Meth Psychosis

Meth Psychosis Treatment In Orange County

What Is Meth Psychosis?

Methamphetamine, also called meth or crystal meth, is an illicit drug that profoundly affects the minds of its users.  Meth is a powerful stimulant that creates a sense of euphoria in people who use it.  Methamphetamines trigger a massive dump of the neurotransmitter, dopamine.  This brain chemical is the reason meth users experience a feel-good “high” after taking the drug.  After this initial high, the brain releases another brain chemical known as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, or GABA, that works to dissipate the high levels of dopamine.  This neurotransmitter is responsible for the “comedown” a user will experience when the meth begins to wear off.  

When a person becomes addicted to meth, they develop a tolerance to the drug that lessens its effects over time.  They will eventually need higher and higher quantities of the drug in order to feel high.  Chronic use of meth causes their brain to exhaust its reserves of both dopamine and GABA.  Without dopamine, a person may experience anhedonia, and no longer be able to experience joy or pleasure.  Without GABA, a person’s brain will not be able to regulate or inhibit certain activities in their nervous system.  GABA has a calming effect on people.  Without it, a person will be more susceptible to stress and panic.  They will also become more prone to depression, seizures, and insomnia.  

 Meth Psychosis is a condition that can develop when a person has exhausted their supply of GABA.  Without this crucial chemical, a person’s brain may not be able to react accurately to information that is sent from their senses.  This creates a break between reality and what the person is experiencing.  The symptoms of Meth Psychosis often resemble Schizophrenia.  Some of the symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, and nonsensical speech.  Research has shown that as many as 40% of meth users experience either temporary or long-lasting symptoms of Meth Psychosis.

Signs & Symptoms Of Meth Psychosis

Because Meth Psychosis stems from a chemical imbalance, its effects and their duration can vary from person to person. The symptoms of Meth Psychosis can develop differently depending on how much meth was used, how frequently it was used, and how long the person has been using meth.  Other factors can also contribute to the extent of these symptoms.  A person with a family history of mental illness may have more pronounced symptoms than somebody without a genetic predisposition to psychosis.  


A common symptom of Meth Psychosis is Hallucination. While meth is not considered a hallucinogenic drug, repeated use can cause a person to break from reality and see and hear things that aren’t really there. Some people report hearing voices, while others describe the sensation of bugs crawling on them. These hallucinations contribute to the phenomenon of “picking” where a meth user will continually scratch at themselves until a sore is created.


A heavy meth user will often not eat or sleep regularly. This alone could cause a person to become increasingly anxious and delusional. When combined with a chemical imbalance that diminishes a person’s ability to moderate stress, this anxiety develops into paranoia. During Meth Psychosis, a person may become fixated on an idea and obsess over it. They may believe a person or thing is out to get them.


Delusions are similar to hallucinations and paranoia in that they are symptomatic of a break from reality. A person who has abused meth can develop beliefs based on their paranoid thoughts and fears. These delusions range from the idea that they are under surveillance to the belief that they are receiving messages through the television. In some instances, these delusions can cause a person in Meth Psychosis to behave violently.


Because methamphetamines are a powerful stimulant, a meth addict will often need to burn off excess energy. Sometimes they do this by fidgeting, scratching, or talking incessantly. In other circumstances, as a result of paranoid delusions, a person can become violently aggressive. On some occasions, this anger is directed at themselves while, in other cases, they will lash out violently against a stranger or friend. This aggression is even more frightening during Meth Psychosis because the reasoning behind these outbursts is known only by the attacker.

Meth Psychosis Treatment

When treating Meth Psychosis, it is critical to address both the addiction and the resulting psychosis.  Because the symptoms of Meth Psychosis mirror those of Schizophrenia, it makes sense that they should be treated by a psychiatric facility.  In a Mental Health facility, the staff has experience treating people who are detached from reality.  However, it is also essential to be able to treat the symptoms of chemical withdrawal as an addict attempts to recover from their dependency.  That is why D’Amore Healthcare is the perfect place for a person with Meth Psychosis to heal.

D’Amore is an Orange County mental health treatment center for adult men and women specializing in the intervention, acute stabilization, and residential treatment of addiction and mental health disorders. Our mental health facility is located in sunny Orange County, California.  

Our well-trained and kind-hearted staff is on call and ready to help you 24 hours a day, year-round, to get you started on a personalized treatment plan. They will create an individualized care plan with the necessary therapeutic modalities to ensure your mental wellness.

If you or a loved one need help recovering from Meth Psychosis, call us today.

Genetic Testing for Mental Health Disorders