Tag Archives: meth

Drug Induced Psychosis

Drug induced psychosis–also known as substance induced psychotic disorder–refers to an episode of hallucinations and/or delusions experienced as a result of a substance.

This condition can result from the use, misuse, or stop-use of a certain drug. People most often experience drug induced psychosis due to:

  • having too much of a substance
  • an adverse reaction to combined substances
  • during withdrawal from a drug, or 
  • when underlying mental health issues collide with substance use or abuse

Whether it is brought on by prescription medication, illegal drugs, or mental illness, psychosis is a state where the person has “lost touch” with reality.

When the use, misuse, or stop-use of a substance causes psychosis in an individual, the state can generally be described as 'drug induced psychosis"

Drug Induced Psychosis from Meth and Cocaine

Methamphetamine and cocaine are two of the most dangerous illicit stimulants to be discovered. People may seek them out to experience the euphoric “high” effect they give, but use of either can result in an instance of drug-induced psychosis. 

What Is Methamphetamine Induced Psychosis?

In a study examining the potential psychotic effects of methamphetamine use, scientists found that around 40% of people who used meth experience some kind of psychosis. 

Many individuals experienced drug-induced psychosis symptoms consisting of agitation, violence, or delusions. Of the patients who experienced these acute symptoms, some had permanent psychological impacts to the degree that they required continuous psychiatric treatment.  

Other patients experienced even more severe psychotic symptoms including hallucinations, paranoia, and schizophrenic behavior. In short, this study revealed that repeated meth-induced psychosis is capable of causing long-term psychological damage.

What Is Cocaine Induced Psychosis Like? 

In another study, a greater number of cocaine users were recorded as experiencing psychotic symptoms as compared to the earlier meth study. Cocaine saw drug-induced psychosis symptoms in as many as 84% of the individuals who used it. 

Cocaine’s effects have been studied extensively. Research suggests that an overabundance of dopamine in the brain is to blame for cocaine-related symptoms of psychosis. Under normal circumstances, the brain carefully regulates the amount of dopamine that is produced. However, the presence of cocaine causes an overabundance of this neurotransmitter, which results in the “high” that cocaine users seek, closely followed by psychosis. 

In every way that meth psychosis is extremely dangerous, cocaine induced psychosis appears to be even more-so. Cocaine drug induced effects are similar to those of methamphetamines, but also include more violent versions of each manifestation, including:

  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Suicidal and Homicidal Thinking

What Are Long-Term Drug Induced Psychosis Effects?

When someone develops a substance use disorder (SUD) with long-term use, the drug begins to fundamentally alter the brain. This can have a devastating impact on a person’s ability to function normally.

Drug users may feel that meth or cocaine helps them cope with or diminish symptoms of a pre-existing mental illness. However, abuse or even “regular” use of illicit stimulants have been proven to worsen psychological conditions. 

Psychiatric Symptoms of Cocaine Use: Agitation Paranoia Hallucinations Delusions Suicidal and Homicidal Thinking

Is There Such Thing As Alcohol Induced Psychosis?

As a depressant, alcohol may not appear as an obvious threat for causing psychosis, but intoxication or alcohol abuse can lead to psychotic symptoms. 

Often, other symptoms associated with too much alcohol consumption manifest before psychosis has a chance to emerge. Reckless decision-making, slurred speech, lack of coordination, and poor vision are some of the more easily observed warning signs of drunkenness. A person may be too occupied with addressing these other signs to even be aware of whether or not they are experiencing alcohol induced psychosis. 

One study estimated that individuals who have an alcohol dependence only have a four percent chance of experiencing alcohol induced psychosis. Additionally, external factors that can increase the odds of psychotic symptoms occurring include living alone, being unemployed, or having an early-life dependence on alcohol. 

The symptoms of alcohol induced psychosis are similar to those of cocaine and meth, but usually at a lesser level. While not as immediately life-threatening as drunk driving or blood poisoning, an alcohol induced psychosis episode can have lasting impact on a person’s mental health

A psychotic episode can lead to subtle but long-term impacts on the individuals and close loved ones.

The exact reason for why this type of psychosis occurs is unknown. Some have hypothesized that an interference with dopamine or serotonin is to blame. Others guess that the hallucinations are the result of poor circulation in the brain. However it happens, alcohol induced psychosis is not something to be taken lightly.

Recovery from Long Term Drug Induced Psychosis

No matter the affecting substance, drug or alcohol induced psychosis is a serious condition that can lead to life-altering effects. 

If you or someone you know has experienced psychosis after using drugs or alcohol, reach out to us today. Our holistic approach to dual diagnosis therapy can help you get your life back drug-addiction and drug induced psychosis-free. 

Meth Overdose

In late 2019, methamphetamine became the largest contributor of overdose deaths in the United States, slowly passing fentanyl as the center of America’s drug epidemic.

In 2017 alone, an estimated 1.6 million people in the United States had reported using meth in the past year and a further 964,000 people had a methamphetamine use disorder. The risk of meth overdose, which can have lasting health effects or even potentially result in death, is serious.

Any meth use should be taken seriously as soon as possible.

meth overdose

What is meth?

Methamphetamine is a white crystal-like substance which can be snorted, smoked or injected into the users bloodstream. When taken, the user will experience a powerful euphoric high which can also bring about feelings of confidence, pleasure and make the user feel energized.

It’s euphoric properties is one of its more enticing effects which many users begin to crave. Some describe it to be emotionally numbing, therefore allowing them to escape painful emotions and past experiences.

meth overdose

However, meth is also incredibly dangerous due to its high potential for abuse and apparent risk of overdosing. The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies meth as a Schedule II drug which “are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

Meth users will find that their bodies begin to develop a tolerance to the drug as soon as after their first use. For most, the first use is the most powerful and impactful experience. Subsequent uses of the drug at the same dose begins to feel weaker and weaker over time. Therefore, meth users will continuously increase their dosage in attempts to recreate their first high.

However, this often leads to overdoses, as at a certain point your body can no longer handle the high doses.

What causes a meth overdose?

An overdose is the body’s negative reaction to a drug or outside substance. In most cases, this is caused by taking too much of a drug, either on accident or purposefully. Not all overdoses will be fatal, however, all overdoses can become fatal.

According to the University of Arizona’s Methamphetamine and other illicit drug education (MethOIDE) journal, the most common cause of death during a meth overdose is multiple organ failure similar to heat stroke. In rare cases, death can also occur from metal poisoning or contamination from illicitly produced, impure meth.

Some signs of a meth overdose include:

  • Chest pain
  • Arrhythmias
  • Hypertension or Hypotension
  • Difficult or labored breathing (Dyspnea)
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Rapid or slow heartbeat (tachycardia or bradycardia)
  • Hyperthermia
  • Sweating

While these symptoms are not unique to meth overdoses, sweating profusely is. It is possible to recover from a meth overdose, however, the likelihood of surviving is highly dependent on how soon the individual receives medical attention.

If you, someone you know or a stranger is exhibiting the above symptoms, call emergency services immediately. However, even with the proper medical attention, an overdose can cause lifelong health problems.

How long does meth stay in your system?

Meth is mostly unaffected by your body’s metabolism, unlike cocaine. Therefore, its effects can last from 8 to even 24 hours in extreme cases. This does depend on other factors such as how the drug was taken (orally, injected, snorted etc), the overall health of the individual and dosage.

Meth has a half-life of around 10-12 hours, which means it takes approximately 10 hours for the initially ingested drug dose to reduce to half its size (i.e. if you took 100mg, 10 hours later, that would effectively be 50mg in your body).

However, its detection rates vary depending on the type of test administered and amphetamine, a metabolite of meth may be detectable even longer past the ingestion period.

meth overdose

Meth Withdrawal

Meth withdrawals begin immediately after someone stops using meth and is highly uncomfortable and with the potential to last weeks. The duration and intensity of the withdrawal period does depend on how long the individual has been using the drug. Generally, those with a longer history of meth abuse will experience more intense withdrawals.

Avoiding withdrawals is one of the primary reasons individuals will continue to use meth.

There are two distinct phases of meth withdrawal. The first phase occurs during the first 24 hours after last taking the drug and will include symptoms such as fatigue, increased appetite, anxiety and depression. The second phase will usually last 2 to 3 weeks and usually cause intense cravings for the drug and severe depression.

In extreme cases, individuals who have an extensive history of abusing the drug may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) which can essentially extend the withdrawal symptoms up to 6 months or more.

Treatment

Meth is a highly addictive drug. Even just one use can create an immediate desire for more and spiral out of control. It is one of the most dangerous drugs Americans have ever been faced with. However, recovery is absolutely possible.

Given the complex nature of the recovery process and withdrawal symptoms, we recommend that you have a plan in place and work with a professional who can guide you during your path to recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with meth abuse, please contact us today so that we can begin your road to lifetime recovery, together.