What is Drug Induced Psychosis?

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Drug Induced Psychosis

Drug induced psychosis is considered a form of psychosis that occurs due to chemical means. However, the term itself may be difficult to define for clinical reasons. While most cases of this psychiatric condition refers to psychosis brought about from the use of illegal drugs, some patients undergoing pharmalogical therapy for other psychiatric conditions may also suffer from psychosis that is a marked side effect of certain prescribed medications. Therefore, illegal drug use is not always to blame and basing the definition on this criterion can be presumably false. So, in this context, psychosis induced by drugs is considered in terms of both legal and illegal drugs.

Types of Drug Induced Psychosis

As with other forms of psychiatric conditions, there are various types and names of these particular conditions. Psychosis as a result of drugs and/or medications may be frequently referred to as medication induced psychosis and is often labeled according to the symptoms that are present. Drug induced bipolar disorder, depression, mania, dementia, and schizophrenia are just a few examples of terms that may be used. This does not conclude that the individual necessarily has this mental health disorder, only that the symptoms are present. Once the patient has the drug or medication out of the body and/or withdrawal is complete, the psychosis is no longer present.


Symptoms of psychosis tend to vary by the patient, as will the severity. These symptoms may often include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, confusion, and sporadic changes in behavior. Aggressive behaviors, hyperactivity, and irritability may also accompany these symptoms while in a state of psychosis. The individual may feel invincible and other risky behaviors may surface. Chemically induced psychosis symptoms will also depend on the drug or medication that caused the reaction. For example, certain mood stabilizers have the potential to cause feelings of depression and/or suicidal thoughts. Those in a state of psychosis as a result of this type of drug are more prone to experience this symptom than the others mentioned.

Treatment for Drug Induced Psychosis

Treatment options for drug induced psychosis will depend on many factors. Typically, the first step is in determining whether or not the psychosis is chemically induced. The next step is determining the drug and/or medication that caused the symptoms. If the psychosis is caused by a medication, the patient may be advised to either immediately or gradually stop the drug. However, more drastic measures and interventions may be necessary in some cases. This is especially true for the individual that poses a threat to him or herself and/or others. Hospitalization and pharmacological treatment can be required.

Psychosis caused by medications or illegal drugs can be potentially dangerous. Someone in this state should get immediate medical attention. Whether caused by drug and/or alcohol abuse or a medication that has been legally prescribed to the individual, drug induced psychosis alters the ability to think in a clear, concise manner.


National Institute of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. September 2009. Viewed 22, December 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19960382?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=2.

National Organization for Drug Induced Disorders. HPPD General Information. 2007. Viewed 22, December 2010. https://nodid.org/dynamic/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=50&Itemid=.