Health Centers > Mental Health Center > Mental Disorders > Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders > Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder
The essential features of Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder are prominent hallucinations or delusions (Criterion A) that are judged to be due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (i.e., a drug of abuse, a medication, or toxin exposure) (Criterion B). Hallucinations that the individual realizes are substance induced are not included here and instead would be diagnosed as Substance Intoxication or Substance Withdrawal with the accompanying specifier With Perceptual Disturbances. The disturbance must not be better accounted for by a Psychotic Disorder that is not substance induced (Criterion C). The diagnosis is not made if the psychotic symptoms occur only during the course of a delirium (Criterion D). This diagnosis should be made instead of a diagnosis of Substance Intoxication or Substance Withdrawal only when the psychotic symptoms are in excess of those usually associated with the intoxication or withdrawal syndrome and when the symptoms are sufficiently severe to warrant independent clinical attention.
Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder
A Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder is distinguished from a primary Psychotic Disorder by considering the onset, course, and other factors. For drugs of abuse, there must be evidence from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings of Dependence, Abuse, intoxication, or withdrawal. Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorders arise only in association with intoxication or withdrawal states but can persist for weeks, whereas primary Psychotic Disorders may precede the onset of substance use or may occur during times of sustained abstinence. Once initiated, the psychotic symptoms may continue as long as the substance use continues. Another consideration is the presence of features that are atypical of a primary Psychotic Disorder (e.g., atypical age at onset or course). For example, the appearance of delusions de novo in a person over age 35 years without a known history of a primary Psychotic Disorder should alert the clinician to the possibility of a Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder. Even a prior history of a primary Psychotic Disorder does not rule out the possibility of a Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder. It has been suggested that 9 out of 10 nonauditory hallucinations are the product of a Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder or a Psychotic Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition.
In contrast, factors that suggest that the psychotic symptoms are better accounted for by a primary Psychotic Disorder include persistence of psychotic symptoms for a substantial period of time (i.e., a month or more) after the end of Substance Intoxication or acute Substance Withdrawal; the development of symptoms that are substantially in excess of what would be expected given the type or amount of the substance used or the duration of use; or a history of prior recurrent primary Psychotic Disorders. Other causes of psychotic symptoms must be considered even in a person with Intoxication or Withdrawal, because substance use problems are not uncommon among persons with (presumably) non-substance-induced Psychotc Disorders.
Subtypes and Specifiers
One of the following subtypes may be used to indicate the predominant symptom presentation. If both delusions and hallucinations are present, code whichever is predominant:
With Delusions. This subtype is used if delusions are the predominant symptom.
With Hallucinations. This subtype is used if hallucinations are the predominant symptom.
A common and serious mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality (psychosis), hallucinations (false perceptions), delusions (false beliefs), abnormal thinking
The context of the development of the psychotic symptoms may be indicated by using one of the specifiers listed below:
With Onset During Intoxication. This specifier should be used if criteria for intoxication with the substance are met and the symptoms develop during the intoxication syndrome.
The name of the Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder begins with the specific substance (e.g., cocaine, methylphenidate, dexamethasone) that is presumed to be causing the psychotic symptoms. The diagnostic code is selected from the listing of classes of substances provided in the criteria set. For substances that do not fit into any of the classes (e.g., dexamethasone), the code for "Other Substance" should be used. In addition, for medications prescribed at therapeutic doses, the specific medication can be indicated by listing the appropriate E-code on Axis I. The code for each of the specific Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorders depends on whether the presentation is predominated by delusions or hallucinations: 292.11 for With Delusions and 292.12 for With Hallucinations, except for alcohol, for which the code is 291.5 for With Delusions and 291.3 for With Hallucinations. The name of the disorder (e.g., Cocaine-Induced Psychotic Disorder; Methylphenidate-Induced Psychotic Disorder) is followed by the subtype indicating the predominant symptom presentation and the specifier indicating the context in which the symptoms developed (e.g., 292.11 Cocaine-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Delusions, With Onset During Intoxication; 292.12 Phencyclidine-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Hallucinations, With Onset During Intoxication). When more than one substance is judged to play a significant role in the development of the psychotic symptoms, each should be listed separately. If a substance is judged to be the etiological factor, but the specific substance or class of substance is unknown, the category 292.11 Unknown Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Delusions, or 292.12 Unknown Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Hallucinations, may be used.
Psychotic Disorders can occur in association with intoxication with the following classes of substances: alcohol; amphetamine and related substances; cannabis; cocaine; hallucinogens; inhalants; opioids (meperidine); phencyclidine and related substances; sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics; and other or unknown substances. Psychotic Disorders can occur in association with withdrawal from the following classes of substances: alcohol; sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics; and other or unknown substances. The initiation of the disorder may vary considerably with the substance. For example, smoking a high dose of cocaine may produce psychosis within minutes, whereas days or weeks of high-dose alcohol or sedative use may be required to produce psychosis. Hallucinations may occur in any modality, but, in the absence of delirium, they are usually auditory. Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Hallucinations, usually occurs only after prolonged, heavy ingestion of alcohol in people who apparently have Alcohol Dependence. The auditory hallucinations are usually voices.
Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
The Psychotic Disorders induced by intoxication with amphetamine and cocaine share similar clinical features. Persecutory delusions may rapidly develop shortly after use of amphetamine or a similarly acting sympathomimetic. Distortion of body image and misperception of people's faces may occur. The hallucination of bugs or vermin crawling in or under the skin (formication) can lead to scratching and extensive skin excoriations. Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder may develop shortly after high-dose cannabis use and usually involves persecutory delusions. The disorder is apparently rare. Marked anxiety, emotional lability, depersonalization, and subsequent amnesia for the episode can occur. The disorder usually remits within a day, but in some cases may persist for a few days.
Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorders may at times not resolve promptly when the offending agent is removed. Agents such as amphetamines, phencyclidine, and cocaine have been reported to evoke temporary psychotic states that can sometimes persist for weeks or longer despite removal of the agent and treatment with neuroleptic medication. These may be initially difficult to distinguish from non-substance-induced Psychotic Disorders.
Some of the medications reported to evoke psychotic symptoms include anesthetics and analgesics, anticholinergic agents, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antihypertensive and cardiovascular medications, antimicrobial medications, antiparkinsonian medications, chemotherapeutic agents (e.g., cyclosporine and procarbazine), corticosteroids, gastrointestinal medications, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, other over-the-counter medications (e.g., phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine), antidepressant medication, and disulfiram. Toxins reported to induce psychotic symptoms include anticholinesterase, organophosphate insecticides, nerve gases, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and volatile substances such as fuel or paint.
A diagnosis of Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder should be made instead of a diagnosis of Substance Intoxication or Substance Withdrawal only when the psychotic symptoms are judged to be in excess of those usually associated with the intoxication or withdrawal syndrome and when the symptoms are sufficiently severe to warrant independent clinical attention. Individuals intoxicated with stimulants, cannabis, the opioid meperidine, or phencyclidine, or those withdrawing from alcohol or sedatives, may experience altered perceptions (scintillating lights, sounds, visual illusions) that they recognize as drug effects. If reality testing for these experiences remains intact (i.e., the person recognizes that the perception is substance induced and neither believes in nor acts on it), the diagnosis is not Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder. Instead, Substance Intoxication or Withdrawal, With Perceptual Disturbances, is diagnosed (e.g., Cocaine Intoxication, With Perceptual Disturbances). "Flashback" hallucinations that can occur long after the use of hallucinogens has stopped are diagnosed as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. Moreover, if substance-induced psychotic symptoms occur exclusively during the course of a delirium, as in some severe forms of Alcohol Withdrawal, the psychotic symptoms are considered to be an associated feature of the delirium and are not diagnosed separately.
A Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder is distinguished from a primary Psychotic Disorder by the fact that a substance is judged to be etiologically related to the symptoms.
A Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder due to a prescribed treatment for a mental or general medical condition must have its onset while the person is receiving the medication (or during withdrawal, if there is a withdrawal syndrome associated with the medication). Once the treatment is discontinued, the psychotic symptoms will usually remit within days to several weeks (depending on the half-life of the substance and the presence of a withdrawal syndrome). If symptoms persist beyond 4 weeks, other causes for the psychotic symptoms should be considered. Because individuals with general medical conditions often take medications for those conditions, the clinician must consider the possibility that the psychotic symptoms are caused by the physiological consequences of the general medical condition rather than the medication, in which case Psychotic Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition is diagnosed. The history often provides the primary basis for such a judgment. At times, a change in the treatment for the general medical condition (e.g., medication substitution or discontinuation) may be needed to determine empirically for that person whether the medication is the causative agent. If the clinician has ascertained that the disturbance is due to both a general medical condition and substance use, both diagnoses (i.e., Psychotic Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition and Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder) may be given. When there is insufficient evidence to determine whether the psychotic symptoms are due to a substance (including a medication) or to a general medical condition or are primary (i.e., not due to either a substance or a general medical condition), Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified would be indicated.
Diagnostic criteria for Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder
A. Prominent hallucinations or delusions. Note: Do not include hallucinations if the person has insight that they are substance induced.
B. There is evidence from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings of either (1) or (2):
(1) the symptoms in Criterion A developed during, or within a month of, Substance Intoxication or Withdrawal
(2) medication use is etiologically related to the disturbance
C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by a Psychotic Disorder that is not substance induced. Evidence that the symptoms are better accounted for by a Psychotic Disorder that is not substance induced might include the following: the symptoms precede the onset of the substance use (or medication use); the symptoms persist for a substantial period of time (e.g., about a month) after the cessation of acute withdrawal or severe intoxication, or are substantially in excess of what would be expected given the type or amount of the substance used or the duration of use; or there is other evidence that suggests the existence of an independent non-substance-induced Psychotic Disorder (e.g., a history of recurrent non-substance-related episodes).
D. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium.
Note: This diagnosis should be made instead of a diagnosis of Substance Intoxication or Substance Withdrawal only when the symptoms are in excess of those usually associated with the intoxication or withdrawal syndrome and when the symptoms are sufficiently severe to warrant independent clinical attention.
Code [Specific Substance]-Induced Psychotic Disorder:
(291.5 Alcohol, With Delusions; 291.3 Alcohol, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Amphetamine [or Amphetamine-Like Substance], With Delusions; 292.12 Amphetamine [or Amphetamine-Like Substance], With Hallucinations; 292.11 Cannabis, With Delusions; 292.12 Cannabis, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Cocaine, With Delusions; 292.12 Cocaine, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Hallucinogen, With Delusions; 292.12 Hallucinogen, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Inhalant, With Delusions; 292.12 Inhalant, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Opioid, With Delusions; 292.12 Opioid, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Phencyclidine [or Phencyclidine-Like Substance], With Delusions; 292.12 Phencyclidine [or Phencyclidine-Like Substance], With Hallucinations; 292.11 Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic, With Delusions; 292.12 Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic, With Hallucinations; 292.11 Other [or Unknown] Substance, With Delusions; 292.12 Other [or Unknown] Substance, With Hallucinations)
With Onset During Intoxication: if criteria are met for Intoxication with the substance and the symptoms develop during the intoxication syndrome
With Onset During Withdrawal: if criteria are met for Withdrawal from the substance and the symptoms develop during, or shortly after, a withdrawal syndrome