Substance-Induced Disorder: Watch What You Give to Your Body

Can the intake of a seemingly harmless substance cause psychotic disorder in people? A psychiatric condition which stems from the excessive use of any substance is termed as the substance-induced disorder.

In the US alone, around two million people are said to be suffering from this form of mental disorder. How a body reacts to certain substances and the severity of the condition may vary from person to person.

The Classes of Substance

Unlike other psychotic disorders, substance-induced disorder cannot exist independently. The substances that have the tendency to impair people's mental health are divided into 10 categories.

The following substances, whether taken for recreational purposes or prescribed for a pre-existing medical condition, may cause harmful effects on a person's brain biology. 

They are:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cannabis
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Opioids
  • Sedatives
  • Tobacco
  • Stimulants
  • And other substances

While caffeine doesn't pose an imminent threat, its excessive use can be detrimental to a person's health.

Types of Substance-Induced Disorder

The one-off or temporary use of the substances may not necessarily lead the user to this condition. But, people tend to consume these substances in larger quantities as they give a feeling of pleasure to them.

The disorder is further divided into the following two categories: substance-use disorder and substance-induced disorder.

Substance-use Disorder

It is caused by the consistent use of a substance regardless of its effects on a person's life. The effect of the continuous use of a substance can, in some cases, be irreversible. A person who is dependent on the substance may show behavioral changes and experience an intense craving for the particular substance.

Substance-induced Disorder

The disorder appears when a person experiences immediate behavioral or physiological changes following the consumption of a substance.  It can also occur after the cessation of substance use.   

Substance intoxication

This is the reaction of a substance on a body that has consumed it. Often coined as a substance's side-effects, these reactions cause significant psychological changes such as impaired thinking, euphoria or slurred speech.  

Substance withdrawal

The condition exists when a person stops the intake of a substance. This abrupt cessation or reduction of a substance may cause several psychological changes in a person.  

What Causes the Disorder?

While there is not a single cause for the outbreak of the disorder, many experts believe that the condition can exist because of the addictive nature of the substance used. Whether or not a substance is harmful to a person's health depends solely on how the person's body reacts to it.


For this disorder, the treatment is not complex. Many patients are advised to opt for support groups or attend awareness sessions to cut down their substance intake.