Paranoia as a Drug Abuse Side Effect

Few days ago, my husband and I rescued my best friend as he showed signs of paranoia and hallucination in one of the hotels down South. In our more than 20 years of friendship, I knew this was coming. I have seen it coming, in fact. You should too if you know of a person whose a drug addict for more than 10 years.

My best friend’s been using since first year high school and his strong personality and high IQ made him a really hard candidate for rehab. He has evaded rehab all these years. He was never imprisoned, he was never caught red-handed, never sold a thing to pay for his drugs. I’ll be brave and say he’s a smart user.

Until two days ago.

His wife called me to say he’s stuck in this hotel, afraid to go out because he thinks people are after him and they will hurt him bad. I have not been in speaking terms with this guy because I got tired of his old antics and knew we were just running in circles. I was tired of rescuing him all the time. The wife though was out-of-town and they didn’t have anyone else but me.

Husband and I got him and I saw how bad his situation was. He was really scared. He got scared when he saw guards in uniform. He got hostile around bell boys and steward too.

He kept rambling things and I knew this was not going away.

He asked me, “What’s next for me, bes?”

I told him, “We will see a doctor tomorrow. You need help, badly.”

And to my surprise, he said “I surrender to whatever you guys think should happen to me. I admit I really need help bad. I saw things that I know aren’t real. I know that now. But I can still feel I am scared”.

We drove him home and made sure he slept.

The next day, he is again frantic and scared. Sleep didn’t make him better.

A friend of mine referred us to a Psychiatrist at the National Center for Mental Health. I opted for this doctor against the ones from The Medical City and Makati Medical Center because I want him to see where he will end up- in a mental hospital. Plus I knew my friend will not recommend someone who can’t handle my best friend.

True enough, my best friend loved the doctor. He tried to toy with her but he failed. I noticed he tried several times, but the good psychiatrist dodged him. I was really happy of the result.

My best friend was given a month’s worth of medication to rule out drug abuse as the culprit of his paranoia. He will undergo psychological testing though in maybe 2 weeks from now. After a month, we will go back to the doctor and see what her recommendations are.

What is paranoia? 


Paranoia involves feelings of persecution and an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Paranoia occurs in many mental disorders and is rare as an isolated mental illness. Since the delusions involve only one area, a person with paranoia can usually work and function in everyday life, however, their lives may be limited and isolated. There are different types of paranoia including conjugal paranoia, erotomania, hypochondriacal paranoia, and different types of paranoid disorders such as paranoid personality and paranoid schizophrenia.


Other symptoms to watch out for:

  • Self-referential thinking: The sense that other people in the world (even complete strangers on the street) are always talking about the paranoid individual.
  • Thought broadcasting: The sense that other people can read the paranoid individual’s mind.
  • Magical thinking: The sense that the paranoid individual can use his or her thoughts to influence other people’s thoughts and actions.
  • Thought withdrawal: The sense that people are stealing the paranoid individual’s thoughts.
  • Thought insertion: The sense that people are putting thoughts into the paranoid individual’s mind.
  • Ideas of reference: The sense that the television and/or radio are specifically addressing the paranoid individual.


Do you know someone who went through the same process? 

Do you know someone who went to a rehab and didn’t go back to his/her old ways? I know plenty who after x years went back to their addiction.

What’s next for them? 

These are hard questions that keep running inside my head. Should we always be there to help them?


  1. Nica Reyes says:

    I had a friend (long long time ago) who went to a rehab twice. The last time I heard is he’s doing well already. I guess his commitment to his growing family and recommitment to Christ made a difference.

    Great your friend is surrounded by people like you. It would help him a lot to see that people actually loves and cared for him. Hoping for the best.

  2. Teresa Martinez says:

    It is a good thing that you have not given up on your friend but I’m hoping that he will really help himself. I think his getting well will largely depend on his determination to be so.

  3. sarah tirona says:

    great move, the basement at medical city doesnt work, i know several who went there and nothing happened. really really expensive too. when you’re an addict, the need for recovery has to come strongly from within for change to occur it doesnt matter how good or expensive a facility is. good luck to your bes, i sincerely hope he gets better. 🙂

  4. Juvy Ann says:

    It must be difficult to see someone so dear in this situation. I am proud of you for being a true friend despite this unfortunate circumstance and pray that he finally surrender this bad habits and live life again. Good luck and God bless!

  5. Kat Rodriguez says:

    It’s still gonna be a long journey towards recovery but admitting that he needs help is a start. Friends like you and loved ones will play a very important role in this. My uncle who’s just about my age went through the same situation, sadly, it wasn’t a happy ending, he was in and out of rehab, but it was too late, his mind finally gave in, he’s now home and no longer uses but he now has mental disability which seems permanent since it’s been almost a decade now. I really hope your friend recover from this.

  6. Maan says:

    I pray for your best friend’s full recovery. I actually have someone very close to me regularly doing drugs and I hope he doesn’t reach this point.

  7. Rackell says:

    Your best friend really need to undergo medications and immediate treatment. You are true friend kasi di mo sya pinabayaan. In Jesus Name, I know he will recover from this.

  8. Nhessie Agustin says:

    i feel sad for people who fall prey to the temporary high of drugs and i feel even more sorry when they’re so deep into it that they show signs of hopelessness, i’m glad for your friend cause he has a friend like you who thinks she’s given up but really won’t..he badly needs help.

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