Amphetamines, such as Adderall, Focalin and methamphetamine, contain powerful psychoactive substances that alter the brain’s natural chemical processes. These interactions can have positive and negative effects depending on how any one drug is used.
For people with preexisting chemical imbalances, prescription amphetamine treatments can help restore normal brain functioning. For others, the harmful effects of these drugs take many different forms, with amphetamine psychosis being one of the more severe effects.
As psychosis in any form tends to produce bizarre behaviors and experiences, someone affected by amphetamine psychosis may well see and hear things that aren’t really there. Knowing the warning signs for developing amphetamine psychosis can help you take steps to prevent this condition from causing serious problems in your day-to-day life.
For information on amphetamine rehab treatment, call our toll-free helpline at 800-768-8728(Who Answers?).
What Is Amphetamine Psychosis?
According to the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, amphetamine psychosis causes affected users to enter into a psychotic state that’s nearly identical to schizophrenia. In effect, amphetamine psychosis only lasts for a brief period of time, which is the only difference between it and schizophrenia disorder.
While schizophrenia can take different forms, the symptoms that most characterize this condition include:
- Auditory hallucinations
- Visual hallucinations
If you regularly abuse amphetamines and start to hear voices, you may well be experiencing symptoms of amphetamine psychosis.
Risk Factors for Developing Amphetamine Psychosis
Frequent Bingeing Practices
While not everyone who abuses amphetamines will experience psychotic episodes, certain conditions can make a person more susceptible. As the brain’s tolerance for amphetamines tends to increase at a rapid pace, bingeing practices, or ingesting large dosage amounts at a time will likely develop when abusing amphetamines on a regular basis.
Each dose of amphetamines essentially forces the brain to produce copious amounts of neurotransmitter materials. Since the brain relies on stable levels of neurotransmitters to function normally, bingeing practices can easily disrupt brain functioning to the point where symptoms of amphetamine psychosis develop.
Underlying Co-Occurring Disorders
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, underlying co-occurring disorders, such as depression and anxiety-based conditions can place a person at increased risk of amphetamine psychosis. Other conditions that tip the balance include:
- A family history of psychological disorders
- A family history of schizophrenia, in particular
- Chronic, long-term drug abuse
- Past trauma, such as child abuse or sexual abuse
Under these conditions, affected individuals already have a proclivity towards mental illness as far as brain chemistry goes. Consequently, the added strain of amphetamine abuse can cause symptoms of a latent disorder to surface.
The effects of amphetamine addiction “naturally” drive a person to engage in compulsive drug-using behaviors. These conditions, coupled with the likelihood of taking up bingeing practices at some point, weaken the brain’s regulatory capacity over time.
As the areas that regulate cognition and emotions continue to see decline, the risk of developing amphetamine psychosis, and hearing voices, increases increases with ongoing drug use.
If you’re struggling with amphetamine abuse and are considering drug treatment, call our helpline at 800-768-8728(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction specialists.