Using drugs like cocaine changes how the brain communicates with the rest of the body. Psychosis can develop from long-term cocaine use, psychosis is a symptom of several mental health conditions and can produce hallucinations and delusions.
After using cocaine, people may experience a “crash” after the high diminishes. The effects of a cocaine high may last for up to an hour. As the cocaine high wears off, dopamine levels typically go back down and lead to a deficiency in the neurotransmitter, which can cause conditions like depression and anxiety. When someone uses cocaine for an extended period, a condition referred to as cocaine-induced psychosis can occur.
Cocaine-induced psychosis lasts anywhere from a few hours to as long as days or weeks. More than half of the people who have used cocaine reported that they experienced cocaine psychosis symptoms after using cocaine. The more someone uses cocaine, the more severe the symptoms of cocaine psychosis can become over time. Researchers suggest that cocaine-induced psychosis is a result of a deficiency of dopamine.
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
- Disorganized thoughts
- Identity delusions – Someone experiencing an identity delusion may not know who they are or think that they are someone they’re not.
- Possession delusions – A possession delusion may involve someone thinking they own things they do not, like houses and cars.
- Grandiose delusions – Someone who has grandiose delusions can have over-inflated self-esteem, power, knowledge or identity.
- Imposter delusions – Imposter delusions are when someone is suspicious of the true identity of family members, friends or other people.
- The individual’s age
- Duration of use
- How the drug is taken
- Genetic factors
- Body mass index
The type of therapy that the patient receives is determined by the patient’s:
- Mental health disorder
- Overall health
- Recovery goals
- Potential threats to sobriety
In addition to treating the patient’s cocaine addiction, treatment providers can address their psychosis as well. Clinicians may feel that the patient needs to take medication to help manage their psychosis symptoms. Some of the medications prescribed for psychosis treatment include:
Treatment providers may not consider using some anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines because of the high risk of addiction.
If you believe you or a loved one has a cocaine use disorder, take The Recovery Village Assessment to take the first step.
- Cocaine-induced psychosis is a temporary onset of psychosis due to cocaine use
- Cocaine-induced psychosis can last for a few hours and the severity can depend on the person and the extent of use
- Heavy cocaine use can lead to long-lasting symptoms like paranoia, that persists for months.
- One of the most severe risks of cocaine-induced psychosis is harming oneself or the people around you
- It’s important to treat cocaine use and psychosis at the same time to avoid setbacks
If you or someone you know struggles with cocaine use and psychosis, help is available. At The Recovery Village, a team of professionals can design an individualized treatment program to suit your specific conditions. Call and speak with a representative to learn more about which program could work for you.
Roncero, Carlos.,Ros-Cucurull Elena.,Daigre Constanza.,Casas Miguel. “Prevalence and Risk Fcators of Psychotic Symptoms in Cocaine-Dependent Patients”. www.actaspsiquiatria.es, 2012. November 30th, 2018.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.