Psychosis More Common in Crystal Meth Users Dependent on the Drug, Study Finds
One in three crystal meth users are reported to experience psychosis at least once in their lifetime. Psychosis is a common side effect of crystal meth use, and is characterized by symptoms of paranoia, hallucinations, and agitated behavior. Though psychosis is known to be common among meth users, a new study reveals that psychosis is even more common among those who are physically dependent on this highly addictive illicit stimulant.
Risk Factors for Psychosis Among Meth Users
Researchers leading the new Australian study pulled data from 20 existing studies to examine the effects of meth on more than 5,000 regular users and learn why certain meth users are more at risk for psychosis than others. They found that psychosis rates were highest among people who used meth frequently, and who were also physically dependent on the drug. Meth dependence is marked by drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms like depression, anxiety, and muscle pain when not using the drug.
Other risk factors found to increase the risk for psychosis among meth users were current use of other substances like alcohol and marijuana, and a family history of psychotic disorders. In conclusion, the study authors found that psychosis was most common among those dependent on crystal meth and who used the drug regularly. Although this finding may seem obvious, the researchers say this data can help drug detox centers identify those at greatest risk, and may also help motivate people to quit using meth to lower their risk for psychosis.
The Dangers of Meth Use and Psychosis
Meth is an illicit stimulant that produces euphoria along with feelings of increased energy, alertness, and motivation that can last for up to 12 hours. Meth use has become more widespread in recent years due to how the drug can easily be made using ingredients from several common household products. Meth-related overdose deaths in the U.S. increased by 30% from 2014 to 2015.
Data reveals that up to 30% of people who experience meth-induced psychosis eventually develop long-term mental health disorders including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Meth dependence itself carries a longer list of more serious health problems, including gum disease and tooth loss, memory loss, and changes in brain structure and function that can lead to meth addiction. Organ failure, suicide, and death are other dangerous side effects of meth dependence.
While continued crystal meth use can be life-threatening, quitting crystal meth abruptly is often just as dangerous due to the many ways this drug affects the brain and body. Drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be severe enough to cause complications that lead to relapse, overdose, and death. But crystal meth dependence can be safely treated at a drug detox center using meth detox.
How Are Meth Dependence and Psychosis Treated?
Meth dependence can be safely treated using a medical detox, which involves withdrawing from the drug while being attended to by nurses and doctors who can make your recovery more comfortable. Many times, a medical detox from meth involves the use of medications that can relieve your symptoms and related pain. Drugs like naltrexone, dextroamphetamine, and bupropion may also be used to reduce meth cravings.
Mental health disorders caused by psychosis often require long-term treatment in the form of pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. These therapies are available at most drug detox centers, and can be used to help you achieve improved mental health after overcoming physical meth dependence.
If you or someone you love is struggling with meth dependence, get help today to improve your physical and mental health, and to overcome addiction. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-483-2193 to speak with one of our addiction specialists to learn about your available treatment options, and to find the nearest meth detox center near you.