Drug Induced Schizophrenia: What it is & treatment

Drug Induced Schizophrenia

schizophrenia treatment

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by fundamental distortions of thinking and perception with inappropriate or blunted affect. The person loses his/ her contact with reality are result in impairment in functioning.

The essential features of schizophrenia are: –

  • Delusions- A false belief that is held with extraordinary conviction and has morbid content.
  • Hallucinations- A perception in the absence of an external object and has the qualities of a real object.
  • Incoherent Speech- Breaks in the train of thought that result in incoherent or irrelevant speech.
  • Disorganized Behaviour- Lack of goal directed behaviour that may manifest as stupor, agitation, mannerism, waxy flexibility etc.

Although schizophrenia has a genetic basis, such a state can be induced through drugs.


Any drug that can change a person’s behaviour, thinking and perception may trigger symptoms of schizophrenia. The condition can last from few hours to few months. Excessive use of drugs leads to alteration in the neurochemicals in the brain that can lead to permanent damage. Mentioned below is a list of some drugs that can lead to such condition.

  • Amphetamines or methamphetamines
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Hallucinogens such as LSD
  • Opioids
  • PCP
  • Sedatives


Drug induced schizophrenia may present itself as a cluster of various symptoms. They occur immediately after the use of psychoactive drug (usually within 48 hours of use). The onset can also be late occurring 2 weeks after the substance use. It is characterized by: –

  • Vivid hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Misidentification
  • Ideas of reference
  • Psychomotor Disturbances
  • Abnormal affect
  • Clouding of Consciousness

If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately seek help from psychiatric hospital. Rehab centre in Delhi NCR provide rehabilitation services for drug induced schizophrenia.


In many cases, the symptoms resolve quickly after a period of abstinence. However, drugs like cocaine and amphetamines may takes weeks or even months to resolve. If the symptoms persist despite the abstinence from the drug, there are high chances of a mental illness. In any case, intervention is required.

Here at Tulasi Healthcare, a rehab centre in Delhi NCR, a holistic approach is taken towards drug induced schizophrenia. A combination of both pharmacological and psychological intervention is applied. The pharmacological treatment takes in account the psychotic symptoms whereas psychological treatment focuses on underling personality or mental health issues and rehabilitation back in the society.

Pharmacological Intervention

  • Antipsychotics- This class of psychiatric medication works on the symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Benzodiazepines- These are used to manage the withdrawal symptoms of the drug.

Psychological Interventions

  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy- A psychotherapy modality that works on maintaining the motivation of the patient to remain abstinent from the drug.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy- An approach focusing on unlearning the addiction behaviour and cognitive retraining.
  • Dynamic Deconstructive Psychotherapy- A subfield od psychodynamic psychotherapy based on the co-occurring drug abuse and personality organization.

Tulasi Healthcare, one of the best Psychiatry hospitals in India, offers a comprehensive approach and provide a healing environment for people struggling with substance use disorder and comorbid mental illnesses.

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