Facts About the Psychosis-Meth Relationship

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Highly addictive crystal methamphetamine, first used in World War II as a stimulant to keep soldiers awake, is today an illegal and very dangerous recreational drug. Whether injected, snorted, swallowed, or smoked, crystal meth use can cause severe psychological damage, as well as physical damage to those who use it.

Meth psychosis is a very common result of methamphetamine use. Left untreated, drug-induced psychosis can lead to a variety of dangerous or deadly situations for those who use the drug, as well as those they know and love.

Ingredients Found in Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, also known as “glass” and “ice,” contains ingredients which can be purchased legally in stores. As a result, batches of the drug are often brewed in home labs.

Ingredients include:

  • Acetone
  • Battery acid
  • Cold and flu medication
  • Iodine
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Benzene
  • Drain cleaner
  • Camp stove fuel

While a very few of the ingredients in methamphetamine are safe to use on their own, their combination with other highly toxic substances can be lethal, both when inhaled during the brewing process and for those who use the drug. As well, the combination of chemicals used for brewing can explode and contaminate the space in which meth has been brewed.

How Meth Causes Psychosis

Psychosis is the body and brain’s response to the chemicals ingested in meth that alter the chemical balance in the brain. The euphoric rush a user gets from meth is due to the abnormally large amount of dopamine that is released into the brain each time the drug is used. While this may be a pleasurable experience initially, the body and brain can become negatively affected before long.

When so much dopamine is released into the brain at one time, the body’s natural dopamine reserves are first depleted and then exhausted. Eventually, the body is unable to make more dopamine, resulting in far less of a high than the user was able to get initially with the same dose.

As they “chase” the original high and enter drug addiction, psychosis typically occurs because the brain’s amygdala and temporal lobe become overstimulated. The brain’s prefrontal cortex and limbic system are also affected, which can manifest in aggression and violence.

Common Symptoms

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When in meth psychosis, users may experience paranoia that they are being watched or followed by the authorities. The user may have a sensation of “creepy crawlies” during withdrawal, as though there are insects underneath his or her skin, which causes them to pick at these invisible irritants, causing sores to develop. This is due to the over-stimulation of the amygdala, which elevates fear levels and causes people to think they are in danger and need to defend themselves.

Successful Treatment of Meth Psychosis

Treating methamphetamine addiction and psychosis is a difficult task, but don’t lose hope – recovery is possible. Those affected by methamphetamine use require treatment by trained professionals who understand and can implement drug rehab via meth addiction treatment. The addiction specialists at Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers utilize a holistic approach, treating mind, body, and spirit. Discover more about the experience, care, and knowledge we offer by calling (717) 859-8000 today.