Having an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol brings a variety of different risks into your life, and meth is no different. Did you know that one of the most significant dangers of meth is the chances of experiencing meth psychosis? Like the name suggests, this is a serious symptom of meth addiction, and it requires professional help.
Below, we will discuss what meth psychosis is so that you know how to look out for the symptoms. Most importantly, you will learn about how to treat meth-induced psychosis and help an individual heal from meth addiction.
The Effects of Meth Use
Before we can truly understand the dangers of meth, we must understand what this substance is. Meth is short for methamphetamine and is known by many different slang terms, including chalk, crank, and rocket fuel. Meth is also a controlled substance, and when purchased on the street, it often combines stimulants, cold medications, and dangerous chemicals. This drug is usually ingested or smoked, but it can also be injected.
Many users feel rushes of energy when they use meth. However, the side effects of meth use can be quite severe. Individuals who do meth can be impacted physically, mentally, and behaviorally. Furthermore, the effects of smoking meth can be both short- and long-term. Some of the most common short-term side effects of meth use are as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Rapid heart rate
- Labored breathing
Of course, the long-term side effects of meth use are just as dangerous. Not only does meth use lead to these physical side effects listed above, but using meth also frequently results in addiction and other serious mental health concerns. People who use meth report feeling spikes in anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
Furthermore, studies show that about 40 percent of meth users experience symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis is a mental health condition that stops the brain from rationally engaging with reality, and it requires professional treatment as a result of the intense symptoms.
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When psychosis happens as a direct result of using meth, this phenomenon is then known as meth-induced psychosis. Meth psychosis can drastically alter your ability to think clearly and behave in a way that you normally would. Unfortunately, meth psychosis is not always a temporary issue—this type of psychosis can actually last for weeks, months, or even years after a person has gone through treatment and stopped using meth. The only true way to prevent meth psychosis is to get treatment for drug addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders right away.
Meth Psychosis Symptoms
Meth psychosis, sometimes known as meth schizophrenia, often alters the user’s perception of reality. Additionally, the symptoms of meth-induced psychosis can influence the way that users think, feel, and behave. Meth schizophrenia symptoms most often include:
- Paranoia or worrying that others are out to get you
- Hallucinations or seeing/hearing things that aren’t really there
- Delusions or believing in something that isn’t real
- Thoughts of using violence on yourself and/or others
- Increased aggressive behaviors and actions
- Being unable to speak coherently
- Itchiness or the feeling of bugs crawling over your skin
- Feeling disconnected from everybody else around you
As these symptoms indicate, meth-induced psychosis can harm your ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Many people who experience meth schizophrenia have trouble with personal relationships as well as achieving or maintaining professional goals. In fact, people sometimes share their personal meth psychosis stories online or in recovery groups to warn others of the dangers of meth.
These stories vary depending on personal experience but they prove the severity of meth hallucinations. For example, one person recalls believing that they were an alien while they were on meth. Another individual reported that they felt as though they were constantly being watched, even by the people who cared about them and treated them kindly.
The risk of developing meth schizophrenia is particularly high for people who already struggle with mental health disorders. There is a direct connection between mental health conditions and substance use disorders, as the presence of one can bring on the other. This goes to show that finding treatment for both mental health and addiction struggles is essential in keeping you safe.
Treatment for Meth-Induced Psychosis
If you are concerned about meth-induced psychosis, or if you have experienced any of the symptoms of this condition already, don’t delay when it comes to getting treatment. Treatment for meth-induced psychosis can help you to recover from both addiction and mental health symptoms.
Your recovery journey will most likely begin with an evaluation by a mental health professional who will document your current symptoms, any past history involving addiction or mental illness, and your treatment goals. Then, you will have the opportunity to work through a unique treatment plan that will help you to combat any risks of meth schizophrenia and other complications.
In treatment for meth-induced psychosis, you might begin with the drug detoxification process. Detoxing from drugs like meth is an important first step toward recovery, but going through withdrawals can come with its own dangers. This is why it is important to go through detox in a safe, supervised setting.
Once you successfully surpass the detox period, you will be able to get started on the emotional and behavioral work that goes into becoming—and staying—sober. If you are currently experiencing or have ever gone through the symptoms of meth psychosis, you would primarily benefit from a dual diagnosis program.
Dual diagnosis treatment offers similar recovery approaches as standard addiction treatment does. However, the biggest benefit of dual diagnosis treatment is that it addresses addiction and symptoms of mental health distress simultaneously. As we reviewed earlier, the symptoms of meth-induced psychosis can continue to impact you long after you find sobriety. But in dual diagnosis treatment, you will learn the necessary skills to manage any lingering mental health concerns that pop up in the future.
Furthermore, if you do require medication management for mental health disorders, your treatment program will help you to balance the thin line between treating addiction and co-occurring disorders and making them harder to handle.
Recovery does more than just help you with meth psychosis, of course. In treatment, you will also have the chance to meet people who understand your struggles through group therapy. You will also be able to improve your lifestyle choices from learning about nutrition to staying active with recreational therapy. Ultimately, finding treatment for meth addiction, psychosis, and any other challenges can get your entire life back on track.
Recovery from Meth Psychosis and Addiction
The Blackberry Center is a Florida-based treatment facility focused on mental health and addiction recovery that provides patients with all of the services mentioned above and many more. If you have questions about your symptoms as well as your treatment options, give us a call at 888-512-9802 or submit a confidential contact form. We know just how dangerous and scary meth psychosis can be, but at The Blackberry Center, you won’t ever have to face these challenges alone.