When considering the various health hazards associated with excessive alcohol consumption, the potential for physical harm often comes to mind: liver damage, heart disease and other health complications. However, one often overlooked but equally perilous consequence is Alcohol Induced Psychosis. In fact, a recent study by the National Library of Medicine suggests that up to four percent of people with alcohol dependency may develop the condition, a much higher prevalence than previously reported. Understanding the symptoms associated with Alcohol Induced Psychosis and the dangers it poses can help those struggling with excessive alcohol use recognize the onset of symptoms, avoid negative impacts and seek help from trusted addiction specialists.

What Is Alcohol Induced Psychosis?

Alcohol Induced Psychosis is a severe and debilitating mental health condition that can occur during episodes of heavy drinking or during withdrawal from alcohol after a period of excessive use. It is a form of substance-induced psychotic disorder, where prolonged alcohol use leads to the temporary onset of psychotic symptoms.

Typically, Alcohol Induced Psychosis is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking. These often disappear within weeks of stopping alcohol use. However, if not promptly addressed, it can lead to long-term psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia.

It is essential to understand that this condition is not just a mental health issue but also poses significant risks to an individual's overall well-being and quality of life, often leading to an increased risk of suicide, accidents and injuries due to erratic behavior, social isolation due to fear or embarrassment from hallucinations, and potential legal issues.

Alcohol Induced Psychosis can also worsen the physical health problems associated with heavy drinking, including liver damage, heart conditions, and weakened immunity.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Induced Psychosis?

Recognizing the symptoms of Alcohol Induced Psychosis is an important step toward getting help. These symptoms can be broadly categorized into three types: hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking.

Hallucinations: The individual may see, hear, smell, taste, or feel something that doesn't exist when suffering from the condition. Auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) and visual hallucinations (seeing people or objects) are the most common in Alcohol Induced Psychosis.

Delusions: Someone experiencing Alcohol Induced Psychosis may believe they're being persecuted, that they possess extraordinary powers, or that they're someone they're not.

Disorganized Thinking: This is characterized by difficulty concentrating, following conversations, or remembering things. The person may speak in a way that is hard to understand, switching from one topic to another with no logical connection.

These symptoms can be terrifying and lead to harm if not appropriately managed. In extreme cases, individuals may pose a danger to themselves or others.


Additional Dangers of Alcohol Induced Psychosis

Alcohol Induced Psychosis is not just a danger to mental health; it also poses severe threats to overall well-being and quality of life.

Increased Risk of Suicide: Hallucinations and delusions associated with Alcohol Induced Psychosis can cause substantial psychological distress. The individual may feel tormented by their distorted perceptions and beliefs, leading to feelings of desperation and hopelessness, known triggers for suicidal thoughts. Excessive alcohol use is also associated with impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions. When coupled with the confusion and disorientation of psychosis, the risk for impulsive actions, including suicide attempts, significantly increases.

Accidents and Injuries: The symptoms of Alcohol Induced Psychosis can lead to erratic behavior and poor decision-making, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Social Isolation: Alcohol Induced Psychosis can lead to social withdrawal due to fear, embarrassment, or paranoia resulting from hallucinations and delusions. This social isolation can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression, and can further increase the risk of suicidal thoughts.

Legal Problems: Those with this condition may get into legal trouble due to behaviors stemming from their delusions or hallucinations.

Physical Health Decline: Apart from the mental anguish, Alcohol Induced Psychosis can exacerbate other physical health problems associated with excessive alcohol use, including liver disease, heart problems, and a weakened immune system.

Alcohol Detox and Recovery from Alcohol Induced Psychosis

Knowing the dangers of Alcohol Induced Psychosis is important for anyone dealing with alcohol addiction. However, it is also essential to know that stopping alcohol suddenly can worsen psychotic symptoms and even lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. As such, alcohol detox should always be done under expert medical supervision.

Once you begin the detoxification process, you may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to the absence of alcohol. These can range from mild to severe and may include anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, sweating, and a rapid heart rate. In more severe cases, symptoms can include hallucinations, seizures, or a condition known as delirium tremens, characterized by confusion, fever, and severe agitation.

Alcohol Induced Psychosis is not a life sentence. With timely intervention and proper treatment, one can recover fully and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Individual therapy is often useful in cases of Alcohol Induced Psychosis and can help patients understand their condition, manage cravings and develop strategies to prevent relapse. Mental health professionals, addiction counselors, and support groups can all provide essential help in this journey.

Always remember that help is available, and recovery is possible.

At the Coleman Institute, we use an innovative outpatient approach for alcohol detox, followed by Naltrexone therapy, to help patients detox safely and effectively in relative comfort. Naltrexone is a non-addictive medication that blocks the receptors in the brain that help create feelings of pleasure when drinking alcohol, providing support to patients following the alcohol detox and withdrawal process. 

Learn more about how the Coleman Method has helped 98% of patients successfully complete detox, and contact our patient care advocates today to schedule a consultation.