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What Is An Alcohol-Induced Psychosis?

An alcohol-induced psychosis is a psychotic event that occurs for a specific amount of time while under the influence of alcohol. The psychotic event could include hallucinations, disorientation, or inability to discern what is real and what is not.

Some people can also become very angry and aggressive during an alcohol-induced psychotic event. For example, if they are hallucinating that others are attempting to hurt them in some manner, they could lash out aggressively, believing they are defending themselves. But, instead, they might hurt others around them.

Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol-Induced Psychosis

Aside from experiencing hallucinations, feeling disoriented, and losing all sense of reality, other symptoms associated with alcohol-induced psychosis could include:

  • Exhibiting unrationalized fear when there is nothing to be afraid of. 
  • Becoming paranoid with a sense that something or someone is out to get them.
  • Making up false events and believing they actually took place when they did not.
  • Having problems organizing thoughts in a coherent manner.
  • Displaying inappropriate emotions at the wrong time, like laughing when hearing someone has died. 
  • Behaving inappropriately, like removing one’s clothes in a public place. 
  • Becoming overly aggressive sexually with the false belief the other party wants to have sex.
  • Engaging in questionable and risky behaviors, like having unprotected sex with multiple partners or sharing used needles. 
  • Losing all sense of reality and living in the hallucination. 

It is essential to remember that someone experiencing an alcohol-induced psychosis often does not realize what they are doing or that they are having a psychotic episode. Furthermore, the psychotic events experienced can and do vary from one person to the next.

How Is an Alcohol-Induced Psychosis Triggered?

There are several different ways in which an alcohol-induced psychosis could be triggered, including:

  1. Binge Drinking – Consuming five or more drinks in less than two hours and continuing to drink at this rate cause someone to experience a psychotic event. 
  2. Alcohol Withdrawal Psychosis can also be triggered during alcohol withdrawal when the alcohol is purged from the body. 
  3. Mixing Alcohol with Other Substances – Mixing alcohol with other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc., could trigger psychosis. 
  4. Early Alcohol Abuse – If someone starts abusing alcohol during their adolescent years and continues to do so, by the time they reach adulthood, they can be experiencing more frequent psychotic episodes. 
  5. Alcohol Addiction – Regular heaving drinking that leads to alcohol addiction can be the source of alcohol-induced psychotic episodes since an excessive amount of alcohol can be consumed daily. 

Do All Alcohol Addicts Experience Alcohol-Induced Psychosis?

Everyone’s struggle with alcohol abuse disorder can seem similar for someone who has never had to face addiction. It is easy to assume that anyone who abuses alcohol, will at some point, experience alcohol-induced psychosis.  

However, this thinking is flawed as not everyone who abuses alcohol will experience psychotic events. While some of the effects of alcohol, like engaging in questionable and risky behaviors or not being able to organize one’s thoughts, may seem like someone is experiencing psychosis when they are not. 

In order for psychosis to occur, it is essential to remember that psychosis refers to multiple symptoms that occur simultaneously while under the influence of alcohol. For example, suppose someone starts to have problems determining what is real and what is not.

Yet, while this occurs, they are engaging in some form of risky behavior and have a firm belief specific events have taken place when they have not. Then, they are having an alcohol-induced psychotic event. 

So, not everyone that develops alcohol abuse disorder will also experience alcohol-induced psychosis. However, for those that do, the frequency of psychotic episodes can become more real-like, last longer, and become more frequent with regular heavy drinking. 

Can Alcohol-Induced Psychosis Continue After Alcohol Withdrawal?

One of the more common types of alcohol-induced psychotic events is delirium tremens or DTs. DTs occur when you discontinue a period of heavy drinking, binge drinking, or are going through alcohol addiction detoxification. 

DTs can begin in about 12 hours or up to 72 hours after taking the final drink. When they occur, the person experiences severe alcohol withdrawal that can trigger hallucinations and hypersensitivity to touch, light, or sound. 

As such, when someone is experiencing DTs and seeking alcohol addiction treatment, it is crucial to undergo medically supervised detox. Medical professionals oversee the detoxification process while stabilizing and minimizing the withdrawal symptoms and DTs.

Getting Help With Alcohol-Induced Psychosis in Atlanta, GA

When you are experiencing alcohol-induced psychotic events and want help to overcome alcohol abuse disorder, you can find the help you need at our alcohol rehab in Atlanta. We offer customizable alcohol rehab treatment programs in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. 

Our treatment center is also experienced at treating multiple substance addictions and co-occurring conditions. To learn more about our substance abuse addiction treatment programs, please feel free to contact us by calling (470) 460-6962 today! 

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