It is possible to experience psychosis after drug use, even if there were no previous symptoms. Drug use can trigger psychosis, at any age.
People who have used illicit drugs, without negative consequences, are fortunate. Research shows that people who use illicit drugs have higher rates of psychosis than people who do not use illicit drugs. The simple truth is that drugs can be mind-altering and are dangerous. Had your son never used illicit substances, he may never have experienced psychosis.
You didn’t mention the kind of drugs your son was taking. More recently, health officials are concerned with people taking synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice.” Emergency departments are reporting an increase in the number of patients coming in with “extreme psychotic behavior” after having ingested synthetic drugs. Despite their being banned in a number of states, it’s still easy to acquire these very dangerous drugs.
Your observation about your son’s reaction to Abilify is important. The same medication may work well for one person and not well for another.
The prescribing physician should consider your feedback. If he’s unwilling to listen, you are doing the right thing by trying to consult another doctor. It may take some time to find a doctor you like but keep searching. You want a doctor who considers your feedback and who is willing to make changes to the medication regimen, if necessary.
Even though the doctors you have been trying to consult don’t have an opening, ask if they will contact you in the event of a cancellation. Cancellations are common.
You might also benefit from consulting a licensed clinical social worker. He or she can assist you in finding a good doctor and help you manage your son’s condition. It’s always best to consult an expert when dealing with a possible serious mental illness.
Abilify is a type of antipsychotic medication but there are many others. With the right medication, your son’s symptoms can be controlled and managed. Recovery is possible. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle