Preventing substance-induced psychotic disorders is possible

April 18, 2022

Controversy persists about whether it is possible to prevent all forms of psychosis. But one form — namely substance-induced psychotic disorders — is clearly preventable. Youth can develop these disorders due to substance intoxication or withdrawal, including from alcohol and cannabis. And many young Canadians require medical care for this problem.

In fact, among 10- to 24-year-olds, 15% of hospital stays for harms caused by substance use involved this form of psychosis, leading to 3,537 hospitalizations between 2017 and 2018.

Reducing the number of youth who experience substance-induced psychosis is a viable goal. Mainly, this can be achieved by providing effective substance use prevention programs and by offering effective treatments to youth who are struggling with problematic substance use. For more information on psychosis, see Vol. 14, No. 3  of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.