Substances with psychotomimetic properties such as cocaine, amphetamines, hallucinogens and cannabis are widespread, and their use or abuse can provoke psychotic reactions resembling a primary psychotic disease. The recent escalating use of methamphetamine throughout the world and its association with psychotic symptoms in regular users has fuelled concerns. The use of cannabis and cocaine by young people has considerably increased over recent years, and age at first use has dramatically decreased. There is some evidence that cannabis is now on the market in a more potent form than in previous decades. Furthermore, a large number of studies have reported a link between adolescent cannabis use and the development of stable psychosis in early adulthood. The situation is further complicated by the high rates of concomitant substance use by subjects with a psychotic illness which, especially in young users with an early-phase psychotic disorder, can make diagnosis difficult. This paper reviews the literature concerning the properties of psychotogenic substances and the psychotic symptoms they can give rise to, and discusses the association between substance abuse and psychosis with particular emphasis on the differential diagnosis of a primary and substance-induced psychotic disorder. The findings of this review indicate that psychosis due to substance abuse is commonly observed in clinical practice. The propensity to develop psychosis seems to be a function of the severity of use and dependence. From a phenomenological point of view, it is possible to identify some elements that may help clinicians involved in differential diagnoses between primary and substance-induced psychoses. There remains a striking paucity of information on the outcomes, treatments, and best practices of substance-induced psychotic episodes.
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"In line with earlier studies that have found links between survival sex and stimulant use (Chettiar, Shannon, Wood, Zhang, & Kerr, 2010; Semple, Strathdee, Zians, & Patterson, 2011), we observed that stimulant users were twice as likely to be engaging in survival sex, than cannabis users. We also observed cannabis use to be strongly associated with the existence of psychotic disorders (Fiorentini et al., 2011; Moore et al., 2007) as is commonly known. Interestingly, stimulant users were more likely to be dealing with drugs—both buying and selling—than cannabis users. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High rates of substance use, especially cannabis and stimulant use, have been associated with homelessness, exposure to trauma, and involvement with the criminal justice system. This study explored differences in substance use (cannabis vs. stimulants) and associations with trauma and incarceration among a homeless population. Data were derived from the BC Health of the Homeless Study (BCHOHS), carried out in three cities in British Columbia, Canada. Measures included sociodemographic information, the Maudsley Addiction Profile (MAP), the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) Plus. Stimulant users were more likely to be female (43%), using multiple substances (3.2), and engaging in survival sex (14%). Cannabis users had higher rates of lifetime psychotic disorders (32%). Among the incarcerated, cannabis users had been subjected to greater emotional neglect (p < .05) and one in two cannabis users had a history of lifetime depressive disorders (p < .05). Childhood physical abuse and Caucasian ethnicity were also associated with greater crack cocaine use. One explanation for the results is that a history of childhood abuse may lead to a developmental cascade of depressive symptoms and other psychopathology, increasing the chances of cannabis dependence and the development of psychosis.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
"Acute and chronic exposure to cocaine is associated with significant psychiatric co-morbidities of which psychotic symptoms are one of the most typical (Roncero et al., 2001). The symptoms seen most frequently are paranoid ideation and the auditory and visual hallucinations (Fiorentini et al., 2011). The cocaine-induced psychotic symptoms (CIPS) are aggressive serious adverse effects and may lead to psychomotor agitation and behaviours potentially lifethreatening (Vorspan et al., 2001). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine use is significantly associated with psychiatric co-morbidities of which psychotic symptoms are the most typical. The primary goal of this study is to estimate the life-time prevalence of cocaine-induced psychotic symptoms (CIPS) in a sample of patients without a history of primary psychosis, who attended specific out-patient drug-dependence treatment centres (ODDTCs). This is an observational, cross-sectional design and a consecutive sampling technique. The Scale for Assessment of Positive Symptoms-Cocaine Induced Psychosis (SAPS-CIP) was used to interview 114 patients who request treatment at specific ODDTCs for problems related to cocaine use. Most patients, 89.5% (95% CIs: 83.8%-95.2%) had dependence of cocaine and 84.2% (95% CIs: 77.5%-90.9%) showed at least one CIPS. Patients with CIPS had used cocaine more times throughout their and had a more frequency of use during the period of higher abuse severity in the last year, had higher severity of dependence score and had fewer abstinence periods greater than 30 days compared with those without CIPS. Cocaine dependency severity scale scores were significantly greater in patients with CIP compared with those without CIP.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Psychiatry Research
"Too, what complicates the situation further, are data which show that about 50% of the patients who suffer from schizophrenia are also substance abusers at some time during their illness [45,46]. It is now known that substances with psychomimetic properties such as cocaine are used and abused worldwide and consumption of such substances can and will induce psychotic reactions including primary psychotic disease [47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine is a psychostimulant in the pharmacological class of drugs called Local Anesthetics. Interestingly, cocaine is the only drug in this class that has a chemical formula comprised of a tropane ring and is, moreover, addictive. The correlation between tropane and addiction is well-studied. Another well-studied correlation is that between psychosis induced by cocaine and that psychosis endogenously present in the schizophrenic patient. Indeed, both of these psychoses exhibit much the same behavioral as well as neurochemical properties across species. Therefore, in order to study the link between schizophrenia and cocaine addiction, we used a behavioral paradigm called Acoustic Startle. We used this acoustic startle paradigm in female versus male Sprague-Dawley animals to discriminate possible sex differences in responses to startle. The startle method operates through auditory pathways in brain via a network of sensorimotor gating processes within auditory cortex, cochlear nuclei, inferior and superior colliculi, pontine reticular nuclei, in addition to mesocorticolimbic brain reward and nigrostriatal motor circuitries. This paper is the first to report sex differences to acoustic stimuli in Sprague-Dawley animals (Rattus norvegicus) although such gender responses to acoustic startle have been reported in humans (Swerdlow et al. 1997 ). The startle method monitors pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) as a measure of the loss of sensorimotor gating in the brain's neuronal auditory network; auditory deficiencies can lead to sensory overload and subsequently cognitive dysfunction. Cocaine addicts and schizophrenic patients as well as cocaine treated animals are reported to exhibit symptoms of defective PPI (Geyer et al., 2001 ). Key findings are: (a) Cocaine significantly reduced PPI in both sexes. (b) Females were significantly more sensitive than males; reduced PPI was greater in females than in males. (c) Physiological saline had no effect on startle in either sex. Thus, the data elucidate gender-specificity to the startle response in animals. Finally, preliminary studies show the effect of cocaine on acoustic startle in tandem with effects on estrous cycle. The data further suggest that hormones may play a role in these sex differences to acoustic startle reported herein.