What Is Meth Induced Psychosis?
My meth addiction made me literally lose my mind. Besides losing my sanity, I also lost nearly everything else in my life. My job, my wife, and my overall happiness. There aren’t a lot of drugs out there like meth. The damage that it does to your body and your mental health is astounding.
Even after you quit using meth, there can be underlying conditions and psychosis. It took me a long time to feel normal again after I went through recovery at Pathfinders. I still have nightmares to this day and wake up wondering if they were real or not.
So what is meth-induced psychosis? Generally speaking, meth psychosis is brought on by a combination of paranoia and hallucinations that result from prolonged meth abuse.
Speaking from personal experience, this is a terrifying condition and can quickly escalate to a point that’s unimaginable. I started using meth when I was a teenager.
I grew up in a rural area, and the manufacturing of meth wasn’t too uncommon in my town. I ended up getting into it through friends, and eventually wound up producing it myself. It didn’t take long for my whole personality to change.
The progression of meth psychosis is rapid. Within several months of using meth, I found myself paranoid and thinking everyone was out to get me. First of all, there is a lot of paranoia that goes along with using illegal drugs and having your life revolve around them.
The people you associate with are less than ideal, and you are always in fear of being arrested or found out by your loved ones. Meth is a very hard addiction to hide from anyone. The damage that it does to your body makes it very obvious. It’s hard to deny you have an addiction when your teeth are falling out and you look as pale and sickly as a corpse.
So the symptoms of meth abuse are obvious. We’ve all seen the meth before and after photos of what the drug does to people over time. The symptoms of meth psychosis are also very obvious. You become incoherent.
There is a lot of fast-talking and rambling. Being unable to concentrate on one subject is extremely difficult. Dealing with that kind of fear and anxiety is totally crippling. You start to believe all these crazy thoughts are real. There is also the issue of thinking things are crawling all over you. Meth Mites are a common occurrence.
You start to believe there are bugs crawling under your skin. Meth crystalizes under the skin, which causes a lot of irritation and itching. It’s extremely uncomfortable.
It sounds nuts, but since you are not in the right frame of mind when you’re using meth, you can quickly start to believe that insects are literally crawling all over you. When you’re just getting into drugs, this doesn’t sound like a very appealing high.
Who in their right mind would want to experience something like that? You don’t get it until you’re in it. You don’t plan on using drugs to lose your mind. You begin using drugs because you want to have fun or you have some sort of pain to cover up.
When your drug abuse gets to the point of visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety, you’d think that would be enough to get clean right? The answer is usually no. People get so far in they don’t see what they’ve become.
When I look at old photos of myself from when I was using drugs, it shocks me. How did I not know how bad I looked? It’s a brutal reality that you develop drug eyes. You don’t see how bad it’s gotten. Even if you do, it still isn’t enough to do anything about it.
Progression Of Meth Psychosis
Meth hallucinations are very real and they affect every aspect of your life. They can be visual, auditory, and tactile. You can see, hear, and feel things that are not there. There’s no way something like that isn’t going to have a hugely negative impact on you.
The really tricky thing about psychosis is when you are experiencing it, you don’t recognize it as abnormal. It’s easy to look at a meth addict suffering from psychosis and see that they are unwell. When you’re the addict, it’s not all that clear.
Using drugs like meth cause the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, which are trigger feelings of euphoria. When those feelings go away, and the high disappears, you want nothing more than to get that feeling back.
Continued substance abuse and the repeated release of dopamine cause your brain to burn out. It’s the same with almost every drug. In the beginning, your tolerance is low.
As you build up your tolerance to the drug, you need more and more of it to get by. Eventually, this develops into a full-blown addiction, and your brain can’t release all that dopamine fast enough.
How long does meth psychosis last? It depends on the level of your addiction. For some people, it can play out over months or even years. There are some users who develop permanent meth psychosis, however, with treatment this condition is reversible.
There is a lasting recovery from meth misuse. It’s one of those addictions that you don’t ever really defeat. Because it is such a powerful drug, the cravings can continue long after you are sober. This is why it’s important to develop a strong recovery network and understand that you are powerless to the drug.
One of the obvious side effects of methamphetamine use is meth mouth. Meth mouth is defined simply as tooth decay and gum disease as a result of repeated meth use. The damage to the teeth is the result of not only the acidity of the drug but also involuntary teeth grinding and overall poor oral hygiene.
By the time the user seeks treatment, the teeth are often too damaged or broken to be repaired and have to be removed. There is also a direct connection between meth use and voice loss.
Treatment For Meth Psychosis
Treatment for meth addiction requires a lot of work on both the user and the person treating the user. I was really surprised at the care and compassion showed to me at Pathfinders.
My addiction and my psychosis were at a very dangerous level. Pathfinders offer a great dual diagnosis program, and for someone like me, it worked wonders. I didn’t realize that my mental health was at an all-time low.
Dual diagnosis treatment is a great way for addicts with mental illness to work on both issues at once. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s proven to be a very effective way to treat substance abuse.
Once the damage is done, it’s pretty difficult to do away with the problem on your own. Because drugs rewire our brains and change the way we think, addicts are not often concerned with their appearance after a while.
It quickly becomes an afterthought. When you are recovering from meth, you become one big restoration project. Your body and mind are equally damaged. If you are done feeling paranoid all the time, dope sick, and strung out, a place like Pathfinders will get you back on track.
If addressed early enough, there is a chance your state of mind can be restored. If you have been abusing meth long term, there aren’t a whole lot of options other than intensive rehab. The solution to fixing meth mouth is to quit using meth, which is not exactly simple.
Meth can be a very difficult drug to get off of, as it completely rewires your brain. If you are serious enough about it, sobriety can be achieved no matter where you’re in your addiction. The damage to your mouth is only something that can be addressed after you face the problem head-on.
When you recover from a drug like meth, it takes a very long time to return to the way you once were. Luckily for me, I have found the pull of recovery stronger at this point than the pull of Meth.
The triggers may still be there occasionally, but I am in a much better frame of mind these days to know the consequences of my actions. When I was using meth, there was nothing on my mind but getting high. I have a lot more positive elements in my life that help me stay on the right track.
Keeping yourself on track is going to be a huge part of your daily life. It takes a lot of work to reach a comfortable level of recovery. It’s something that’s worth celebrating every day.
When you are ready to take on the battle and follow through with it you will find the outcome very rewarding. Once you know you want to get clean, you will be coming from the best possible place.