3 Long-Term Effects of Amphetamine Psychosis You Shouldn’t Overlook
Amphetamine drugs include a range of both legal and illegal substances that all produce the same types of effects. While drugs like Ritalin and Adderall may be formulated to treat certain medical conditions, they can be just as harmful as crystal meth when used in excess.
Amphetamine psychosis develops out of the ongoing effects of these drugs over time. Granted, episodes of amphetamine psychosis may come and go, but the potential long-term effects had on brain functioning can all but destroy a person’s quality of life in the coming years.
Amphetamines, such as Ritalin, Adderall and ecstasy most impact the body’s central nervous system through their effects on the brain’s neurotransmitter processes. In effect, amphetamines force certain brain cells to produce high levels of neurotransmitter chemicals. Over time, these interactions change the way the brain works.
- Delusional thinking
- Fragmented thinking
- Inability to communicate with others
- Auditory hallucinations
In effect, someone experiencing amphetamine psychosis is having a psychotic episode. After so many occurrences, these episodes can have lasting effects on overall brain function.
3 Long-Term Effects of Amphetamine Psychosis
1. Long-Term Mental Health Problems
Ongoing amphetamine abuse creates widespread dysfunction within the brain’s chemical system. Neurotransmitter chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine play central roles in regulating emotions and behavior. It only takes so long before chemical imbalance starts to disrupt a person’s emotional well-being.
With repeated amphetamine psychosis episodes, the brain’s system enters into a pattern of dysfunction that can become long-term in nature. Over time, full-blown psychological disorders, such as clinical depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder start to take shape.
2. Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamine abuse in general carries a high risk for physical dependence and addiction. According to the journal of Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, and estimated 10 to 15 percent of people who abuse stimulants become dependent.
With each successive amphetamine psychosis episode, the brain grows weaker in terms of its ability to function normally without the drug. These developments soon start to create a belief system where a person comes to believe he or she needs the drug to cope with daily life. This belief system lies at the heart of an addiction problem.
3. Brain Damage
Amphetamine’s ability to increase energy and overall mental performance result from its ability to speed up central nervous system activities. In forcing brain cells to produce excess amounts, amphetamine essentially wears away at brain cells structures over time.
Over the course of long-term drug use, entire brain regions take on structural damage. Amphetamine psychosis episodes only work to add to this deterioration process in terms of the stress these states place on the brain’s overall system.