Meth Induced Psychosis And Schizophrenia

Methamphetamine use can cause major mental breaks with psychotic symptoms that resemble those of disorders like schizophrenia. There are some risk factors that make psychotic disorders more likely. Addiction treatment can help with drug use.

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Meth-induced psychosis is a state of mental collapse in which a person’s thoughts become erratic and they experience hallucinations and paranoia. This is just one of the mental effects of meth

Many people with a meth addiction develop meth-related psychosis. Symptoms of this condition can resemble those of schizophrenia.

In some cases, methamphetamine abuse can lead to schizophrenia over time. Over one-third of people who use crystal meth heavily develop symptoms of psychosis.

Symptoms Of Meth Induced Psychosis And Schizophrenia

The symptoms of meth-induced psychosis are serious and need to be treated by psychiatry healthcare professionals.

Auditory And Tactile Hallucinations

One of the most common symptoms of psychotic episodes induced by meth use is feeling and hearing things that are not there.

Among the most common tactile hallucinations in people with meth psychosis is the feeling of intense itchiness and/or bugs crawling under the skin.

This sensation, known as meth mites or meth bugs, leads many people to scratch incessantly, leaving sores that can become infected and scars.

Hallucinations during meth psychosis are similar to those in people with paranoid schizophrenia. Sometimes, meth-related psychosis lasts a long time and is diagnosed as schizophrenia.

Hallucinations are dangerous, because they can lead people to act irrationally and put themselves in dangerous situations.

Violent Behavior

Many people in a psychotic state will display violent and erratic behavior. It can be difficult for loved ones to understand why someone close to them is acting violently.

Violent behavior is one of the most common symptoms of psychosis. It can put the person and other people around them at risk.


Hyperactivity is both a symptom of meth abuse and a symptom of meth-induced psychosis. This looks different depending on the person.

Hyperactivity may include symptoms like:

  • rapid thinking
  • erratic bursts of energy
  • agitation
  • jumping between topics and not being able to hold a conversation
  • talking rapidly

Factors That Influence Meth Induced Psychosis And Schizophrenia

Although anyone who abuses meth can develop symptoms of psychosis, everyone is not at the same level of risk.

Family History Of Mental Illness

People with a family history of mental illness, especially of schizophrenia, are at higher risk for developing meth-induced psychosis and/or schizophrenia.

Genetics play a role in susceptibility to most mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety, and psychosis is no different.

Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of developing psychosis as a side effect of meth abuse.

Most people with co-occurring bipolar disorder and meth abuse issues experience episodes of manic behavior, which has many similarities to psychosis.

Other Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

People with other psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, other substance use disorders, and mood disorders are more likely to develop meth psychosis.

Meth abuse puts the chemistry of the brain and nervous system out of balance, affecting neurotransmitters like dopamine.

It can worsen other existing mental health issues and make the brain more vulnerable to related problems.

Is Meth-Induced Psychosis Permanent?

Usually, meth psychosis is a short-term problem that goes away within a week or so after a person stops using meth.

In rare cases, meth use may trigger schizophrenia, especially in people who were already at risk or who had a very mild and undiagnosed case.

Schizophrenia is not a curable illness, although many people are able to manage their symptoms with treatment.

Treatment Options For Methamphetamine Psychosis

People with a psychosis condition caused by meth will need treatment that addresses both the mental health concerns and the drug addiction.

They may need inpatient treatment, because the risks of meth abuse combined with the risks of psychosis are too much to address in an at-home environment.

Antipsychotic Medications

Antipsychotic medications are commonly prescribed to people with meth-induced psychosis.

These medications are not meant for long-term use, but they can be helpful in the short term when trying to help a person stabilize and come into a more relaxed state.


Most people with meth-induced psychosis will see their symptoms reside naturally if they stop using meth.

Stopping meth use is very difficult once a person has become addicted. Inpatient detox programs are the best way to stop using meth.

During meth detox, clients are cared for in a medical environment where they will be kept as comfortable as possible while being monitored around the clock.

Most of the time, as meth exits a person’s system and withdrawal symptoms start to subside, they will naturally come out of their psychotic state.

Inpatient detox takes place at specialized treatment centers that are set up to care for people in withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

A dual diagnosis occurs when someone has both a substance use disorder and a mental health issue. Those with meth-induced psychosis fall into the category of a dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis treatment aims to tackle both addiction and mental disorders. This type of treatment must be done by specialists who are trained to handle cases of dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis treatment programs may include behavioral therapy, medications, and other treatments aimed at helping someone recover from both addiction and mental health issues.

Find Treatment For Drug Abuse At Bedrock Recovery Center

Bedrock Recovery Center is one of the top drug and alcohol treatment facilities on the east coast.

We specialize in inpatient detox and addiction treatment programs that are aimed at helping our clients make a long-term recovery.

Call our helpline today to speak with an addiction specialist and learn more about our treatment programs.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  2. National Library of Medicine
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  4. United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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