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Drug-Induced Psychosis

  • Oliver Freudenreich
Chapter
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)

Abstract

A wide variety of drugs can cause psychosis that is transient once the drug is removed. Some drugs cause such a transient, drug-induced psychosis in most people who take them (e.g., LSD and PCP), and other drugs cause psychosis only in a minority of susceptible patients (e.g., cannabis). This chapter reviews common drugs associated with psychosis: alcohol and sedative (during intoxication and withdrawal), cannabis, stimulants, LSD and hallucinogens, and PCP. The difficulties in making a diagnosis of drug-induced psychosis vis-à-vis a primary psychotic disorder are discussed, particularly as more potent designer drugs are easily available today, and psychosis can be prolonged. The public health ramifications of high-potency cannabis as a risk factor for schizophrenia are emphasized.

Keywords

Drug-induced psychosis Diagnosis Treatment Urine drug testing Alcohol Sedative Cannabis Stimulants Methamphetamine LSD Hallucinogens PCP Ketamine Medication-induced psychosis Toxins 

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Additional Resources

    Web Sites

    1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/ – The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website. NIDA is the branch of the NIH that studies addictions.
    2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/club-drugs – NIDA’s section on club drugs.

    Books

    1. Huxley A. The doors of perception. New York: Harper & Brothers; 1954. – The English writer Huxley describes his psychedelic experiences under mescaline. His philosophical insights make this book worth reading today, particularly as psychiatry rediscovers the therapeutic values of mind-altering drugs. While you may never use psychedelic substances yourself, the book may open your mind (sorry about this pun which is intended) to the limits of day-to-day experiences.Google Scholar

    Articles

    1. Murray RM, Quigley H, Quattrone D, Englund A, Di Forti M. Traditional marijuana, high-potency cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids: increasing risk for psychosis. World Psychiatry. 2016;15:195–204. – A good overview over the changes in potency of cannabis products and the unresolved public health questions.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    2. Nour MM, Carhart-Harris RL. Psychedelics and the science of self-experience. Br J Psychiatry. 2017;210:177–9. – A topic that I did not cover in detail: the therapeutic use of currently mostly illicit psychedelic substances. Psilocybin for example is being tested for use in cancer patients with depression and existential concerns.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Freudenreich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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