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What is Alcohol-Induced Psychosis?

While drinking alcohol is a common aspect of American culture, many people are unaware of the risks this substance can have for their emotional and physical well-being. One of these risks is the possibility of developing alcohol-induced psychosis symptoms.

Although this is considered to be a rare risk when consuming this substance, it is nonetheless one to be aware of and prepared to handle should it occur. Knowing what to expect from this side effect can help keep you and your loved ones safe while drinking.

What is Alcohol Induced Psychosis?

Alcohol-induced psychosis is a mental health condition that can occur as a result of excessive alcohol use. It is characterized by a loss of contact with reality and can include a variety of dissociative symptoms.

Alcohol-induced psychosis can occur during intoxication, withdrawal from this substance, or both. While it is more common in people who have a history of alcohol dependence and in those who have a family history of psychosis, anyone is capable of developing this condition.

The symptoms of alcohol-induced psychosis can vary from person to person, but they typically include:

  • Delusions: These are false beliefs that are held despite evidence to the contrary. For example, a person with alcohol-induced psychosis may believe that they are being followed or persecuted or that they have special powers.
  • Hallucinations: These are sensory experiences that occur in the absence of any real stimulus. For example, a person with alcohol-induced psychosis may hear voices, see things that are not there, or feel like they are being touched by someone when no one is there.
  • Disorganized thinking: This can manifest itself as difficulty speaking or writing clearly, difficulty concentrating, or jumping from one topic to another.

Data recorded by the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that around 29.5 million people aged 12 and over reported having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year. Of these individuals, it is likely that several of them have experienced alcohol-induced psychosis at some point.

Does Everyone Who Drinks Experience Psychosis?

With the severity of alcohol-induced psychosis, it is normal for those who drink on a regular basis to be concerned about whether they may be at risk of developing this condition. The first thing to be aware of is that not everyone who drinks will experience these symptoms.

According to the National Library of Medicine, amongst general drinkers, there is a 0.4% lifetime prevalence of alcohol-induced psychosis and a 4% prevalence in those with an AUD. Chronic drinkers with a history of psychosis or other mental health conditions are generally considered to be at a higher risk of developing psychosis symptoms.

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Signs Someone is Experiencing Alcohol Induced Psychosis

Because of the psychological effects this condition can cause, alcohol-induced psychosis does have the ability to lead to life-threatening consequences. With this potential, it is crucial to know how to recognize the signs that someone may be experiencing alcohol-induced psychosis.

Generally, those who are experiencing this condition will appear to have lost touch with reality and are unable to distinguish between real experiences and hallucinations. Additional psychosis symptoms include:

  • Inability to keep organized or clear thoughts
  • Having false beliefs about reality
  • Having auditory and tactile hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Inability to communicate
  • Difficulty performing regular activities and tasks
  • Uncontrollable and inappropriate laughter or crying
  • Random mood swings and odd behavior

What Other Problems Can Long-Term Alcohol Abuse Cause?

Long-term alcohol abuse can cause a wide range of problems, including both physical and mental health complications. Some of the most common physical side effects of chronic alcohol abuse include:

  • Liver disease, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis
  • Heart disease, including stroke and high blood pressure
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast
  • Pancreatitis
  • Digestive problems, including ulcers and gastritis
  • Weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to infections
  • Neurological problems, including dementia, memory loss, and coordination problems
  • Bone problems, including osteoporosis
  • Sexual dysfunction

While the physical side effects of long-term drinking can be severe, there is no downplaying the serious impacts alcohol can have on a person’s mental health either. Some of the most common psychological side effects of chronic drinking include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicide

Finally, long-term drinkers can expect to run into several social problems, as well. This can include the loss of important relationships, their careers, financial difficulties, and even homelessness.

Because of the severity of the side effects long-term alcohol abuse can have, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction. At Royal Life Centers, we provide the support you need to achieve long-term sobriety.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Royal Life Centers

Alcohol addiction can be one of the hardest substance use disorders to recover from due to the intense withdrawal period this condition can have. In order to safely and successfully recover from your alcohol abuse, it is important to seek professional treatment and start this process with a medical detox process.

At Royal Life Centers, we provide both the physical and emotional support you need to achieve long-term recovery from alcohol addiction. When you receive treatment at one of our facilities, you will have access to a full continuum of care, including:

  • Medical detox
  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Behavioral and holistic therapies
  • Aftercare services

No matter what your treatment needs may be, we will be here every step of the way to make sure you receive the support and care you need to achieve long-term recovery. Reach out to us now to learn more about how our treatment programs may be the right fit for you!

Author Royal Life Centers Writers
Lisa Tomsak
Medical Reviewer Lisa Tomsak, DO

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