Crystal methamphetamine — colloquially known as ice in Australia — continues to present many problems to both users of the drug and the wider community. To accompany the physical health issues documented by users, there is a range of psychological symptoms that manifest from both long term and short term use of the drug.
One of the most common symptoms of ongoing ice use is that of psychosis — an umbrella term for a range of serious psychological complications, including delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Here are some facts that put the prevalence and seriousness of ice-induced psychosis into a real-world perspective:
- About 6.3% or 1.3 million Australians over the age of 14 have used methamphetamine
- About one in three people who use ice regularly report experiencing psychosis in their lifetime
- 30% of people who experience ice psychosis go on to develop a long-term psychotic illness
- Ice induced psychosis is responsible for more ambulance callouts than any other substance
As serious as the ice epidemic is, it's important to understand that not everything is hopeless. The psychological effects of long term ice addiction can be treated, helping the addict overcome their internal struggles with mental health.
The Hader Clinic understands the importance of treating all symptoms of ice addiction, including psychosis. We provide support programs to addicts, and offer immediate admissions for patients in crisis.
What is ice induced psychosis?
Stimulant induced psychosis refers to a range of mental health issues brought on by excessive use of mind altering substances. The essence of psychosis is losing touch with reality — people going through psychosis often have trouble telling what is real and what isn't. This is a very distressing situation for both addicts, their family, and close friends.
There are many symptoms recorded by long term and short terms users of the drug. These will vary from addict to addict, and no two people will record the same psychological manifestations. As well as erratic, inexplicable behaviour, common psychotic symptoms include:
- Psychosis and hallucinations
- Decreased cognitive function
- Triggers, compulsion, and obsession
- Compulsive lying and denial
- Excessive fear and worry
- Depression and anxiety
- Memory loss and mood swings
- Paranoia, fear, and aggression
Identifying these elements of ice induced psychosis may be difficult for people around the addict. Ice addiction damages all kinds of social relationships, causing the addict to withdraw from social interaction, and sometimes, society as a whole.
What are the risk factors of ice induced psychosis?
Studies have found that the method of consumption — whether by smoking or injection — has little effect on the prevalence of ice induced psychosis. However, the frequency and amount of the drug used will have a degrading effect on psychological health. There are other risk factors associated with ice induced psychosis, including
- Family history of psychotic mental illness
- Historical trauma incurred as a child or an adult
- Combination of ice with other drugs, including alcohol and marijuana
Interestingly, age, gender, income, employment status, and ethnic background had no impact on the severity of ice induced psychosis. The negative effects of ice on mental health do not discriminate. Anyone can become an addict, and anyone can suffer from psychosis.
How can ice induced psychosis be treated?
Ice addiction and declining mental health are examples of comorbid issues that affect addicts. Ice addiction is a disease — one that can fan the flames of latent mental health issues. These underlying mental health issues can come from a range of sources, including:
- Biological factors like hormonal imbalances and affected brain chemistry
- Family history, including hereditary mental health issues
- Life experiences, especially past trauma and abuse
Identifying the source of a patient's mental health issues is a great avenue towards creating an effective treatment plan. Mental health issues and drug addiction need to be treated simultaneously, ensuring that the entire self is treated.
How does The Hader Clinic address ice induced psychosis?
The Hader Clinic specialises in treating mental health and substance addiction in tandem. For patients battling the throes of ice induced psychosis, we offer emergency admissions to our clinic. The patient will then begin their journey towards a life free from addiction.
Our holistic treatments place an emphasis on treating the whole self — including the physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual effects of serious drug addiction.
Here's the typical process for an ice addict entering our programs:
- Patients attend a free 60-minute consultation, where we assess their needs and admit them immediately, if necessary.
- Patients begin our 28-Day Detox & Withdrawal Program, where we wean patients off drugs safely, ensuring their mental health is supported.
- Our Inpatient Rehabilitation Program helps patients continue to realise their own goals in a dedicated facility, where they receive tailored treatment for between 60 and 90 days.
- Our Outpatient Relapse Prevention programs offer addicts and their families more support to prevent against relapse once they reenter the outside world.