The profile of psychiatric symptoms exacerbated by methamphetamine use

McKetin, Rebecca, Dawe, Sharon, Burns, Richard A., Hides, Leanne, Kavanagh, David J., Teesson, Maree, Young, Ross McD., Voce, Alexandra and Saunders, John B. (2016) The profile of psychiatric symptoms exacerbated by methamphetamine use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 161 104-109. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.01.018

Author McKetin, Rebecca
Dawe, Sharon
Burns, Richard A.
Hides, Leanne
Kavanagh, David J.
Teesson, Maree
Young, Ross McD.
Voce, Alexandra
Saunders, John B.
Title The profile of psychiatric symptoms exacerbated by methamphetamine use
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Dependence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-0046
Publication date 2016-01-30
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.01.018
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 161
Start page 104
End page 109
Total pages 6
Place of publication Shannon, Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background:  Methamphetamine use can produce symptoms almost indistinguishable from schizophrenia. Distinguishing between the two conditions has been hampered by the lack of a validated symptom profile for methamphetamine-induced psychiatric symptoms. We use data from a longitudinal cohort study to examine the profile of psychiatric symptoms that are acutely exacerbated by methamphetamine use.

164 methamphetamine users, who did not meet DSM-IV criteria for a lifetime primary psychotic disorder, were followed monthly for one year to assess the relationship between days of methamphetamine use and symptom severity on the 24-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms with methamphetamine use was quantified using random coefficient models. The dimensions of symptom exacerbation were examined using principal axis factoring and a latent profile analysis.

Results:  Symptoms exacerbated by methamphetamine loaded on three factors: positive psychotic symptoms (suspiciousness, unusual thought content, hallucinations, bizarre behavior); affective symptoms (depression, suicidality, guilt, hostility, somatic concern, self-neglect); and psychomotor symptoms (tension, excitement, distractibility, motor hyperactivity). Methamphetamine use did not significantly increase negative symptoms. Vulnerability to positive psychotic and affective symptom exacerbation was shared by 28% of participants, and this vulnerability aligned with a past year DSM-IV diagnosis of substance-induced psychosis (38% vs. 22%, χ2(df1) = 3.66, p = 0.056).

Conclusion:  Methamphetamine use produced a symptom profile comprised of positive psychotic and affective symptoms, which aligned with a diagnosis of substance-induced psychosis, with no evidence of a negative syndrome.
Keyword Amphetamine
Psychotic disorders
Substance-related disorders
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Publications
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