FRIDAY, Feb. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Illicit amphetamine use is associated with an increased incidence of psychosis, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in Evidence-Based Mental Health.

Chieh-Liang Huang, from the China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, and colleagues used the Taiwan Illicit Drug Issue Database and the National Health Insurance Research Database (2007 to 2016) to identify 74,601 illicit amphetamine users and 298,404 controls. The authors sought to evaluate the incidence of psychosis associated with illicit amphetamine use and whether or not rehabilitation treatments affected the risk for psychosis.

The researchers found that illicit amphetamine users were 5.28 times more likely to experience psychosis than those without illicit drug use records. For those with multiple arrests for amphetamine use, the risk was even higher. The hazard ratio magnitude was higher in female patients. Among individuals receiving rehabilitation treatments during deferred prosecution, there was a significant decrease in the risk for psychosis (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.74).

“The relation of an induced paranoid psychosis with amphetamine abuse has been known for many decades. Nonetheless, our findings are from a detailed and comparative analysis using a comprehensive and large population dataset,” the authors write. “Furthermore, it would be worthwhile to investigate the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of deferred prosecution for drug crime offenders by providing appropriate therapy for drug addiction.”

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