Substance Intoxication Delirium

Substance Intoxication Delirium is a condition of mental health. It is a drug or alcohol-induced delirium, usually with a psychoactive substance. This is different from ordinary intoxication which is an impaired function. It has all the symptoms and signs of normal intoxication but more. This is worse and lasts for far longer.


Delirium is a state of mind that has confused thoughts and loss of awareness to what is around you. This means they can’t really process reality. They can be distracted by things that seem random or unrelated to what is going on. They might take too long to answer questions, or keep talking when something different is brought up.

Mental functions can decline. Short term amnesia might occur. They might not be able to remember what led up to their situation. They might not be able to remember where they are or what the date is or other basic information. It is also possible they would have issues talking, or could have hallucinations.

Some people lose control over their bowels or bladder. They could also have random body movements with no control over them.


It is essential for doctors to make sure that there is not another cause for delirium before they diagnose. There could be disorders or signs leading up to this other than intoxication. All routes are tried before this diagnosis is given.

More than just alcohol can cause substance intoxication delirium. There are lots of different substances that can lead to this state.

Some of these substances are:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Opioids
  • Cocaine
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Hallucinogens
  • Marijuana

It is important to know what has caused the delirium. This is so they know how to treat it or handle it.

How Soon Can Delirium Happen?

It depends on the situation as to how fast delirium can occur. It can happen right away. It can happen even after the original drug has worn off. It is possible for a person to have substance delirium withdrawal.

After the delirium, if the person has stopped using, then they can experience withdrawal. That is when the body has decided it needs the substance that has been used.

Delirium can happen quickly and last over a few days. It usually gets worse at night. There is less going on at night to keep a person grounded. There’s no telling how bad it will get.