Can Substance Abuse Cause Delusions?

Can Substance Abuse Cause Delusions?

Substance abuse can cause delusions

Delusions are false or erroneous beliefs that usually involve a misinterpretation of perceptions or experiences. Substance abuse can cause a variety of mental illness symptoms. Not all people who struggle with substance abuse have a diagnosed or untreated mental illness, but delusions and other mental illness symptoms can be side effects of addiction. Understand the signs and symptoms of mental illness, as well as the side effects of addiction and withdrawal, to help you determine the kind of treatment that is right for you or a loved one.

A delusional disorder can often mimic the symptoms of drug addiction, just as drug addiction can bring on the symptoms of a mental illness. Delusional disorders are characterized by a fixed belief that a situation or condition exists that is plausible in real life but is not really happening. Some examples of delusions include the following:

  • Erotomatic delusions are those of a special, loving relationship with another person. This other person is usually someone famous or of higher standing than the individual for whom the delusion exists. This type of delusion is usually the basis for stalking.
  • Grandiose delusions are delusions where the person thinks he or she has a special power or ability or a special relationship with a powerful person.
  • Jealous delusions cause feelings that a sexual partner is being unfaithful.
  • Persecutory delusions are the fear that the person suffering is being threatened or maltreated.
  • Somatic delusions are those of having a physical illness or defect that does not exist.

Addiction to certain drugs can cause behaviors that mimic those of delusions. Getting into a Dual Diagnosis treatment facility can help those struggling with mental illness symptoms and addiction receive a proper diagnosis. Delusions can be brought on by experiencing intoxication from alcohol, getting high from a substance or experiencing drug withdrawals. Knowing whether or not the delusions are being caused by the addiction or are the result of an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness can help treatment professionals design a program to best meet your needs.

Finding Help for Addiction and Mental Illness

Delusions can result from substance abuse or can be caused by untreated mental illness. If you or a loved one struggles with delusions or addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about treatment options.

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