24 Hours to Improve Drug Psychosis

24 Hours to Improve Teenage Drug Psychosis

April 16, 2021

Substance abuse of any kind can trigger a psychotic episode. Teens who struggle with substance use disorders and addiction are also prone to experiences of psychosis due to substance use. Episodes of drug-related or drug-induced psychosis often include scary symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. In many cases, such symptoms are short-lived but often harmful. Episodes of drug-induced psychosis must be immediately treated with a combination of short-term hospitalization (or medical care) and ongoing dual diagnosis psychological treatment at a teen-focused treatment center. Without a comprehensive focus on immediate symptom mitigation and long-term treatment and recovery, substance use relapse and a recurrence of psychosis symptoms are increasingly likely.

Explaining Drug-Induced Psychosis

Psychosis is an altered state of mind that can result from various circumstances, including mental health symptoms, substance use, and medical injury. A teen who is struggling with psychosis will experience disturbing and often very frightening symptoms. When someone is experiencing psychosis, they are often said to be detached from reality. When this occurs, it often triggers water more of the following symptoms.


A hallucination is a sound, taste, smell, sensation, or visual image of something that isn’t really there. Someone who is hallucinating will taste flavors, smell odors, or see people or things that are not physically present at the time. Hallucinations feel very real to the person experiencing them. Unfortunately, there is a high probability that they may not understand what they are experiencing is not real. This can lead to overwhelming fear and anxiety.


Delusions are defined as persistent false beliefs. When someone is delusional or experiencing delusions, they will stand by or fight for their belief’s legitimacy regardless of being presented with evidence to the contrary. Delusions are often paranoid or rooted in fear. For example, when someone is experiencing psychosis, they may believe certain people are out to get them or cause them harm despite being presented with facts that show their belief is untrue.

Disturbed Thoughts and Speech

Someone experiencing psychosis may speak or communicate in an unusual way. For someone on the outside looking in, this is indicative that their thoughts are confused and chaotic, and they can’t make sense of what they are thinking or saying. Also, they may easily lose track of their thoughts, speak too fast, stop talking suddenly, or switch topics rapidly as they struggle to communicate.

Psychosis is a symptom of certain mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It can also occur due to trauma (either psychological or physical) and from substance use. One critical way to determine if substances are the root cause of your teen’s psychosis is to note whether they occur during intoxication or withdrawal. Incidences of drug-induced psychosis have been reported with the use of a variety of substances, including marijuana, alcohol, stimulants, sedatives, inhalants, and hallucinogens. As previously noted, drug-induced psychosis is often short-lived; however, at the moment, it can be quite terrifying. It is a very serious mental health issue and, in some cases, even a medical and mental health crisis that requires immediate medical and mental health intervention at a treatment facility like Hillcrest.

Immediate Treatment is a Crucial Component to Recovery

Drug-induced psychosis results from using specific substances. Typically, once the drug is out of the body and withdrawal is complete, the symptoms of psychosis resolved themselves. However, in some cases, they may persist for more extended periods depending on the severity, frequency, and amount of substance is used. Because psychosis can sometimes disappear as quickly as it comes on, it can be easy to ignore the symptoms of an episode once it has resolved. It is imperative that you do not do this or allow your teen to do so. Without prompt and comprehensive treatment, starting as soon as you recognize symptoms, episodes of psychosis can recur.

If you know your teen’s psychosis is substance-induced, it is essential their treatment focus on substance use disorders and recovery. Also, their treatment program should focus on any underlying mental health conditions that could further worsen their substance use or frequency of psychotic episodes. A significant percentage of individuals who struggle with substance use disorders also struggle with one or more mental health conditions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, six out of ten teens who struggle with substance use disorders also have a mental health disorder. Although depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders are the most common, other diagnoses such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder are found to correlate strongly with addiction. When treated together in a program that addresses dual diagnosis, it helps to reduce to risk of ongoing or relapsing substance abuse and recurring psychosis.

Why Inpatient Treatment is the Best Choice for Drug-Induced Psychosis

Immediate and comprehensive treatment is the first and most crucial step for your teen in their recovery from drug-induced psychosis. Depending on the severity of their psychosis episode, they may need immediate hospitalization for medical treatment and stabilization before they can begin to work on detox and addiction treatment therapy. After your teen is stable and their current episode is adequately managed, it is essential they receive ongoing treatment and therapy to learn safer, more effective ways to manage substance use, their underlying mental health symptoms, and the psychotic symptoms that may arise from either diagnosis. The idea and most effective setting for effective dual diagnosis treatment is a teen-focused inpatient treatment program like Hillcrest.

Inpatient treatment offers many treatment benefits that may not be possible in an alternate treatment setting. Residential treatment offers your teen the opportunity to be away from potential triggers in a safe, substance-free environment. This time away from the people, places, or events that may have led to substance use or triggering of underlying mental health symptoms provides our teen a safe place to focus on their recovery and heal.

At Hillcrest, we offer a variety of alternative and holistic healing options in addition to evidence-based, traditional therapy models to help provide the most comprehensive treatment plans possible. Because the struggles with addiction and mental health are unique to the person, it is essential their treatment programs be unique and individual as well. Our caring team of professionals is skilled in dual diagnosis care for your teen and will work with your teen and family to provide individualized and holistic treatment during treatment and throughout recovery.

With Treatment, Recovery is possible.

Unlike many of the symptoms related to mental health or substance abuse, the symptoms of drug-induced psychosis are usually short-lived and often resolve as the body naturally cleanses itself of the substance. Because of this, it can be easy to overlook or try to “forget about” the episode. It is crucial to take any episode of psychosis seriously and work with your teen to seek immediate treatment. Studies have shown that ongoing substance use increases the risk for some psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and similar conditions. According to some studies, alcohol and marijuana are significantly connected to this increased risk. Once your teen has experienced a psychotic episode related to substance use, it is likely to recur. The risk of recurrence is even higher for anyone with an increased risk or history of certain mental health conditions with psychotic symptoms. The same studies indicate that substance use increases the risk of schizophrenia also show that drugs or alcohol use can trigger chronic psychosis in individuals at an increased risk.

For your teen to recover both in sobriety and mental health will require ongoing care, support, and treatment. Because drug-induced psychosis only typically lasts as long as the substance is in the body, it is possible to recover pretty quickly from one episode. However, without adequate care and treatment, a singular episode of drug-induced psychosis can lead to a chronic psychotic condition with regular bouts of psychosis. It is possible to limit the possibility of substance use or mental health relapse by ensuring your teen receives comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment and follows a structured support plan for ongoing care after they leave treatment.

If you are a teen struggling with addiction and related symptoms or a parent wanting to get your teen the care and support they need, it is crucial to seek early and comprehensive treatment. With a proper treatment plan, recovery from substance abuse disorders and mental illnesses that lead to psychosis is possible. It is essential to choose a treatment program like Hillcrest that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic treatments that lead to positive outcomes both during treatment and throughout long-term recovery. Treatment for addiction and mental illness struggles requires commitment. Although the most intrusive symptoms of drug-induced psychosis often resolve quickly, the root causes of your teen’s symptoms are generally behaviors or negative thought patterns that require an ongoing commitment to recovery.

With the proper treatment, your teen can learn healthy and safe ways to make changes that will lead to a better life without substances and the challenges of mental illness symptoms. At Hillcrest, our unique and individualized treatment programs will help your teen learn more about how addictive behaviors often feed the negative symptoms that lead to psychosis and ongoing mental illness. Through comprehensive treatment, our treatment team will help your teen and your family learn more about how to combat the desire to turn to negative coping strategies that lead to addiction. Sobriety and recovery are not immediate, but a happier, healthy life free of symptoms is possible. If you are ready to help your teen begin their recovery journey, contact the admissions team at Hillcrest today to learn more about our teen-focused treatment center.