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What is Meth-Induced Psychosis?

Meth Methamphetamine, a stimulant most people have heard of in the news, is a dangerous drug to be addicted to. Meth can induce psychotic symptoms and produce hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and aggressive behaviors when the effects wear off. When evaluations are made in treatment, many families ask, what is meth-induced psychosis? While the drug’s name is well-known, the psychotic symptoms it induces are complex and not as known.

Meth addiction is responsible for the devastation of the physical and mental state of the addicted and the disintegration of their lifestyle. Close relationships are lost, and families become estranged. What is meth-induced psychosis?  It is the direct reaction to the effects of the drugs on the brain and a very dangerous symptom.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug and a stimulant prescribed to treat ADHD and obesity. Meth is a stimulant that reduces fatigue and appetite. In addition, it has become a recreational drug, and many have become addicted. The symptoms of meth addiction are severe and cause some to ask, what is meth-induced psychosis?

Other well-known Schedule II drugs are cocaine and oxycodone. Methamphetamine’s effects last longer than amphetamines do. Their high is much more powerful as well. What is meth-induced psychosis, and what does it involve? Chronic meth users are at significant risk of experiencing this powerful symptom that produces delusions, hallucinations, and obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

What is Meth-Induced Psychosis?

The definition of psychosis is a severe mental condition where thoughts and emotions are so highly affected that the sense of reality is lost. As a result, meth addicts cannot distinguish between what they imagine and the real world. In addition, this addiction causes such erratic behaviors that their lifestyle and relationships are at risk of destruction. Finally, repeated use leaves the meth addict in the throes of disaster.

Meth-induced psychosis is dangerous and can cause hallucinations, delusions, aggressive behaviors, and a repeated delusional state. Researchers believe that just under half of meth users experience this psychosis. In addition, paranoia and imagined experiences are additional hazards of this drug addiction. What is meth-induced psychosis? One of the most dangerous symptoms of addiction, meth-induced psychosis, can cause permanent long-term consequences.

What Causes Meth-Induced Psychosis?

Stimulants increase brain activity and the production of the chemical dopamine. This feel-good chemical, when overly produced, causes an imbalance in the system. This chemical imbalance can cause psychosis and extreme mood swings. This results from a chemical imbalance in the brain from misusing methamphetamine.

Unfortunately, meth interferes with emotions and impulses through this chemical imbalance. Overstimulation of that brain region can lead to increased paranoia and aggressive behaviors. Leading to acts of violence and dysfunctional fight-or-flight responses that can mean trouble for those addicted. When reality is distorted and behaviors re aggressive, crime or legal trouble can ensue. In such cases, drug rehab might be needed.

Symptoms of Meth-Induced Psychosis

Understanding the symptoms of this psychosis can lead to identifying this addiction in a loved one. Those addicted to meth need understanding and help for treatment and recovery. The symptoms of meth-induced psychosis include all or some of the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Belief someone is out to get them
  • Agitation and jumpiness
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Inability to communicate clearly
  • Strange or weird beliefs
  • Itchiness or the feeling of bugs crawling on your skin


One symptom of meth addiction is the production of intense hallucinations. The intensity of the individual’s hallucinations varies from person to person. Hallucinations can involve more senses than just visuals. They may experience hearing and feeling things that are not reality.

Visual hallucinations can include the perceived images of anything, animals, cars, or other people who are not present. Meth can also cause gustatory and olfactory hallucinations involving the taste and smell of non-existent environmental factors. This symptom causes one in three meth users to present with sores and scratches on their skin. They feel like bugs are crawling on their skin while hallucinating.

Meth Delusions

The stimulant’s mind-altering effects cause delusions. Meth-induced psychosis can cause delusions both persecutory and referential. Persecutory delusions involve the belief that one is the victim of torture, trickery, or bullying. Referential delusions involve public messages interpreted as personal attacks.

Meth Paranoia

Increased brain activity can result in paranoid thoughts and beliefs with potential trauma. With hallucinations, paranoia ensues with the fear someone is trying to harm them. Paranoia is a common withdrawal symptom in detox from meth.

Treatment for Methamphetamine Addiction

Meth addiction can be complex and challenging to treat. Medical detox followed by individual and group therapy has proved to be successful. The treatment team must consider family therapy because of the devastation of relationships during the addiction. Medical detox may require therapy and medication to eliminate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Find Help with Meth Addiction in Middle Tennessee

Freeman Recovery Center, nestled in Nashville, Tennessee, offers comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders. Our specialized programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.

Meth-induced psychosis is a complex symptom of methamphetamine addiction. If you or a loved one is experiencing meth addiction, Freeman Recovery Center in Memphis, Tennessee can explain the changes in the brain from the abuse of meth. Our professional medical detox programs can help you begin a sober treatment journey. Contact us to hear more about meth-induced psychosis and how we can help you.

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