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Understanding Psychosis and Substance Use

December 13, 2023

Episode Description

In this episode of Cracking Addiction, Dr. Ferghal Armstrong and guest Dr. Manu Bhatnagar engage in a deep dive into the complex topic of psychosis, specifically in the context of substance use disorders. With a focus on understanding the nature of psychosis, the impetus behind psychotic experiences, and the differentiating factors between substance-induced psychotic disorders and primary schizophrenia disorders, this episode imparts valuable insights for both healthcare professionals and individuals affected by addiction and mental health issues.

Focus Keyword: Psychosis in Addiction

In this episode of Cracking Addiction, Dr. Manu Bhatnagar and Dr. Ferghal Armstrong dissect the nature of psychosis, emphasizing its status as a symptom rather than a standalone illness. They highlight the potential influences of social and cultural contexts on the diagnosis of psychosis, shedding light on the impact of societal trends and media portrayals on the manifestation of psychotic experiences. The discussion delves into the potential causes of psychosis, including the interplay of genetic, environmental, and substance-related factors.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Understanding the Multifaceted Nature of Psychosis: Dr. Bhatnagar provides a comprehensive overview of psychosis, defining it as a disruption of thought, perception, and cognition. This highlights the diversity of psychotic experiences and the importance of individual past experiences in shaping these manifestations. The discussion offers a nuanced understanding of psychosis as a complex interplay of factors, paving the way for more holistic approaches to addressing psychotic symptoms.

2. Differentiating Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorders: The episode elucidates the distinction between substance-induced psychotic disorders, particularly those triggered by stimulants and cannabis, and primary schizophrenia disorders. The emphasis on psychomotor agitation as a hallmark of substance-induced psychosis provides a valuable framework for clinicians to differentiate these conditions, informing targeted interventions.

3. Longitudinal Assessment and Treatment Implications: The speakers underscore the significance of longitudinal assessment in distinguishing substance-induced psychosis from primary schizophrenia disorders. This insight carries profound implications for treatment, as the potential resolution of symptoms with abstinence underscores the importance of addressing substance use in managing psychotic experiences.

Actionable Takeaways:

1. Embrace a Holistic Understanding: Recognize the multifactorial nature of psychosis, encompassing genetic predispositions, environmental influences, and substance-related triggers. This broader perspective can inform more comprehensive treatment strategies, taking into account the diverse factors contributing to psychotic experiences.

2. Heightened Clinical Vigilance: Develop a heightened awareness of the hallmarks of substance-induced psychotic disorders, such as psychomotor agitation and acute onset in the context of substance use. This keen clinical vigilance can aid in accurate differential diagnosis and tailored interventions for individuals presenting with psychotic symptoms.

3. Prioritize Longitudinal Assessment: Prioritize longitudinal assessment, particularly in cases of suspected substance-induced psychosis, to discern the potential impact of substance use on psychotic experiences. This approach underscores the importance of addressing substance use disorders in managing psychosis and promoting long-term recovery.

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