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Based on field research it has been shown that there is a heightened risk of going through psychotic phases when specific drugs are used.
Take the case of Cannabis that has been connected with an increased risk of psychosis. It is important to note that it is still unclear whether drugs increase the risk of psychosis or whether individuals who have a history of psychosis are more prone to using drugs.
While nothing concrete can be said of other drugs, in the case of methamphetamine, the linkage might just be established soon. In spite of circumstantial suggestion that individuals with psychosis are more likely to use the drug, a research group has found that when methamphetamine is actively being used, instances of psychosis rise drastically.
The study, done by researchers at Australian National University in Canberra, focuses on long-term methamphetamine users. It shows that the symptoms of psychosis are five times more likely to develop during episodes of use when seen in relation to periods of restraint.
The symptoms tested by the research team included:
- Hallucinations (high risk in 51 percent of participants)
- Suspiciousness (71 percent)
- Delusions (35 percent)
The amount of risk was positively correlated with drug use.
Rebecca McKetin, the study’s lead author said participants felt psychotic symptoms at a rate of about 10 percent when they were not vigorously using methamphetamine, compared with 48 percent when they were using it heavily (during last 16 days of use).
Apart from this, the cases involving use of alcohol or heavy marijuana, 69 percent of participants experienced psychotic symptoms. The participants included 278 meth users above the age of 16 and analyzed psychotic symptoms both during when the participants were using methamphetamine and when they weren’t. All the participants met the parameters for meth dependence and had used the drug for a mean of 13.1 years.
It is also crucial to point out that the study did not involve people who had a known psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Going by the findings of this study, it is safe to say that there is a definite need to curb the usage of meth among people. The aforementioned long-term effects of the drug can leave a negative impact on the brain.