Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Drug induced psychosis vs schizophrenia

My son’s first episode of psychosis happened at the age of 23. There had been no issues prior to this.
He had been smoking cannabis & also injecting himself with anabolic steroids & I believe this was the cause of his psychosis.
I’ve read that mental health problems cannot be caused by drug taking but I am not so sure about this.
I’m wondering why antipsychotic medication is given if psychosis is drug induced? They have such mean side effects & surely the brain should stabilise as non prescription drugs leave the body?
These antipsychotics are so hard to come off too & getting it wrong can cause rebound psychosis.
I’d be interested to know how whether illness shows as a result of taking illicit drugs or not.
Thanks in advance for any help.

Drug use can trigger psychosis in people who are prone to it.
So can other stressors.

The way I understand it is that if it’s purely drug-induced psychosis, it will go away shortly after the drugs clear the system.

If it doesn’t, it’s more like drug-triggered psychosis and it could eventually be diagnosed as something else - maybe schizophrenia, maybe bipolar, schizoaffective, psychotic depression or something else.

The actual label doesn’t matter as much as the symptoms.

By the way, I’ve seen drug-induced psychosis of a sort. My husband was in the hospital after an accident & they pumped his so full of drugs while they were keeping him in a coma because he had to be on a ventilator that when they brought him back to conciousness, he was seeing dead people come out the ceiling and thought he had another body somewhere - and that we had kids we never had. All kinds of things.

It didn’t really clear in the hospital because he couldn’t sleep. And those idiots would give him meds to sleep, let him fall asleep for about 30 minutes, then wake him up for vitals. He’d be so mad, he wouldn’t sleep the rest of the night. He finally checked himself out AMA - didn’t realize he had tubes in his lungs & that his foot and ankle was mangled & he couldn’t walk. Once he got home and off all the drugs, his mind cleared in a few days. He hasn’t been psychotic since then, although he’s had mood swings since I’ve known him & I think he’s mildly bipolar - and he will use recreational drugs on occasion including cannabis.

For our son, even the smallest amount of cannabis is very, very bad - so there’s definitely a difference. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think my son had smoked any before he had his first psychotic break. He was 15 and his drug screens came up clean - plus, he was very anti-drug in those days.

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