Many people have heard the unbelievable tales of humans lashing out and being caught eating the flesh of another or taking part in extremely psychotic behaviors that are all but acceptable in society. But, what is it that causes a human to go nuts, to lash out, to eat the flesh of another human or to act so out of control that nobody in their right mind understands what is happening? Psychosis, often drug induced such as cocaine psychosis, can and will cause an individual to act irrationally, to lash out and to be otherwise seemingly out of control.
What is Cocaine Psychosis?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine psychosis is a temporary situation that is often caused by excessive drug use over a long period of time. This “stimulant psychosis” is caused when the user has abused an excessive amount of a drug and as a result, their brain has lost the ability to think clearly or to function properly. Essentially, cocaine psychosis is an overdose of the mind. The brain cannot handle the toxic levels of cocaine that were administered to the body and as a result the mind loses it’s ability to focus on reality.
Paranoia and auspiciousness are two very common outcomes associated with cocaine psychosis. Unfortunately, many people who abuse cocaine will experience heightened paranoia so it can be difficult for an outsider to tell whether the paranoia that is being experienced is actually just an after effect of the cocaine use or if there is a really big problem at hand.
Cocaine induced paranoia may only last a few hours in which case the severity of the condition is not all that bad, though it could still pose serious risks to the user and to those around him or her. Unfortunately, such paranoia may also last many weeks or even months which can lead to a chronic psychiatric disorder known as cocaine psychosis. Such a disorder may require frequent hospitalizations, extreme intervention, sustained medical care and long-term support if the patient is to ever recover.
Cocaine Psychosis Symptoms
The symptoms of cocaine psychosis vary. Most of the time, symptoms include:
- extreme paranoia and anxiety
- extreme auspiciousness
- violent behaviors
- homicide or being involved in killing someone
Dangers of Cocaine Induced Psychosis
Unfortunately, when the user experiences cocaine psychosis, there are a number of dangers that can arise. An individual who is experiencing a state of psychosis doesn’t understand what is real and what is not and therefor may make irrational decisions regarding their own lives or the lives of others. Cocaine psychosis can lead to murder, injury, violent behavior, accident or other serious consequences. It is very common for those who experience cocaine psychosis to hallucinate and think that they see or hear something or someone talking about them or threatening them in some way. Similar to schizophrenia symptoms, cocaine psychosis has a tendency to cause a user to act out towards others due to the hallucinations and paranoia that they are experiencing.
Cocaine psychosis can cause serious delirium which can make an individual act bizarre or violent. It is very common for hospitals or treatment staff to require extensive restraint features in order to force an individual who suffers from cocaine psychosis to remain calm and to prevent any risks or dangers to others. Self-destruction is always a serious danger when cocaine psychosis is a problem. The user may try to commit suicide, attempt to hurt himself or attempt to act violently as a means of coping with the delusions, hallucinations or illogical thought process that are occurring within the brain.
The dangers of cocaine psychosis are really rather stringent. Studies have shown that a number of violent crimes, homicides, injuries, accidents and other dangerous situations can all be tracked back to the use of excessive amounts of cocaine. When the brain is activated to act in survival mode after excessive cocaine use, there are a wide range of potential consequences that may occur.
Treatment for Cocaine Psychosis
Most often, cocaine psychosis is treated in a hospital setting. It can take hours, days, weeks or even months for the symptoms of the psychosis to be reduced. In many cases, the psychosis that comes on is only short-lived and with proper medical intervention, around-the-clock monitoring for safety and behavioral intervention the symptoms can be overcome in just a day or so. Unfortunately, some people who experience cocaine psychosis will suffer from long-term symptoms that stick around indefinitely causing serious strain on living a normal lifestyle.
Behavioral treatment can help but in more severe cases, medications will also be required to help the user stabilize and remain stable. Because cocaine psychosis acts similarly to schizophrenia, antipsychotic medications may be required to help the user to stabilize and to remain in a clearly thinking pattern. Talk with your doctor about the treatment options that are available to help you get your mind back on track and to prevent the delusions, hallucinations or extreme paranoia associated with cocaine psychosis from derailing your recovery and ruining your life.