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Drug Psychosis-Signs and symptoms

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Drug psychosis

Help me!

Help me!


Psychosis? What is it?

The word psychosis describes a condition that affects the mind. In short, you lose touch with reality. When someone loses touch with reality, begins behaving quite strangely, and cannot function. You've lost your marbles, the cheese has slipped off the cracker, Elvis has left the building, one card short of a full deck, one can shy of a six pack, the machine is running, but no one is behind the wheel. You're no longer the brightest star in the sky. Basically, it's the ultimate betrayal of the mind. That's fun right?

Early psychosis means that someone is experiencing psychosis for the first time. This could be chemically drug induced (which is what I'm covering) or can be caused from mental disorders, like schizophrenia, other neurological disorders, disease, or sleep deprivation.

Hallucinations, delusions (no you are not god), paranoia (they're coming to get you Barbara), disorganized speech and thoughts are some symptoms of psychosis. So are smelling odors that do not exist, physically feeling or tasting things that are not there, also known as olfactory (smelling), and tactile (feeling, yes you are covered in tiny bugs trying to eat your skin), and gustatory ( all tastes like fried chicken and watermelon).

Some symptoms seem so real to the person experiencing psychosis that they often don't even realize they are in it. Psychosis can also affect behavior and feelings, obviously right? People in psychosis are often animated, or terrified.

Psychotic episodes are periods of time when psychosis is strong and interferes with functioning in life. A few moments here, a few moments there. Or these episodes can last a few hours or days, although the lengths of episodes vary in each individual.

Psychosis, on the other hand is most likely to continue for weeks, months or even years, if no treatment is provided. And worst-case scenario, it can become permanent.

This is usually a scary event, not only to the person experiencing it, but to the family and loved ones that witness it, and try to provide help dealing with it.

What drugs cause psychosis

What drugs cause it?

  • All drugs, including, but not limited to; Marijuana, Alcohol, Stimulants, Depressants, Opiates , prescription medications, name it, it can cause it. It all depends on how your specific brain chemically reacts to it.

However, your odds of experiencing drug induced psychosis go up with certain drugs. Using stimulants such as cocaine or meth put you at a higher risk, as do hallucinogens, like LSD, or the ever popular "magic mushrooms".

In most cases, removing the drug from the system returns the user to reality, but sometimes damage can be so severe and toxic to the user that damage does not fully reverse. And users acquire permanent or temporary bouts of psychosis or psychotic episodes which most often require medical assistance.

Drug psychosis


Symptoms of drug induced psychosis can include the following symptoms, with no typical pattern or occurrence. Sometimes psychosis episodes will vary depending on how much drug is taken, how it is taken, what drugs are combined, when/where/who/what/why, frequency, health status, etc...

No single episode of psychosis remains to exactly repeat or replicate itself, although some users will get fixated on a specific portion of it.

True story- I once witnessed a girl grating her arms with a cheese grater, high on LSD because she thought she was made of cheese.

The devil is on the radio. There are bugs under your skin, something smells like a giant rotting tomato, there are shadow people in the bushes yielding large knives waiting for you to step outside.

Psychosis is not always this drastic though, sometimes it appears as harmless as mania, or bi-polar disorder...disguising itself!

  • Hallucinations (all 5 senses can be affected)
  • Paranoia
  • Violence
  • Spiritual disturbances
  • Delusions
  • Thought and speech disorder
  • Catatonia (loss of motor skills, staying in bizarre positions, unresponsiveness to external stimuli)
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Mood and behavior changes

Mental illness

Uh-oh...looks like this crazy is being hauled away...

Uh-oh...looks like this crazy is being hauled away...

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How to prevent and treat drug psychosis

The best way to prevent drug psychosis is to stay away from drugs. Duh! Or at least stop or seek treatment for the ones that send you over the reality cliff.

If someone you know is in active psychosis from using a specific drug, try to talk them down and cut them off dammit! No matter how much they try to convince you that more of the drug(s) will solve the problem. Keep them in a safe location and away from things that they could harm themselves or others with. Keep them away from strangers, or sudden environmental changes. Lots of things can send someone over the edge if they are to high to realize they are on planet earth. Changes in music/sounds, temperature, places, people, you get the point. Try to keep things even and steady until the drug wears off. Then put them somewhere safely to sleep or recover from the havoc the drug(s) have done. Slow and steady wins the race.

Sometimes it helps to get them to a location or frame of mind they are familiar with, or to talk about things they love, like hobbies or other interests. If they are violent, or extremely paranoid, you may need to call for help.

If you happen to be as high as they are, but in a non-psychotic state, god help us all! One high idiot leading a crazy high idiot is not a good combo.

When someone is high and comes down only to realize they've done some whack nut damage to their brain or nervous system that is not going to repair itself overnight, fear can really set in. These people need treatment and they need it as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to pursue outside help. You may be saving their life.

Anti-psychotic drugs

More drugs to reverse drugs? What?!

More drugs to reverse drugs? What?!


Medication can be an important part of treating psychosis. It can relieve symptoms and prevent relapse. Most medications used for treatment are called anti-psychotics (or sometimes neuroleptics). Typical anti-psychotics include haloperidol, and loxapine. others still; include; risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, Risperidone (Risperdal), Olanzapine (Zyprexa),Quetiapine (Seroquel),Ziprasidone (Geodon),Aripiprazole (Abilify),Paliperidone (Invega),Chlorpromazine (Thorazine),Haloperidol (Haldol),Perphenazine (generic only),Fluphenazine (generic only), ziprasidone and clozapine.

Often medications used together in unison (depending on the best course of treatment determined) are anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. All of these have a fun list of side effects to add to your already gooey mind and body. They need careful monitoring, and when a patient is well they should also be removed from use. If and when that time comes that is.

Just say NO!

How can someone tell if drug induced psychosis will be temporary or permanent? They can't. No one can scientifically determine the limitations of each individuals mind, brain, or nervous system health.

Follow the old ad, "Just say no to drugs" and you can avoid this terrible non-sense all-together.

Get high on life and love, and hang out with others you hope to be like. Learn how to tap into creative parts of your mind naturally without medication and do some soul searching.

© 2013 Rebecca


Rebecca (author) from USA on September 25, 2016:

Sounds like a helluva high Jeff. I hope you are clean now. You sound super creative and intelligent, hope the drugs don't take that from you. Thanks for the comment, by the way, it's not uncommon to see bits of drugs laying about either from being high or feigning for it.

Jeff on November 29, 2015:

Has anybody that has stayed up long periods or time on meth had this experience? I started seeing little pieces of meth all over my house or wherever I was at, it usually happened after being up 6,7 or more days. It hashappened to me at work to and actually to the point where Im aware enough to think Im hallucinating but still have to stop and check the little pieces out just to make sure that imnot passing up gaining all this dope laying around free for me to take. One weekend about 6 months ago when I was at my lowest point in my life so far, I had cooked a batch and I owed this girl that lived in the nearby town half of what it made. The problem was my vehicle was broke down and I hadn't been without some kind of running transpotation since I got my license and Im 28. She wasn't pressuring me to get it to her but I wanted to get it overwith, that way I could relax and enjoy my half of the stuff. WHere I live people ride atvs on the main road and it isn't really abig deal it is everydaylife. I had been using my atv as my primary vehicle for about 2 weeks and that just meant I couldn't go into the town center or walmart, or whatever, so I told her I would ride the fourwheeler to her house, which was about 14 miles on the back roads so I didn't go down the interstate on it like a jackass. That just left a 1/4 mile stretch on a city street where I would be most vulnerable to the cops trying to catch me, I decided to wait until just after dark and I was tweaking so bad I took hours to actually leave the house, when I did get on the road there was no traffic because it was almost midnight, on the way I started tripping out seeing bluelights, hearing police sirens, and actually seeing police cruisers, and full roadblock that wasn't there, after evading the law that wasn't real I made the final 1/4 mile safely. Flew into her back yard shut off the fourwheeler, and ran to their back porch and thought they were still after me. When I realized I wassafe (as safe as you can be at what is usually a busy crackhouse full of crackheads that never share with you but aren't ashamed to ask for a shot, I found out everybody was asleep, It was now 3am, I decided to hang out on the porch, relax and do a shot, The next thing I remember Im a block away in the dollar store parking lot thinking my ex girlfriends kids were in a car in the parking lot by theirself, while her ex man was trying to lure me out into the open with little baggies of dope and xanax bars I was seeing on the sidewalk, parking lot and everywhere, I remember seeing a vehicle driving by and running hearing the gun go off they were shooting at me. The next thing I remember after that a silver car pulls in and 2 guys ger out with guns ontheir sides, this was real, it was 2 city police deputies that ust have been off duty and drove by and seen me tripping out at 3 in the morning bynyself in the parkinglot, or soebody seen me and called then, but they weren't very happy. I was so in the idea of what I thought was going on I told them everything about my ex's kids and her new man which I shouldn't have to tell you wasn't anywhere close to ever happening but I kept trying to convince them while they found my rig and arrested me. They took me to the local hospital first probably because I was acting like I escaped from a mental ward. I had a fever of 104 and wasdehydrated, they releases me hours later and the cop took me to jail after me accusing him and his sargent of buying suboxobe off me the week before because I though he was this girl I know's brother that she "forgot" to tell me was a cop. When we walked out of the hospital I was still in handcuffs and probably was twitchy vecause of the ammounts of meth I had been doing AND I had been up at that point to my best knowlege and what friends told me going on around 21 days give or take, like it matters, but he was tired of my talking nonsense and was going to try to peperspray me by accusing me of trying to run and I remember this like it was yesterday I was NOT trying to get away because I knew the hospital visit counted toward the 10 hours they hold a PI charge, but luckily a guy and girl was walking down the sidewalk and he didn't get to but he did tighten the cuffs to a point where it left cuts on my wrists. Id like to say Im not exagerating in the least about the cop or anything Im posting, I'm not proud all this, the shape im in and the worse shape I was in then still blows my mind. When I got to the drunk tank I was seeing dope in the floor there. I finally got out the next morning and I still get a kick out of this even though it didn't help me any bit but I had almost 3 grams of dope in a little flashlight. I took out the batteries and had it in there, but the cops booked it into evidence and when I got home something gave me the idea to look in the light and it was still there.

Rebecca (author) from USA on July 06, 2013:

It really is. I heard on the radio the other day that the most common drug over doses are women in their 30-40's on pain medications, originally prescribed for legitimate illness/pain management. They get hooked, mix pill cocktails and OD. It's very sad. Thanks for the comment Teaches12345

Dianna Mendez on July 06, 2013:

Great advice and suggestions. I agree that keeping people from taking these harmful drugs is the best medicine. It is amazing how many people begin on simple pain regimen and end up being an addict. Voted up++

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 03, 2013:

Very nice and well written hub on a very crucial topic. It should help those affected by this serious problem.

Nice message, 'Say no to drugs first time and every time.'

Life is beautiful, enjoy it, do not destroy it.

Well done, useful and informative!

Thanks for sharing!

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