The potential of stimulant drugs (such as amphetamines) to induce or aggravate psychotic experiences was reviewed in this seminar. It gave a brief review of psychotic symptoms, an understanding of the biological basis of the link between stimulants and psychosis, the epidemiological evidence of increased risk for psychosis associated with stimulant use, and the clinical implications.
It was presented by Associate Professor Julia Lappin, who is the Clinical Director of the NSW Tertiary Referral Service for Psychosis. She is an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, in the School of Psychiatry and the National Drug and Alcohol Centre. She trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and completed her PhD at Kings College London on the topic of outcomes following the first psychotic illness. Since her move to Australia in 2014, she has developed a programme of research which focuses on improving outcomes for people living with psychotic illness. This includes the common comorbidities of physical ill-health and substance misuse. This clinical research is embedded in the Tertiary Referral Service for Psychosis which delivers a holistic approach to the care of people with psychosis.