Psychosis is a term used to encompass a set of symptoms that are characterized by disconnection from reality. When a teenager experiences psychosis it is typically referred to as a psychotic episode. The primary symptoms that denote psychosis and occur during a psychotic episode include delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (perception of a nonexistent sensation, object or event), incoherent speech, and/ or displays of behaviors that are inappropriate for the situation. The symptoms of psychosis can vary in severity and duration and can be exacerbated by environmental factors such (e.g., stress, substance abuse, etc.). Several recreational drugs and prescription medications are known to induce psychotic symptoms that can mimic serious psychiatric disorders.
Substance-induced psychosis, also known as drug-induced psychosis or substance-induced psychotic disorder, is characterized by any psychotic episode that is related to the abuse of an intoxicant, which as explained by American Addiction Centers “can occur from taking too much of a certain drug, having an adverse reaction after mixing substances, during withdrawal from a drug, or if the individual has underlying mental health issues.” The types of drugs that are most likely to result in psychotic symptoms, include cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, psychedelic drugs such as LSD, and club drugs such as ecstasy and MDMA. Alcohol, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, and hallucinogens are among the most common causes of drug-induced psychosis. The amount and type of drug required to trigger substance-induced psychosis can vary between individual cases. While drug-induced psychosis symptoms can fluctuate, there are certain symptoms that are more common than others, some of which include the following examples, provided by Medical News Today:
- Paranoia and terror.
- Dangerous behavior.
- Disconnection from other people or from reality (e.g., may appear catatonic or totally withdrawn).
The severity of symptoms of drug-induced psychosis often progresses gradually, with toxicity of the drug becoming more dangerous as the frequency and dosage of the drug increases with dependency. Substance-induced psychosis can have a significant impact on teen mental health as the inability to distinguish between reality and non-reality can lead to harmful behaviors and detrimental consequences.
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