10th International Conference on Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, Sun City

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In the last few years much data in the gulf region indicate that amphetamine psychosis has become more common and more prolonged.

Aim. This study was done to: 1) assess clinical features related to amphetamine withdrawal, 2) assess if there are changes in these features in comparison to other previous studies or not, 3) study the relation between amphetamine and chronicity of psychotic symptoms, 4) find a reason for such suspected changes if present.

Methods. A total of 150 male amphetamine dependent inpatients were selected according to ICD-10 research diagnostic criteria. Patients were subjected to the following procedures: 1) Oral informed consent. 2) Full psychiatric interview. 3) Urine test for common addictive substances on admission 4) Symptoms checklist which have been designed by the authors to assess Clinical features associated with amphetamine 5) Symptom Checklist–90–Revised (Derogates 1994).

Results. Generally the present study shows that the psychotic symptoms were very common with Amphetamine dependent patients and the severity of all symptoms decreased significantly during the different phases of treatment. Delusions and hallucinations were very common during 2nd week (54% and 51% respectively) and persisted for more than 8 weeks in 24% and 10% of patients respectively.

Discussion. Some of the results are similar to previous studies as Dalmau et al. 1999 and Koyama et al. 1991 but still the duration of psychosis is much longer.

Conclusion. There is increased risk of psychosis with use of amphetamine and a lot of reasons may play role as starting abuse at early age, sensitization process that may lead to chronic psychosis, and adulterating substances like ephedrine that may be dangerous and can lead to permanent damage of brain serotonin nerve endings.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v13i3.23

Submitted: 02 October 2007
Published: 01 August 2007

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)