What is Crystal Meth Psychosis?

blurry image of woman with her hands on her head suffering from crystal meth-induced psychosis

For anyone who’s ever experienced crystal meth-induced psychosis, there’s no need to ask what it is. In fact, most of these people understand it all too well, at least from the first-person perspective. This post is designed to describe the general characteristics of crystal meth-induced psychosis to drug users, their loved ones, and the general public.

A Quick Look at Methamphetamine

A thorough discussion of methamphetamine (or crystal meth) is beyond the scope of this post. However, a generalized understanding of the drug is necessary to understand the phenomenon of crystal meth-induced psychosis.

Here’s a summary of what you need to know about methamphetamine to understand the psychosis that can be associated with it:

  • Crystal meth is a highly addicted central nervous (CNS) stimulant that creates a powerful but temporary sense of euphoria in the user
  • It also increases activity and talkativeness, while decreasing the appetite and the need for sleep
  • The euphoria and increased productivity associated with crystal meth are powerful at first, but the user quickly requires more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect
  • Even after just a few uses, people who imbibe crystal meth can start to experience frightening withdrawal symptoms

This is a very incomplete description of methamphetamine, but it will suffice to give some insight into the phenomenon of crystal meth-induced psychosis.

Crystal Meth Induced Psychosis: An Overview

Crystal meth-induced psychosis is an example of a broader class of stimulant psychoses. Interestingly, the symptoms of crystal meth psychosis can arise as a result of a binge or during acute withdrawal.

Crystal meth-induced psychosis is marked by the following symptoms:

  • Paranoia, including delusions that someone is ‘after them’
  • Feelings of grandiosity
  • Extreme agitation and irritability
  • Erratic movements
  • Auditory and/or visual hallucinations
  • Irrational thinking and speaking
  • Extreme feelings of fear and panic

The symptoms of crystal meth-induced psychosis can resemble those associated with schizophrenic psychosis, but the drug-induced variety tends to resolve much quicker than the type associated with schizophrenic disorders.

It is difficult to predict when (and if) a methamphetamine user will crystal meth-induced psychosis, but there is a definite correlation between the condition and the frequency of use. Long-term users are also more likely to experience crystal meth psychosis, but there are many hidden factors involved as well. Needless to say, it is imperative to seek medical help immediately if you or a loved one experiences any form of drug-induced psychosis.

The Aftermath of Methamphetamine Psychosis

Typically, the worst symptoms of crystal meth-induced psychosis start to improve a day or two after the amphetamine use is discontinued. There may be a few lingering symptoms beyond this time frame, but they can usually be managed without medical care.

However, anyone who experiences crystal meth-induced psychosis should seek emergency medical attention immediately and strongly consider entering a drug treatment facility to get started on the path to long term recovery.


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