Alcohol Induced Psychosis

Alcohol induced psychosis is used to describe any number of psychotic conditions that can occur due to alcohol abuse. This psychosis often manifests itself in the form of delusions and hallucinations. It can occur during various stages of alcohol abuse, including acute intoxication, withdrawal, and chronic alcoholism.

Alcohol Induced Psychosis
The alcohol-induced psychotic disorder is a rare complication of chronic alcohol abuse.

Signs Of Alcohol Induce Psychosis

It is not uncommon for people to experience both addiction problems and mental health issues simultaneously. A heavy drinker who uses alcohol to cope with his difficulties should look for alcohol and depression treatment. A consistent drinker who starts to see or hear things that aren’t there should also seek professional help.

Along with showing more common signs of alcoholism like social withdrawal, drinking alone, agitation, shakiness, and decline in personal hygiene, those with alcohol-related psychosis will start to exhibit other symptoms that can be more severe. The most common signs of this condition are hallucinations and delusions that occur immediately following heavy drinking or during the withdrawal period following consistent drinking. While hallucinations and delusions are signs of various mental health disorders like psychosis and schizophrenia, this psychosis should directly relate to the person’s alcohol abuse and consumption. Because of this minor discrepancy, alcohol-related psychosis can be difficult to diagnose and take time to differentiate from other possible mental health disorders.

Another way to differentiate between a psychotic disorder stemming from other factors and one directly related to alcohol abuse is by looking at family history. If the client has a family history of alcohol abuse but no family history of psychotic disorders, it is good to indicate that psychosis associated with alcohol is the problem. If you or your loved one is exhibiting signs of alcohol-induced psychosis, get substance-induced psychosis treatment right away. Battling both an addiction problem and mental health issues is scary, but you can get help. 

Can Alcoholism Lead To Psychosis?

Alcohol use can trigger short-term alcohol induced psychosis, including acute alcoholic psychosis, alcoholic hallucinosis, and AWD (alcohol withdrawal delirium). In most cases, these episodes of psychosis will end once alcohol consumption has ceased, and withdrawal symptoms have subsided. However, if long-term psychosis persists, it is typically caused by a separate, co-occurring mental health disorder that predated or developed alongside alcohol use disorder, like schizophrenia. Telling the difference between alcohol-related psychosis and schizophrenia can be difficult, as they share many of the same symptoms. Fortunately, alcohol-induced psychosis has characteristics that distinguish it from schizophrenia, including:

  • Fewer negative and disorganized symptoms
  • Less functional impairment
  • Later onset of symptoms
  • More depressive and anxiety symptoms

What Causes Alcohol Induced Psychosis?

The exact cause of alcohol induced psychosis is unclear. Some studies suggest that alcohol induced psychosis results from alcohol’s effects on the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, namely dopamine. Others speculate that the way alcohol disrupts specific neural receptors plays a role. What is certain is that prolonged alcohol use has profound, far-reaching effects on both the brain and body.

Types and Symptoms Of Alcohol Induced Psychosis

Alcohol-induced psychosis describes delusions and hallucinations tied to heavy alcohol consumption that cannot be attributed to a pre-existing mental health condition. Generally, alcohol-induced psychosis exists in three forms: acute intoxication, chronic alcohol hallucinosis, and alcohol withdrawal psychosis.

  • Acute Intoxication: While uncommon, acute intoxication describes the acute alcoholic psychosis after consuming a large amount of alcohol in a single sitting. In most cases, alcohol psychosis symptoms end once the body is clear of alcohol. However, drinking alcohol in large enough quantities to trigger psychosis often also leads to alcohol poisoning. Therefore, anyone experiencing acute intoxication should receive medical attention as soon as possible. In many cases, alcohol poisoning can be fatal.
  • Chronic Alcoholic Hallucinosis: Alcoholic hallucinosis is a rare condition that usually arises after years of chronic, severe alcohol abuse. While other forms of alcohol-induced psychosis may involve visual and tactile hallucinations, those associated with alcoholic hallucinosis are primarily auditory and usually occur during or shortly after periods of heavy alcohol consumption. Alcoholic hallucinosis may also involve delusions and mood disturbances. The periods of psychosis characteristic of alcoholic hallucinosis may last for a matter of hours, days or weeks, or progress to a chronic, long-lasting form that mimics schizophrenia.
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Psychosis: Hallucinations are a possible side effect of alcohol withdrawal. In some cases, these hallucinations can escalate to a full-blown state of temporary psychosis called alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD). Individuals who stop drinking after consuming high volumes of alcohol over an extended period are at exceptionally high risk of developing AWD. This is because long-term alcoholism can change the structure and chemical makeup of the brain, triggering temporary psychosis when alcohol is removed from the system.

Symptoms Of Alcohol Induced Psychosis AWD

  • Extreme sensitivity to light, sound, or touch
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Body Tremors
  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Increased Heart and Breathing Rates
  • Formication, or the feeling that tiny insects are crawling on or under the skin

Delirium tremens is one of the most potentially dangerous side effects of alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms tend to be life-threatening and require professional medical attention. Because of this, any individual undergoing alcohol withdrawal must do so under the supervision of a medical detox program.

Can Alcohol Induced Psychosis Be Treated?

If you’re experiencing alcohol induced psychosis, it’s a sign that you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder. For many people, once they stop abusing alcohol, the symptoms of the psychosis will begin to fade. Due to the solid mental health component, attending addiction treatment specializing in dual diagnosis disorders is recommended. It can treat Alcohol-induced psychosis, and the first step is breaking free from alcohol addiction. And with the right detox program, you’ll be able to minimize the symptoms of psychosis during withdrawal.

Treatment Options For Alcoholism Induced Psychosis

While alcohol assessments and quizzes can help determine if an individual is addicted to alcohol, experiencing any form of alcohol-related psychosis is often a sign of an alcohol use disorder. Therefore, it’s important to stop consuming alcohol as soon as possible in the event of an alcohol-induced psychosis episode. In most cases, stopping alcohol consumption is the first step in alcohol-induced psychosis treatment, as the symptoms of psychosis tend to subside once alcohol is out of a person’s system.

Alcohol-induced psychosis tends only to arise when individuals consume quantities of alcohol that lend themselves to dependence and withdrawal, so it’s safer to stop drinking under medical supervision as part of a professional medical detox program. They can gradually develop the skills needed to maintain lifelong recovery. A continuum of care includes:

  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Outpatient Programs
  • Medical Detox

While psychosis can develop temporarily due to excessive alcohol consumption, it may also be a symptom of a co-occurring psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia, schizoid personality disorder, or schizotypal personality disorder. In these cases, a dual diagnosis alcohol rehab treatment program that addresses both the alcohol use disorder and psychological condition is vital to long-term recovery.

We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. We work as an integrated team providing information about alcohol-induced psychosis and other aspects of treatment. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.

Source:

Alcohol Induced Psychosis – We Level Up FL Dual-Diagnosis Center