One of the effects of amphetamine use -especially when taken in large doses- is amphetamine psychosis. With repeated use of this highly addictive stimulant drug, a user may experience episodes of psychosis that can resemble that of the symptoms of a schizophrenic disorder. In some users, symptoms resolve within 2 weeks the drug was last used, others may experience longer duration of psychotic symptoms. This is important to note, as the possibility of a psychiatric disorder may be present.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, use of amphetamine and methamphetamine is widespread in the general population and common among patients with psychiatric disorders. Amphetamines may induce symptoms of psychosis very similar to those of acute schizophrenia spectrum psychosis.
What are Symptoms of Amphetamine Psychosis?
Amphetamines, when compared to other stimulant type drugs, such as cocaine, are more probable at inducing psychosis in a user. This may be due to the duration of the effects of amphetamine on the brain. The euphoric feeling (or high) that many users experience may last several hours, while a cocaine high may last up to 30 minutes. Therefore, amphetamine users have a higher possibility of developing a psychotic disorder with repeated use of the drug. Some of the symptoms of psychosis are:
- Paranoia: A user experiencing paranoia due to amphetamine psychosis may think that someone is out to get them. They can become extremely worried that something bad is going to happen. They may also suspect others of talking behind their backs spreading rumors.
- Hallucinations: They may start to hear voices that are not real or see things that are not there. It can involve a distorted perception of reality of all senses, such as seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting, or hearing what is not present.
- Anxiety: A user can start feeling extremely nervous and uneasy. They may become restless and it can be difficult for them to sit still and remain calm.
- Difficulty concentrating: Their thoughts can become disorganized and it can be difficult for them to focus. Delusions and illogical thinking are common during a psychosis episode. They may also have problems expressing their thoughts verbally –and may not make sense when they talk.
- Aggressiveness: Can become aggressive and violent. They can become hostile towards others for no reason at all. May also arise from suspecting that someone is trying to harm them.
- Increased motor activity: Repetitive or purposeless movements, such as pacing back and forth, crossing and uncrossing their legs. They may also show symptoms of compulsive behavior.
The larger the amount of the amphetamine dose taken, the more prone a user is to experience psychosis. The danger of the psychosis is the impact it can have from the results of the actions taken during a psychotic like moment. There is no telling if a person can cause harm to themselves or to someone else. If a psychiatric disorder is present, the results can be more harmful.
Avoiding Possible Amphetamine Psychosis
The best way to avoid psychosis induced by amphetamine is not to use the drug, especially in large doses, and for long periods of time. If you or a loved one are abusing the drug in any way, or have become addicted to it, then treatment should be sought as soon as possible. Amphetamine abuse has negative side effects, among psychosis from a large dose, there is also the possibility of coma or death due to an overdose. Talk to an addiction specialist immediately to begin treatment soon, and safely quit the drug.