By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: March 23, 2023
What is Meth Psychosis?
Crystal meth psychosis, also known as meth induced psychosis, is a severe mental health condition that can occur as a result of using methamphetamine. Meth psychosis is a type of substance-induced psychosis, which is a temporary mental health disorder that is triggered by the use of meth.
Meth psychosis definition is characterized by a range of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disordered thinking. These meth induced psychosis symptoms can be intense and frightening, and may cause individuals to become agitated, aggressive, or suicidal. Meth psychosis can also cause physical symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and increased body temperature.
Crystal meth psychosis can be a sign of a serious meth addiction, and individuals who experience meth psychosis should seek medical help immediately. Meth psychosis treatment options may include medications to manage symptoms, therapy to address underlying mental health issues, and substance abuse treatment to help individuals overcome addiction.
It is important to remember that methamphetamine use can have severe consequences on an individual’s physical and mental health, and seeking help for addiction is always the best option. If you or someone you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction or experiencing meth psychosis, please reach out to a healthcare provider or addiction specialist for help.
How Long Does Meth Psychosis Last?
Psychosis is a mental health condition that affects an individual’s ability to think clearly, make rational decisions, and distinguish reality from fantasy. The duration of meth-induced psychosis, also known as meth psychosis, can vary depending on a range of factors, including the individual’s physical and mental health, the amount and frequency of methamphetamine use, and the severity of the psychosis.
How long does meth induced psychosis last? Meth psychosis can last for several hours to several days, and in some cases, it may persist for weeks or even months after the individual stops using methamphetamine. The duration of meth psychosis may also be influenced by other factors, such as the individual’s age, history of mental health disorders, and level of support from family and friends.
Can Meth Cause Permanent Psychosis?
While meth-induced psychosis is typically a temporary mental health disorder that resolves once an individual stops using methamphetamine, repeated or long-term methamphetamine use can increase the risk of developing a more chronic form of psychosis.
Research suggests that prolonged methamphetamine use may cause changes in the brain that can lead to persistent or permanent mental health problems, including psychosis. Chronic methamphetamine use can cause damage to the brain’s dopamine system, which plays a critical role in regulating mood, motivation, and reward. This damage can result in persistent changes to an individual’s mental health, including increased risk of developing schizophrenia-like symptoms, even after they stop using meth.
Overall, while the exact mechanisms underlying the development of meth psychosis permanent in individuals who use methamphetamine are not fully understood, there is strong scientific evidence to suggest that repeated or long-term methamphetamine use can increase the risk of developing persistent or permanent mental health problems, including psychosis.
Meth Psychosis Symptoms
Meth psychosis can cause significant distress and impairment in an individual’s daily life. It can cause a range of meth psychosis specific symptoms that may include:
- Hallucinations. Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not real.
- Delusions. Holding false or irrational beliefs, such as feeling that someone is trying to harm you.
- Paranoia. Feeling suspicious or fearful of others or believing that others are plotting against you.
- Disordered thinking. Difficulty organizing thoughts or difficulty following a conversation.
- Agitation. Feeling restless, anxious, or irritable.
- Violent behavior. Becoming aggressive or violent towards others.
- Insomnia. Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep.
- Poor judgment. Making decisions that are impulsive or dangerous.
- Mood changes. Experiencing intense mood swings or changes in mood.
- Hyperactivity. Feeling restless or having a sense of hyperactivity.
- Catatonia. Feeling completely immobile, unable to move or speak.
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Meth Abuse Statistics
It is important to note that these statistics only represent those who reported using the drug and may not accurately reflect the full extent of meth addiction in the population. Additionally, addiction can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and factors such as genetics, environment, and personal history. Meth addiction can have serious and long-lasting effects on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as their relationships and overall quality of life.
Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 0.9% (or about 2.6 million people) reported using methamphetamine in the past 12 months.
Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, an estimated 0.6% (or about 1.5 million people) had a methamphetamine use disorder in the past 12 months.
Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
In 2020, approximately 23,837 people died from an overdose involving psychostimulants with abuse potential other than cocaine (primarily methamphetamine).
Methamphetamine Drug Facts
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant. The FDA-approved brand-name medication is Desoxyn.
What is its origin?
Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become the primary manufacturers and distributors of methamphetamine throughout the United States, including Hawaii. Domestic clandestine laboratory operators also produce and distribute meth on a smaller scale. The methods used depend on the availability of precursor chemicals.
What are common street names?
Common street names include:
- Bikers Coffee
- Black Beauties
- Poor Man’s Cocaine
- Stove Top
- Methlies Quick
What is its legal status in the United States?
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant
under the Controlled Substances Act, which
means that it has a high potential for abuse and a
currently accepted medical use (in FDA-approved products). It is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.
Today there is only one legal meth product, Desoxyn. It is currently marketed in 5, 10, and 15-milligram tablets (immediate-release and extended-release formulations) and has very limited use in the treatment of obesity and ADHD
What does it look like?
Regular meth is a pill or powder. Crystal meth
resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white “rocks” of various sizes.
How is it abused?
Meth is swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked. To intensify the effects, users may take higher doses of the drug, take it more frequently, or change their intake method.
What is its effect on the body?
- Taking even small amounts of meth can result in:
- Increased wakefulness
- Increased physical activity
- Decreased appetite
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- Hyperthermia (overheating)
What is its effect on the mind?
Meth is a highly addictive drug with potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant properties. Those who smoke or inject it report a brief, intense sensation or rush. Oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead of a rush, which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day.
Both the rush and the high are believed to result from the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine into areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure. Long-term meth use results in many damaging effects, including addiction.
What is the Difference Between Meth Psychosis vs Schizophrenia?
Meth-induced psychosis and schizophrenia are both mental health conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. However, there are some differences between the two conditions.
Meth-induced psychosis is a temporary mental health disorder that occurs as a result of using methamphetamine or other stimulant drugs. It typically resolves once an individual stops using methamphetamine. Psychosis from meth can cause symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia, but it is different in that it is caused by drug use and is usually short-lived.
Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is a chronic mental health disorder that can cause a range of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, and social withdrawal. It is not caused by drug use, and it is a long-term condition that typically requires ongoing treatment.
Another difference between meth psychosis and schizophrenia is the age of onset. Schizophrenia usually develops in early adulthood, while meth psychosis can occur at any age and is related to drug use.
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Meth Psychosis Timeline
The timeline of meth-induced psychosis can vary depending on individual factors such as the amount of meth used, frequency of use, and individual susceptibility to the effects of meth. However, in general, meth psychosis tends to follow a similar timeline:
- Early stage. This stage typically occurs during the first 24-48 hours after using methamphetamine. During this stage, individuals may experience increased energy, euphoria, and talkativeness. They may also start to exhibit signs of paranoia, agitation, and anxiety.
- Middle stage. This stage occurs after several days of continued use. During this stage, individuals may experience hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. They may also become more aggressive or violent.
- Late stage. This stage occurs after several days to a few weeks of continued use. During this stage, individuals may become completely unresponsive and may exhibit catatonic behavior.
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Meth Psychosis Test
There is no specific test for meth-induced psychosis, but a mental health professional may use various tools and assessments to evaluate an individual’s symptoms and determine the best course of treatment.
To diagnose meth psychosis, a doctor or mental health professional may perform a comprehensive evaluation, including a medical history, physical exam, and laboratory tests to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing the symptoms. They may also perform a psychological evaluation, which may include asking about symptoms, behaviors, and mood, and may involve various assessments to evaluate cognitive function and mental health.
The diagnostic criteria for meth-induced psychosis include symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking that are directly related to methamphetamine use. Symptoms must be present for a significant amount of time and must not be due to any other medical or psychiatric conditions.
Meth Psychosis Treatment
Meth psychosis recovery and treatment involves managing the acute symptoms of psychosis and addressing the underlying substance use disorder. Treatment approaches may include a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and behavioral interventions.
- Medications. Medications such as antipsychotics and benzodiazepines can be used to manage the acute symptoms of meth psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions. In some cases, medication may also be used to manage underlying anxiety or depression.
- Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be helpful in treating meth psychosis. CBT can help individuals learn coping skills and strategies to manage symptoms, identify triggers, and address underlying issues that may contribute to substance use.
- Behavioral interventions. Behavioral interventions such as contingency management and motivational interviewing can be used to help individuals abstain from methamphetamine use and maintain sobriety. These interventions can help individuals identify the consequences of drug use and develop strategies to avoid triggers and maintain abstinence.
In addition to these interventions, individuals with meth psychosis may require close monitoring and support to prevent relapse and manage symptoms. Supportive services such as housing, vocational training, and case management may also be necessary to help individuals achieve and maintain recovery.
It is important to note that meth psychosis recovery and substance use disorder treatment is a complex and challenging process that may require ongoing support. It is important for individuals experiencing meth psychosis to seek professional help as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome.
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Why Does Meth Use Can Induce Paranoia & Hallucinations?
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Methamphetamine use can have a range of physical and psychological effects, including inducing paranoia and hallucinations.
The exact mechanism by which methamphetamine induces paranoia and hallucinations is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve changes in the brain’s chemical balance and activity. Methamphetamine use can increase the release and accumulation of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can lead to an overstimulation of certain brain regions, including those that regulate mood, perception, and cognitive function.
Paranoia is a common symptom of methamphetamine use and may be related to the drug’s effects on the brain’s reward and stress pathways. Methamphetamine use can increase the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which can induce feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
Hallucinations, such as seeing or hearing things that are not real, can also be induced by methamphetamine use. The drug can affect the brain’s sensory processing centers, leading to altered perceptions and sensations. Methamphetamine use can also cause changes in the brain’s visual and auditory processing centers, which can lead to visual or auditory hallucinations.
In addition to inducing paranoia and hallucinations, methamphetamine use can have a range of other physical and psychological effects, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, agitation, aggression, and depression. Repeated use of the drug can also lead to addiction, brain damage, and other serious health problems.
Meth Withdrawal Symptoms Psychosis
Meth withdrawal refers to a set of symptoms that occur when someone who has been using methamphetamine regularly stops or reduces their use of the drug. Methamphetamine withdrawal can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms, including psychosis. Psychosis during methamphetamine withdrawal typically occurs within the first few days after stopping use and can last for several days to several weeks.
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Meth Addiction and Meth Psychosis Treatment
First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing meth, you should research the substances and their associated addiction to understand better what you loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of meth addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.
In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of meth withdrawal.
Medical Detox for Meth Addiction and Meth Psychosis Treatment
Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated meth detox withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the meth detox.
Cravings are very common during drug detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient Rehab for Meth Addiction and Meth Psychosis Treatment
There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using meth and other substances, but drug rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.
Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.
Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.
Psychotherapy for Meth Addiction and Meth Psychosis Treatment
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for Meth Addiction and Meth Psychosis Treatment
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily. The meth effects on the nervous system can be treated simultaneously with the help of therapies.
If you or a loved one is struggling with crystal meth addiction or a high-functioning meth addict, call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation. The We Level Up NJ treatment center network offers nationwide facilities. Connect with one of our rehab specialists.
Meth Psychosis and Faces of Meth Video
The “Faces of Meth” is a well-known anti-drug campaign created by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in Portland, Oregon. The campaign features a series of meth addicts images who were arrested for methamphetamine-related crimes. The video show the physical transformation that occurs after prolonged methamphetamine use and is intended to represent the harsh effects of the drug on an individual’s appearance, health, and life. The “Faces of Meth” campaign is designed to deter individuals from using methamphetamine by showing the negative consequences associated with its use.
3 Popular Meth Induced Psychosis FAQs
What is the link between meth and psychosis?
Methamphetamine use has been linked to the development of psychosis, which is a mental health condition characterized by a loss of contact with reality. One theory is that meth use increases the level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a role in reward and motivation. This increase in dopamine can lead to a state of heightened arousal and can trigger the release of stress hormones, which can contribute to the development of psychosis.
Does meth cause psychosis?
Yes, methamphetamine use has been linked to the development of psychosis, which is a mental health condition characterized by a loss of contact with reality. When used in high doses or over a prolonged period, methamphetamine can cause changes in the brain that can lead to the development of psychotic symptoms. These symptoms can include paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking.
Is psychosis from meth permanent?
For some individuals, meth psychosis can have lasting effects on their mental health, particularly if they have a history of mental health issues or have used methamphetamine at high doses or for an extended period. Some individuals may experience ongoing cognitive and emotional symptoms, such as difficulty with memory and attention, and anxiety or depression.
Search We Level Up NJ “Meth Induced Psychosis” Topics & Other Resources
 What treatments are effective for people who misuse methamphetamine? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov) – https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-treatments-are-effective-people-who-misuse-methamphetamine / Tag: meth psychosis treatment / meth psychosis how long
 Patterns and Characteristics of Methamphetamine Use Among Adults — United States, 2015–2018 | MMWR (cdc.gov) – https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912a1.htm / Tag: meth psychosis treatment
 Know the Risks of Meth | SAMHSA – https://www.samhsa.gov/meth/ Tag: meth psychosis treatment / meth psychosis how long
 Neurologic manifestations of chronic methamphetamine abuse – PMC (nih.gov) – Rusyniak DE. Neurologic manifestations of chronic methamphetamine abuse. Neurol Clin. 2011 Aug;29(3):641-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 Jun 24. PMID: 21803215; PMCID: PMC3148451. / Tag: meth psychosis treatment / meth psychosis and relationships
 Drug Fact Sheet: Methamphetamine (dea.gov) – https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Methamphetamine-2020_0.pdf / Tag: meth psychosis treatment / meth psychosis and relationships
 How Long Does Meth Stay In Your System? – 7 Stages & Effects (welevelup.com) – https://welevelup.com/addiction/how-long-does-meth-stay-in-your-system/Tag: meth psychosis treatment
 Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov) – https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine / Tag: meth psychosis treatment
 Methamphetamine Research Report: Overview | NIDA (nih.gov) – https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/overview / Tag: meth psychosis treatment / meth and psychosis
 Meth Overdose Deaths Surge | NIH Record – https://nihrecord.nih.gov/2021/10/29/meth-overdose-deaths-surge / Tag: meth psychosis treatment / meth psychosis stories
[10 ] Trends in U.S. methamphetamine use and associated deaths | National Institutes of Health (NIH) – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/trends-us-methamphetamine-use-associated-deaths / Tag: meth psychosis treatment