What is Psychosis?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, psychosis refers to an episode in which an individual has a break from reality. This often includes but doesn’t require delusions, or false beliefs that are firmly held despite clear evidence to the contrary, and hallucinations. About 3 in every 100 people will experience at least one episode of psychosis in their lifetimes.
Vicodin psychosis, also known as Vicodin-induced psychotic disorder, is simply any psychotic episode that is related to the abuse of this drug. This can occur from taking too much Vicodin, having an adverse reaction after mixing substances, during withdrawal from this drug, or if the individual has underlying mental health issues. Though it’s not true that taking a certain kind of drug can suddenly trigger a severe mental illness where none had existed, mental illness is a predictor of substance abuse, and someone prone to psychosis can be triggered by becoming overly intoxicated.
Substance abuse is defined as any use of an illicit intoxicant, any use of prescription medication outside the direction of a doctor, or excessive use of legal substances such as alcohol. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.3 percent of individuals in the US aged 12 over older needed treatment for a drug or alcohol problem in 2009. This does not include people who occasionally abuse drugs but are not considered to have a dependency issue. This amounts to 23.5 million people.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Vicodin Psychosis can be caused by the abuse of the medication. In rare cases, exceptionally sensitive people can experience Vicodin psychosis as a side effect even when taking this prescription drug properly.
Medications known to include possible psychotic side effects other than Vicodin include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Cardiovascular medications
- Antihypertensive medications
- Antiparkinson medications
- Chemotherapy agents
Any time psychotic symptoms appear when taking prescription medications, the individual or a loved one should contact a doctor immediately. It may be necessary to immediately stop taking the medication altogether. Vicodin Psychosis can also become more likely when this medication is abused.
When it comes to nonprescription intoxicants, the likelihood of psychotic symptoms appearing, and what that looks like, varies from substance to substance. For example, taking a large amount of cocaine all at once can cause psychosis in minutes. Psychosis from cocaine or amphetamine use typically produces persecutory delusions.
Hallucinogens can, of course, cause visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations, but this is not the same as psychosis. However, an adverse reaction or taking too much of this kind of drug can also cause delusions and paranoia. Once the individual is no longer aware that the hallucinations are not real, that’s when you have a break from reality and a serious problem.
Alcohol abuse can cause psychosis, but typically only after days or weeks of intense use. People who have a chronic alcohol abuse problem that has lasted for several years are also vulnerable to intense paranoia and hallucinations. This occurs due to the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain over time and due to a lack of thiamine (a vitamin B complex) in the body that can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Vicodin Psychosis During Withdrawal
Substance abuse does not always lead to physical addiction, but it does increase the risk of developing this problem. The longer and more intense the abuse, the greater the risk. Physical addiction is characterized by the emergence of withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops taking the intoxicant in question. Depending on the type of substance abused, the length of time the abuse has gone on, and how much is typically taken at once, withdrawal can include Vicodin psychosis.
The most commonly known substance-induced psychosis from withdrawal involves alcohol. Long-term alcohol addiction can significantly change the chemistry and even the structure of the brain, possibly producing a set of symptoms referred to as delirium tremens when the addicted individual stops consumption.
Vicodin withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other opioid pain medications. Typical withdrawal symptoms for Vicodin include:
- Sleep disturbances, like restlessness, insomnia, or exhaustion
- Symptoms of a cold, like a runny nose, fever, sweating, chills, and nasal congestion
- Appetite changes, like an increased craving for the drug and reduced sensation of hunger
- Psychological changes, like irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and confusion
- Physical symptoms, like tremors, enlarged pupils, nausea and vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, salivation, shivering or goosebumps, rapid breathing, and muscle aches or cramps
Symptoms of delirium tremens include:
- Sudden mood changes
- Fatigue or stupor
- Body tremors
- Changes in mental functions
- Decreased attention span
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and/or touch
Delirium tremens is considered to be a medical emergency. The psychotic symptoms can be severe and require sedation, while the seizures can be directly life-threatening. About 1-5 percent of people who experience delirium tremens will die from it.
Vicodin Psychosis can also appear during withdrawal in any individual who has suffered from a long-term addiction to this substance. This also can include many amphetamines, opiates, and inhalants. These symptoms can last for hours or days, and the individual will likely need to be sedated or at least closely monitored during this period. When it comes to methamphetamine, psychosis can spontaneously reappear in people who have been clean of the drug for many years.
Vicodin Psychosis in Mental Illness
Several mental illnesses can include psychotic episodes as a symptom. Schizophrenia is often the first illness that comes to mind when people think of psychosis, however, not every type of schizophrenia includes psychotic symptoms. Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by both hallucinations and delusions, though how disruptive this depends on how severe the condition is.
People with bipolar disorder can also experience psychosis. This typically occurs during severe manic periods. Psychosis can also appear in people with major depressive disorder, which can result in a diagnosis of psychotic depression. Unfortunately, this disorder has a high mortality rate due to the intense suffering combined with psychotic episodes. Other disorders that have psychosis as a symptom include delusional disorder and schizoaffective disorder. Plus, it can present in degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and dementia.
Brain tumors, cysts, or untreated HIV or syphilis can also cause psychosis. When an individual has a mental illness that already has the potential to include psychosis, drug abuse can more easily lead to this symptom. It can be tricky to determine whether the drug abuse triggered the psychosis or whether the early effects of psychosis led to drug abuse. At the same time, certain substances can interact with antipsychotic medications, causing them to become less effective or ineffective, triggering a psychotic episode.
Another difficulty is the spiraling nature of drug abuse that triggers Vicodin psychosis. Because psychosis is such a disruptive event that can cause so many problems, individuals dealing with one of these mental illnesses may turn right back to substance abuse to cope.
This is a common problem when people are suffering from severe mental illnesses that are more difficult to treat than standard mood disorders. Plus, especially in people with schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, self-care can be incredibly difficult.
With bipolar disorder, manic episodes come with reduced impulse control. This can result in excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol. Consumption of stimulants makes the mania worse, and that spiral can eventually result in psychosis. On the other side of the spectrum, bipolar patients in a depressive state may turn to alcohol or stimulants to self-medicate.
Vicodin Psychosis Treatment Options
Vicodin Psychosis is merely a symptom, not a condition in and of itself. It is typically very temporary, resolving in a couple of hours or days at most. However, it’s a very serious symptom that often requires emergency medical intervention. One in five people with a history of psychosis will attempt to kill themselves.
In the case of Vicodin psychosis, the obvious cure is to stop abusing this substance; however, the reality is often more complicated. Addiction can make it difficult to stop, and withdrawal symptoms are virtually unavoidable after long-term Vicodin abuse. Mental illness symptoms can become unbearable to the point that afflicted individuals self-medicate, or a loss of impulse control can blow any resolve to abstain.
The answer to Vicodin psychosis is an effective treatment. There are plenty of options for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Medically supervised detox can easily prevent the more severe symptom of Vicodin psychosis through the use of common medications or by tapering off the substance rather than quitting cold turkey.
Once the initial detoxification is completed, psychosis should not be an issue. However, relapse and the subsequent necessity for another detox can increase the chances that psychosis will appear as a symptom during withdrawal. Because of this, it’s important to follow detox with a complete rehabilitation program. This can be set at an inpatient facility involving therapy and/or support group meetings to learn the skills necessary to live a clean life. After several weeks of that, continuing to attend support group meetings or group therapy significantly reduces the chance of relapse.
In the case of pre-existing mental illness, proper treatment is essential to ensure that the afflicted individual does not feel the need to self-medicate. Thankfully, there are many possible medications to try for those living with depressive disorders and bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers like lithium can prevent the intense manic states that can lead to psychosis. New antidepressants are being developed that are not intoxicating or addictive, and it’s often just a matter of finding the right medication for the individual to make major depressive disorder manageable.
It’s very often beneficial for people with mood disorders like these to attend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or a similar form of therapy. The goal of CBT is to train clients toward more adaptive thought patterns, teach them new behavioral skills that can strengthen impulse control, and help them find healthier ways to cope when things get tough.
For those with more severe mental illnesses that have psychosis as a common symptom, several antipsychotic medications can be used, and these individuals are often also put on antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. Just like with other disorders, it often takes some time to find the right drug or combination of drugs to make symptoms manageable.
For people with schizophrenia, group therapy with others dealing with schizophrenia is often more beneficial than individual therapy due to the support they can find in those who can truly empathize with them. This can help them stay on track with taking their medications, which is very important because only about 25 percent of people with chronic medical conditions report full adherence to their drug treatment for 12 months. Family therapy can also be essential as high stress can trigger psychotic episodes and the urge to self-medicate.
Despite common stereotypes, people with schizophrenia can live normal lives. With medication, they might still have occasional minor hallucinations, but they can recognize that they’re not real, avoiding psychosis.
Reclaim Your Life From Vicodin Psychosis
If you or someone you love is suffering from Vicodin Psychosis, we can offer the support you need. Remember, this can be a life-threatening condition if it is not professionally supervised. We Level Up California rehab institute works as an integrated team to provide you with evidence-based professional treatment for this condition in a safe and comfortable environment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors, we can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information, our specialists know what you are going through. Have in mind that each call is private and confidential.