Substance/Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorders

Substance- or medication-induced psychotic disorder is characterised by hallucinations and/or delusions due to the direct effects of a substance or withdrawal from a substance in the absence of delirium.

Episodes of substance-induced psychosis are common in emergency departments and crisis centres.

Many substances may bring on these episodes, including:

  • Alcohol;
  • Amphetamines;
  • Cannabis;
  • Cocaine;
  • Hallucinogens;
  • Opioids;
  • Phencyclidine (PCP); and
  • Sedatives.

To be considered substance-induced psychosis, the hallucinations and delusions should be greater than those that typically accompany simple substance intoxication or withdrawal, although the individual may also be intoxicated or withdrawing.

Symptoms are often brief and disappear once the drug that is causing the symptoms is cleared from the body, but psychosis triggered by amphetamines, cocaine, or PCP may last for many weeks.

Refer to Schizophrenia and Related Disorders.