmaceutical rep, and has a nursing diploma.  I know I shouldn't place blame, but until he steps up to the plate and accepts responsibility for his part in my son's near destruction, I will blame.  I don't think he ever will.  I only try to keep strong for my son and his brothers and sisters.  DRUGS make EVERYONE suffer!

Recreational, REALLY? - kath - Aug 1st 2008

There is no such thing as a recreational use of an illegal, highly addictive drug.  You admit that you can't control your use, so you shouldn't even attempt to use it.  Get your shit together - raise your kids.  It's time for you to stop hanging around with idiots who care more about their own addictions than about your welfare.  Seek some professional help - at least go to Narcotics Anonymous, if you can't afford a professional.

remember the things that made YOU love BEing alive - - Jul 9th 2006
it will be okay sista... think about the smile of a person that is dearly loved by you. your husband holding you while watching the sunset, drifting with the current far out in a calm sea... when changing what you think about, let the warmth you receive give you peace of mind..YOU ARE IN CONTROL!! pamper your mind, body & soul. go back to what was important before.

Handling a Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder - - Apr 20th 2006
I am a mother of two and thought that I was in control of an occasional recreational use of Cocaine. Occasional as in maybe twice a year. In 2005 my drug use became more frequent; every three months or so. In 2006, during the month of February alone, my husband and I were using every weekend. Once we used for 6 days straight, the longest time ever. My delusions started to get worse with each use. I have since been handling the withdrawal symptoms, for about three weeks now. My symptoms have been getting worse.... as far as my irritability and guilt is concerned. It is affecting my marriage and family. I certainly hope that this will pass and I can resume normal functioning. I think about the activities of that week every minute of every day. Hopefully, things will get better with time. Dreadlocks Queen

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