Is substance-induced psychotic disorder related to schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Drug and alcohol use can sometimes cause psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, similar to symptoms of schizophrenia. Some of the drugs that are known to cause psychosis for some people include:

- marijuana
- cocaine
- amphetamines
- hallucinogens
- inhalants
- opioids

On occasion, withdrawal from drug and alcohol abuse can also cause the psychotic symptoms. It can be difficult to determine the cause of the hallucinations and delusions, however. When any type of psychosis is suspected, the person should be monitored closely. Substance-induced psychosis is assumed when psychotic symptoms begin immediately or within one month of drug use or withdrawal. Antipsychotic medications may be prescribed, depending on the substance that was used and the severity of symptoms. Benzodiazepines may also be helpful.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.