Using methamphetamines can trigger symptoms of a mental health disorder or worsen an existing condition.

Article at a Glance:

  • Long-term methamphetamine use causes multiple physical health problems and may exacerbate or trigger mental health conditions.
  • Meth changes brain structure and can induce psychotic behaviors.
  • Anxiety, mood swings and insomnia are additional short-term side effects of meth use.

Meth and Mental Illness

Long-term methamphetamine use can cause severe physical side effects and may also trigger the development of mental health disorders. Conversely, someone may have started using meth to cope with symptoms of a mental health disorder. Meth use may also trigger an underlying mental health disorder and cause existing conditions to worsen.

Signs and symptoms of a mental condition are typically present during the “crash,” or come down period after using methamphetamine, and can last for a few days or weeks. depending on the person and the amount of meth they consumed.

Related Topic: How to Tell If Someone is on Meth

Side effects of meth use have been known to resemble symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia in which there is a disconnection from reality. In this state, thoughts and perceptions become disordered.

Relationship Between Mental Health and Meth

Some common short-term side effects of meth use that resemble symptoms of a mental health disorder include:

Common side effects of long-term meth use that are similar to mental health disorder symptoms include:

Common Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders With Meth Use

Mental Health and Meth Statistics

People who struggle with meth use disorder may also have co-occurring mental health conditions. In one study, 32.3% of participants with methamphetamine dependence also struggled with a mood disorder. Of those participants, 23.8% had substance-induced psychotic disorder.

Related Topic: Meth Rehab Success Rates and Meth Statistics

Treatment for Meth Addiction and Comorbid Mental Health Disorders

Treatment for co-occurring meth addictions and mental health conditions is available at rehab centers across the country, including The Recovery Village. The most effective treatment is evidence-based and personalized to the individual’s needs. If you or a loved one are concerned about methamphetamine use, contact The Recovery Village today.

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Editor – Erica Weiman
Erica Weiman graduated from Pace University in 2014 with a master's in Publishing and has been writing and editing ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Paula Holmes, LCSW
Paula Holmes is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist and freelance writer who lives and works in midcoast Maine. She received her master's degree in Social Work in 2008 from the University of Maine. Read more

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse?” September 2013. Accessed November 6, 2021.

Wearne, Travis A, and Jennifer L Cornish. “A Comparison of Methamphetamine-Induced […]tive Symptomatology.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, October 10, 2018. Accessed November 6, 2021.

Salo, Ruth et al. “Psychiatric comorbidity in methamphetamine dependence.” Psychiatry Research, 2011. Accessed November 6, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.