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PROJECT: DRUG-INDUCED PHYCHOSIS

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Psychosis is a state where an individual loses touch with reality.


During such episodes, people may experience hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist) and delusions.


\While psychosis can be associated with mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, there is another type known as drug-induced psychosis.

 

DEFINITION:

  • Drug-induced psychosis refers to any psychotic episode triggered by substance use.

  • It can occur due to an adverse reaction to a substance, excessive consumption, withdrawal, or underlying mental health issues.

  • Although these episodes are typically brief, ongoing substance use may increase the risk of developing other psychotic conditions in predisposed individuals.


LONG-TERM EFFECTS AND THE RISK OF PERMANENCE:

  • While drug-induced psychosis is often temporary, there are cases where the condition can persist even after the cessation of drug use.

  • This prolonged effect can be particularly concerning, as it may signify a transition to a more chronic psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia.


COMMON SUBSTANCES ASSOCIATED WITH DRUGINDUCED PSYCHOSIS:


Stimulants:

Examples: Cocaine, methamphetamine, and other amphetamines.

High doses or prolonged use can lead to psychosis.

Symptoms may include paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.

Hallucinogens (Psychedelics):

Examples: LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and PCP.

These substances alter perception and can cause psychotic episodes.


SYMPTOMS OF DRUG-INDUCED PSYCHOSIS:


Delusions:

  • False beliefs that persist despite evidence to the contrary.

  • For instance, the affected person might believe they possess special powers or are being persecuted.


Hallucinations:

Sensory experiences (visual, auditory, or tactile) without external stimuli.

Hearing voices or seeing things that others do not perceive.


DANGERS AND RISKS:


Self-Harm and Harm to Others:

Individuals experiencing drug-induced psychosis may act impulsively, endangering themselves or those around them.

Paranoia can lead to aggression or violence.


Legal and Social Consequences:

  • Erratic behaviour during psychosis can result in legal trouble.

  • Relationships may suffer due to mistrust and suspicion.


Health Risks:

  • Prolonged substance use damages physical and mental health.

  • Psychosis exacerbates these risks.


TREATMENT AND SUPPORT:


Detoxification:

  • The first step is to stop using the triggering substance.

  • Medical supervision is crucial during detox.


Therapy and Medication:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) helps address distorted thoughts.

  • Antipsychotic medications may be prescribed.


Social Support:

  • Family and friends play a vital role in recovery.

 

For SSS, understanding drug-induced psychosis is essential. Recognising the signs, dangers, and treatment options empower you to assist affected individuals and their families.


Remember, compassion and knowledge go a long way in supporting those grappling with this challenging condition.

 

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Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

PSIRA Reg. 1590364/421949

Mobile: +27 82 447 6116

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