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Meth Psychosis | Understanding Meth-Induced Psychosis, Paranoia, & Hallucinations

Published on January 18, 2021
Meth Psychosis Understanding Meth-Induced Paranoia & Hallucinations

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, can cause serious psychotic symptoms in some people. These symptoms are known as meth psychosis and can have serious effects on your mental health.

Symptoms Of Meth-Induced Psychosis

Meth-induced psychosis can affect your mind, body, and behavior in many different ways. The powerful effects of meth on the body can cause one to act out in ways they normally wouldn’t.

Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Symptoms of meth psychosis and schizophrenia can be so similar, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. People with schizophrenia or meth psychosis can both experience psychotic episodes, delusions, and paranoia.

Though it often resembles schizophrenia, meth psychosis is usually not classified as a psychotic disorder. Psychotic disorders do not include states caused by drug intoxication, abuse, or withdrawal.

Agitation & Violent Behavior

Meth use can lead to increased brain activity, alertness, heart rate, and blood pressure. These effects can cause increased agitation. This can also lead to hyperactivity, physical outbursts, and other forms of violent behavior.

Hallucinations

Different types of hallucinations can occur due to meth use. Auditory hallucinations (what you can hear), and tactile hallucinations (what you can touch) can both be symptoms of meth psychosis.

Risk Factors For Meth Psychosis

Some factors can put you at higher risk for meth psychosis, including:

  • family history of mental illness/mental health disorders
  • chronic sleep deprivation
  • prior diagnosis of schizophrenia
  • meth addiction/long-term meth abuse

Understanding How Meth Affects The Brain

Methamphetamine is a strong amphetamine that affects the central nervous system. It increases the concentration of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. These neurotransmitters increase alertness, heart rate, body temperature, mood, and general brain activity. Learn more about how meth affects the brain here.

Dangers Of Chronic Methamphetamine Use

Meth is a powerful, potentially habit-forming drug. Its “high” lasts for a short time, which can lead to repeated uses over a brief period of time. The drug has a high potential for physical dependence and addiction.

Along with many other side effects, the risk of methamphetamine psychosis is higher if meth is a target of substance abuse.

Long-term methamphetamine use can also cause permanent changes in brain functions. Reduced coordination, altered memory functions, and changes in cognition have all been reported in long-term methamphetamine users. Some of these changes can be permanent.

Treatment Options For Meth Psychosis

Methamphetamine abuse and its effects continue to be a serious problem in the United States. However, some treatment options can help treat meth psychosis and meth abuse in general.

Medication

Some studies have shown that antipsychotic medications can reduce meth psychosis symptoms. Olanzapine and haloperidol can be effective in treating symptoms, while benzodiazepines can reduce brain activity and counteract the effects of meth.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapies can also help treat meth addiction and its effects. Cognitive behavioral therapy can identify, recognize, and avoid triggers. Serious cases may require inpatient care at a treatment center.

If you or a loved one struggles with meth use or another form of substance use, talk to your healthcare professional or contact us today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.
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