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Question
Posted by: Liz | 2004/11/15

Drug induced or trauma induced psycosis

Hi i wonder if u could shed some light, feb 2002 my brother went out to a club, his intention to watch a band he is 28. he had a few drinks. he has always been close to me and my family, he has always been a good chap, well spoken and reserved, would never harm a fly and has never taken drugs, although enjoyed consuming alcohol when going out at least 4 times a month. he says while he was at this club he danced with some girl, whose boyfriends aparently got angry and when he sat down at his table 3 men sat down as well they threw something in his drink and told him to drink otherwise they would beat him to a pulp outside. i dont know what else they did to him, frankly im not sure how he managed to get home, he threw up, the next day he had terrible halucinations, what he was telling us sounded so real and was so real to him that at first we belived them, it was only after this continued for 3 days did i realize that something was terribly wrong and that we could not believe half the daft things he was telling us, he also had bad paranoia, thinking people were after him all the time, i took him to a doctor, even that was difficult cause he feared everyone so much, the doctor ran all the drug tests and they were negative, i was told there were certain drugs that could have been given and within 24 hours would not show a trace in ones system, but the effects could stay for months if not permantly. my brother would not go to a psychologist, he was not given any medication either, it was awful he couldnt sleep couldnt eat, i gave him a nerve tablet 3mg lexatan (my own) each day to try to calm him, but it never took the paranoia away, i would give him one of my sleeping tablets no and then to help him sleep, in the day he would try to work but would land up staring into space for hours or telling me the most ridiculous stories, changing all the time the events of past, present and future (also thought he was a bit psycic at times) I dont know wheter it was the trauma of what ever happened that night or the drug, but it took 9 long months before i saw my old brothers personality peeping through, the normal brother that we all new, it seemed like his chemicals were at last starting to balance themselves, he was fine for 2 weeks we all went out to dinner one evening and he had a few beers the first after the ordeal, the next day he was back to square one, the paranoia and all started all over again. someone told me that you can have what they call flashbacks, which this must have been one, it lasted for another 2 weeks after which he became well again. everything hasd been going well again he got a new job in May this year and has been doing so well went on courses and passed, but now and then started having a drink again, nothing in the volume that he was used to, on Monday evening he had one amstel and on Tuesday or Wednesday the same paranoia ect has started again, i am so sad i dont know what to do, if you could advise me as to what sort of drug may have given to my brother or if you think that introducing alchohol to his system even in small amounts could have triggered this off again, or is it trauma related? although everything seemed to be going fine in his life again, its been a year and a half since that fateful night, how long do these flashbacks last? or are his chemicals permanently damaged now. i read somewhere that there are 2 main chemicals in your brain that become imbalanced and can take a long time to balance them again. Since this i have met 2 boys that have also had exactly the same symtoms and they must have been given the same bad drug, they have been under the care of psychiatrists and have been given other drugs to try to stablize them, but it seems if those drugs also had side effects ect on those boys and they did not heal as fast as my brother. if you have any advice for me i would be very grateful.

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Our expert says:
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Hello Liz,
Sounds like a toxic effect, and a drug-induced psychotic episode, doesn't it ? Abnd some of these drugs are not easy or even possible to detect after a period of time has elapsed --- they do their mischief and are then eliminated from the body. ( I wonder whether sometimes it'd help in such a situation to "spill" some of the spiked drink onto one's shirt, as sometimes the stain might be testable later, but I'm not an expert at toxicology ).
Lexotan is a sedative, but has no anti-psychotic properties. Thus it might calm someone, but would not clear paranoia and hallucinations.
Some of us are abnormally snsiive to the efects of alcohol, but I assume he had drunk alcohol before this episode, without problems. I'm not aware of a drug that would cause later problems on exposure to alcohol, in the manner you describe.
Anyhow, it seems to be very clear indeed that your brother needs to see a good psychiatrist, maybe even one on the faculty Dpt of Psychiatry at your nearest Medical School, who could assess him fully, and properly investigate this. And he may well benefit considerably from the careful use of anti-psychotic drugs which can clear the lasting effects he has encountered. What also needs to be considered by the psychiatrist he sees, is this. Maybe in the club he was indeed given a drug which temporarily induced psychotic symptoms. But it is possible that he was already brewing a psychotic illness, which might either never have shown itself, or only have become obvious mugh later on in life, but which was precipitated by this exposure to a psychotomimetic street drug. This can at tmes be a problem even with marijuana, that it may release an illness already in the preparation stages.

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Our users say:
Posted by: H | 2004/11/15

Hi
Unable to give advice, but have you ever considered the possibilty that this "psychosis" is really only induced by your brother's "alcohol consumption".
Also, why does he fear seeing a psychologist?

Reply to H

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