What is Meth Induced Psychosis?
Meth Induced Psychosis, also known by the charming slang term “spun”, describes a user who is having powerful hallucinations, delusions, and/or obsessions. In this state of confusion, the afflicted cannot function or speak in a manner which is easily understandable to others.
Hallucinations are false perceptions associated with one or more of the five senses. The most disturbing of which is often auditory (hearing voices) or visual (seeing objects or people who aren’t there.) However, tactile sensations, also known as formication, are also common. These sensations present as the feeling of something (such as bugs) on or under the skin. These can lead to self-injury as the user digs and scratches at his skin to remove the unwanted sensation.
Less common are unusual smells or tastes in which the user senses something present in his food or environment, and over time, may contribute to decreased appetite and weight loss.
Meth Induced Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Meth-Induced Psychosis can be overwhelmingly similar to schizophrenia, but differ in terms of the commonality of hallucinations. Schizophrenics more often hear voices whereas meth users more often see things or have tactile sensations.
Also, meth psychosis, in part due to the presence of extreme nervous system stimulation, often exhibits hyperactivity and hypersexuality. Schizophrenics more often have a flat effect and have difficulty speaking.
Delusions are false beliefs which may seem incredulous to others, but make perfect sense to the afflicted. They may include:
- Paranoia – the afflicted Is suspicious and afraid of others, operating under the false belief that people or things are out to get him/her.
- Delusions of grandeur – the belief that one is more powerful or important than he/she really is
- Delusions of reference – the incorrect belief that events are somehow interconnected, or directly connected to him/her
- Delusions of control – the incorrect belief that powerful persons have control over him or her, such as mind control
Obsessions are repetitive behaviors consistent with regular meth use. These can take many forms, including excessive cleanliness, grooming, arranging items in a specific way, or any number of ritualistic behaviors. These behaviors may be benign or harmful, but in any case, the afflicted often becomes very distressed if he or she is asked to quit or modify the behavior.
Meth Induced Psychosis and Medication
Haloperidol, or haldol, and clozapine are antipsychotic medications often prescribed to treat methamphetamine psychosis. Also, in resistant cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been effective. ECT therapy resets brain chemistry by triggering a brief seizure with electric currents.
Is meth induced psychosis permanent?
It can be. Many researchers and health professionals now believe that meth can cause permanent changes to the brain, resulting in months or years continued psychosis. This is unlike many other psychoactive drugs. Even for those who abstain from meth, psychosis can spontaneously reoccur due to stress and anxiety. It is also believed that persons genetically prone to schizophrenia may be especially susceptible. It may contribute to an earlier onset and more extreme symptoms.
If you or someone you know is addicted to methamphetamine, please seek help immediately.