There are many nasty side effects of substance abuse, and one of the most devastating consequences is psychosis. Psychosis is a mental health condition in which sufferers may experience delusions or hallucinations. Because of these experiences, the individual may act in a strange manner. Psychosis is a condition that can be temporary or long-lasting.
Some individuals will experience psychotic episodes because of drugs or alcohol. While these episodes may last for a few days or weeks, many will, unfortunately, suffer the symptoms for years, even after they stop abusing a particular substance.
Psychosis and Cocaine
Cocaine is a drug that is associated with an increased risk of psychosis. This substance is highly addictive, and many users tend to binge on it at the weekend or when partying. This will increase the risk of becoming tolerant to the drug, thereby requiring more of it to get the same effect. This, in turn, leads to an increased risk of psychotic episodes.
Those using cocaine tend to become paranoid, agitated, and anxious while many will experience hallucinations where they see or hear things that are not there. People using crack cocaine have a higher risk of psychosis.
Crack cocaine users are likely to suffer from confusion and hallucinations, and can often become violent without any reason. As well as developing these symptoms while under the influence of the drug, many crack cocaine users will experience similar symptoms during their come down from crack.
Psychosis can affect a person’s daily life, and everything around them becomes sinister and threatening. Paul Gascoigne is one such star who admits to suffering psychosis because of his cocaine use. The former footballer revealed to Alastair Campbell from GQ magazine that his behaviour (because of psychosis) led to him being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He said, “The worst was the psychosis through cocaine, ten years ago when my sister got me sectioned. The paranoia was unbelievable.”
Paul admitted to feeling that everyone and everything were looking at him and said he was ‘frightened to touch food’. He recalls one episode when he could not sleep because he felt as though a packet of wine gums was staring at him. He woke his father, who told him to eat the sweets and get some sleep. However, after eating one packet, he still could not sleep because of the same fear that the second packet was staring at him too.
Paul’s paranoia extended beyond his fear of people and things staring at him. He was also terrified that people were listening to his conversations. He says, “I thought my lighter was listening to us. I had a Rolex, and I threw it out the window because I thought it was listening to us. I had six mobiles, and I was sure they were all being tapped. Of course, I was right about that one. But I was well gone.”
Paul had good reason to be worried about his conversations being tapped; earlier this year he was awarded a payout from Mirror Group Newspapers after the phone-hacking scandal. Paul and a number of other high-profile stars were awarded £1.2 million from the group. Paul admits that the scandal ‘ruined his life’. He became so paranoid that people were selling stories about him to newspapers that be was scared to speak to family members. He admits that it was ‘just horrendous’.
Paul Gascoigne is not the only person to have suffered from psychosis because of cocaine use. However, there is help available for those who need it. Rehab Helper can put addicts and their families in touch with treatment providers across the UK. Call today for more information about how we can help.