Amphetamine psychosis: causes, symptoms, effects, treatment

The use of amphetamine leads to a psychosis similar to paranoid schizophrenia. This condition is accompanied by delirium, hallucinations and mood swings. If you do not start treatment, the patient may develop complete dementia.

Amphetamine psychosis

Among the most serious complications amphetamine is given to psychosis. It often develops as a result of prolonged abuse of stimulants, but it can also occur with a single admission of a large dose of the substance.

Amphetamine psychosis is a mental disorder caused by brain intoxication. The patient is disturbed by the consciousness and perception of the surrounding reality by deceiving feelings, or hallucinations.

One-time use of a large dose of amphetamine( 140 mg) can trigger acute psychosis. It usually lasts from one to three days, sometimes a week.

A number of factors increase the risk of developing amphetamine psychosis. Among them there are:

  • adolescence;
  • physical diseases;
  • disorderly reception of drugs.

Delusional psychosis in addicted to amphetamine develops earlier than cocaine addicts. This psychiatric symptomatic deviation resembles paranoid schizophrenia with persecution mania. There are even cases where it is impossible to conduct differential diagnosis of the clinical manifestations, so more research is needed.

Symptoms and signs of

Symptoms of psychosis amphetamine abuse are usually pronounced. The patient is observed:

  • delirium( most often - paranoid);
  • hallucinations( auditory, visual, less often - olfactory);
  • strong excitability;
  • mood swings;
  • motor activity.

For amphetamine psychosis, paranoia and manic disorders are characteristic. The person becomes too sensitive, and this provokes the appearance of true hallucinations, less often - pseudo-hallucinations. However, deceptions of feelings do not always arise.

A person in a state of amphetamine psychosis fusses, runs from corner to corner, can not sit still. His speech becomes vague and precipitous.

For the first time, not all symptoms of psychosis may appear, but after the next use of the drug they increase. There is aggression, which the patient is not in control. He poses a danger to himself and others, because it is impossible to foresee his further actions.

During psychosis, a person panics and begins to react inappropriately to what others do and say. Fear and irritability in him can cause even the closest people. It is impossible to contact the patient during this period.

In some cases, there is delusional parasitosis, which is also characteristic for cocaine intoxication. It seems to a person in this state that worms, small parasites or dots run through his body.

When amphetamine intoxication subsides, a person does not remember what happened to him earlier. There comes a depression in which the patient feels deeply unhappy, depressed and overwhelmed.

Amphetamine psychoses are more difficult to diagnose in patients with schizophrenia. Since these mental abnormalities have similar symptoms, it is difficult to reveal their true cause. Also in the clinical picture, amphetamine psychosis is very similar to other types of this disorder, but after giving up the drug it is cured easier and faster.

Consequences of

From the medical point of view, amphetamine psychosis is a natural consequence of taking stimulants. It develops in all dependent on this drug, just someone earlier, and someone - later.

After a while after taking a very large dose of amphetamine, a person dives into deep sleep. Awakened, he falls into a severe depression, because of which it is extremely difficult for a patient to overcome dependence independently. As a result, a person again takes a drug - and his mood quickly normalizes.

In general, amphetamine psychosis can be described as a kind of epileptic fit or cerebral edema. If a person is not urgently given medical care, in such a state a person risks to die. In addition, with each amphetamine psychosis, the addict is approaching complete dementia.

Treatment of

Treatment of amphetamine psychosis begins with complete abandonment of the drug and detoxification of the body. It is most effective in cases when less than one hour has elapsed since the last use of the drug. There is no antidote to amphetamine, but gastric lavage and the use of activated charcoal or another sorbent are effective.

For emergency removal of the drug from the body urine is acidified using ammonium chloride. However, this method increases the risk of acute kidney failure, so the decision in this case should be made by the doctor on the basis of tests.

Before the end of detoxification, symptomatic treatment is carried out, aimed at maintaining normal temperature, pressure and heart rate. Activities are completed only when the substance is completely removed from the body and vital functions are restored.

Paranoid delusions and hallucinations are removed in the hospital with phenothiazines. The patient is usually prescribed chlorpromazine or haloperidol intramuscularly. These drugs quickly stop the signs of acute psychosis, but can cause side effects in the form of postural hypotension and acute extrapyramidal reaction.

The depression that accompanies amphetamine psychosis can last for weeks. In this case, the patient is selected antidepressants.

Simultaneously with taking medications, a person needs psychotherapeutic treatment, including cognitive-behavioral therapy( CBT).It is widely used for the treatment of schizophrenia, but it proves effective in psychoses caused by chronic abuse of stimulants.

The CBT method is to develop a person's self-control skills. The doctor during the sessions affects the processes of perception, disturbed by the disease, and shows the patient the relationship between emotions, behavior and thinking.

As a result, the following effects are achieved:

  • Cognitive activity is stimulated.
  • The circle of communication of the patient is expanding.
  • The problems are identified, the solutions are found.
  • Weakened postpsychotic depression.
  • Improves concentration and memory.

Along with KBT, other psychotherapeutic methods are used: art therapy, psychoanalysis, family therapy, psychosocial trainings.

It is important that during the period of treatment of amphetamine psychosis a person is morally supported by friends and relatives. He needs a calm environment, so you need to exclude disputes, conflicts and any stressful situations that can lead to a breakdown and a return to drugs.

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