Chronic methamphetamine psychosis after long-term abstinence in Japanese incarcerated patients

Kazufumi Akiyama, Atsushi Saito, Kazutaka Shimoda

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22 Scopus citations


Eighty female incarcerated subjects who maintained a long-term methamphetamine (METH) abstinence, but manifested psychosis, were examined for correlations among symptom severity premorbid diathesis, recurrence, and adverse effects of pharmacotherapy. Baseline symptoms were assessed with a 24-item version of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) prior to, and 2 weeks after, the commencement of pharmacotherapy. Fifty-four subjects who had abused volatile solvents in their teenage years commenced METH abuse at a significantly lower age than the rest of the subjects (18.4 vs. 22.5 years old, p <.001). Twenty-nine patients who had attempted suicide in their lives suffered from premorbid psychiatric disorders significantly more often than those who had never attempted suicide (odds ratio = 8.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]= 2.6-27.8, p <.001). Twenty subjects who manifested spontaneous recurrence had a significantly longer abstinence period (17.5 vs. 12.1 months, p =.049), but suffered from premorbid psychiatric disorders significantly less often (odds ratio =.12, 95% CI =.02-.99, p =.031) than those who manifested nonrecurrent-protracted psychosis. Subjects who eventually suffered from extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) following pharmacotherapy had higher total BPRS scores at the baseline assessment. The present study provides evidence that a subpopulation of METH abusers suffered from chronic METH psychosis in long-term abstinence, and also highlights the involvement of affective symptoms in its severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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