Home > Substance-induced psychoses: an updated literature review.

Fiorentini, Alessio and Cantù, Filippo and Crisanti, Camilla and Cereda, Guido and Oldani, Lucio and Brambilla, Paolo (2021) Substance-induced psychoses: an updated literature review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, p. 2270. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.694863.

External website: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt...

Background: On the current psychopharmacological panorama, the variety of substances able to provoke an episode of acute psychosis is rapidly increasing. Such psychotic episodes are classified according to the major category of symptoms: positive, negative, or cognitive psychotic episodes. On one hand, the abuse of methamphetamines, cannabis, and cocaine plays a big role in increasing the incidence of episodes resembling a psychotic disorder. On the other hand, the progress in terms of pharmacodynamics knowledge has led to the synthesis of new drugs, such as cannabinoids and cathinone's, which have rapidly entered into the common pool of abusers' habits. Regarding these newly synthesized substances of abuse, further clinical studies are needed to understand their psychogenic properties. The topic of this review is complicated due to the frequent abuse of psychotomimetic drugs by patients affected by psychotic disorders, a fact that makes it extremely difficult to distinguish between an induced psychosis and a re-exacerbation of a previously diagnosed disorder.

Methods: The present narrative review summarizes results from clinical studies, thus investigating the psychotogenic properties of abused substances and the psychotic symptoms they can give rise to. It also discusses the association between substance abuse and psychosis, especially with regards to the differential diagnosis between a primary vs. a substance-induced psychotic disorder.

Findings: Our findings support the theory 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 addiction. Of note, 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.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Review, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Treatment method
23 December 2021
Identification #
Page Range
p. 2270
Frontiers Research Foundation

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