My friend has been using marijuana and alcohol for over a decade, and has now quit both about a month ago. He seems to be having extreme delusions of people conspiring against him. I don't know if the withdrawal is causing this, or if the substances were suppressing an underlying disorder. Any advice or insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
Withdrawal from alcohol can certainly cause hallucinations/delusions. Marijuana is also known to cause mood lability/swings that can last for months after stopping heavy use (as opposed to the typical 30-ish days). It also is well-known for inducing psychosis (even mild paranoid delusions fall under this category). Also, Mary Jane can definitely cause acute and permanent mood problems.
Detoxing from alcohol is reason enough for your friend to seek professional medical help, as it can cause life-threatening medical issues, including seizures. If he/she doesn't have insurance, going to the emergency room is the best bet. They can admit your friend and provide IV fluids, anti-seizure meds, and other meds that control serious withdrawal problems. Most hospitals will reduce or waive fees if someone can prove they are low-income. Regardless, friends and family are not as saddened by helping with medical bills is better than funeral costs.
Paranoia is definitely worthy of immediate medical attention, as well. Neither you nor your friend can safely judge its severity or when it is about to become severe. Severe cases can result in physical harm to your friend or someone else--without warning.
It seems like you care a lot for your friend, if you are willing to look for answers. It would really help your friend if you helped him/her into the hospital right away. It's pretty serious stuff.
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