Methamphetamine is a stimulant that can be consumed orally, intravenously, or nasally. Methamphetamine is similar in chemical formation to amphetamine, the common drug used to treat ADHD. Forms of methamphetamine are referred to meth, speed, ice, crank, and crystal. Methamphetamine is highly addictive and can cause severe psychological effects during withdrawal.
Like many substances, methamphetamine produces both short-term effects and long term side effects. There are many long term effects of methamphetamine abuse, one of which is meth induced psychosis. Prolonged abuse of methamphetamine may also cause weight loss, “meth mouth,” extreme anxiety, and mood swings. A 2001 study found that meth abuse can also cause impaired memory and motor skills.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the most common withdrawal symptoms of crystal meth is craving for more of the drug. This is fairly common among stimulants and other illicit substances. Although meth withdrawal symptoms are unlikely to be lethal, it’s imperative that the individual seek help. The depression, psychosis, and mood swings that may arise can lead a person to become suicidal or violent.
Symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include:
- Meth cravings
- Vivid dreams
- Decreased motor function
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Suicidal ideation
- An inability to feel happy (anhedonia)
- Overeating/increased appetite
- Depression and/or mood swings
- Meth induced psychosis
- Involuntary spasms and twitches
Symptoms generally last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. Meth leaves the body fairly quickly, resulting in withdrawal symptoms that come on quickly and strongly and can subside more quickly than withdrawal symptoms of other drugs. Each individual is different, and withdrawal may manifest differently from person to person.
What is Meth Induced Psychosis?
Meth induced psychosis is perhaps one of the most well-known symptoms of methamphetamine abuse. Drug induced psychosis can be dangerous, painful for all involved, and quite scary. Meth induced psychosis is a state that generally comes about during the withdrawal process. It may also arise from overdose, which is often referred to as being “spun” or “tweaking.”
The APA (American Psychiatric Association) defines psychosis as the presence of both hallucinations and delusions. Drug induced psychosis can put the individual at great risk of causing harm to themselves or others, as they are often not aware or perceptive of the world around them. Crystal meth psychosis can last for a period of a few days up to a few months in more severe cases.
Meth Induced Psychosis Symptoms
Like any withdrawal symptoms, experience may vary from individual to individual. Generally, meth induced psychosis symptoms may include:
- Hallucinations (auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, or gustatory)
- Delusions (grandeur, persecution, reference, somatic)
- Obsessive behavior
Hallucinations may occur at any of the five senses. The individual may hear sounds that are not really there, such as voices, noises of people moving around, or static. They may experience visual hallucinations, seeing movement from still objects or seeing things that are simply not present. The person may smell an extremely unpleasant smell wherever they go. They may feel things on the skin that aren’t there, causing the itching and scratching often seen in long-term meth abusers. They may also believe their food to taste strange.
Delusions can arise in a number of different ways. One of the most common delusions is that of persecution, or believing that others are out to harm them. Delusions of grandeur are also common, which is when the user believes they are special in some way or chosen. Delusion may also arise as the belief that random events are connected or important to the individual, as the belief that they are under someone else’s control, or that their body is changing in some way.
The combination of delusions and hallucinations can lead to aggressive and violent behavior. This may manifest in fits of rage, unexplained anger, and/or misdirected fury.
Obsessive behavior is common among meth users, especially those experiencing psychosis. Those experiencing meth psychosis may compulsively clean, repeat a behavior such as tapping or twitching, or take things apart and put them back together.
Meth Psychosis Treatment
There are many drugs used to treat meth induced psychosis. Some drugs may help ease the person down from psychosis, while others can reduce cravings. In the long term, meth addicts benefit from psychotherapy and appropriate addiction treatment. Drugs used to treat ice psychosis may include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and stimulants.
People experiencing psychosis need proper medical attention. Without care, meth induced psychosis can result in a lot of harm being caused. With professional care, those experiencing psychotic symptoms can recover and live a healthy life. Although symptoms of meth abuse may last for some time, a team of clinicians and professionals can help the individual to regain control over their lives.
If you or somebody you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, call us today at (800) 790-7524.