Ketamine is a drug with a long medical history that spans valid application and misuse. Dating back to the 1960s, ketamine first saw usage as an anesthetic. It has also been used in treating mental health conditions like schizophrenia and depression. Even today, the FDA approves the use of ketamine as a treatment for depression in conjunction with other oral antidepressants.
Despite these legitimate medical uses, ketamine is also commonly misused, particularly among youth. It is popular in the party scene as it produces similar hallucinogenic, out-of-body effects as PCP. Using ketamine outside of prescription guidelines or without a prescription altogether is dangerous because it is addictive. Look for the signs of ketamine addiction in a loved one to interrupt drug use before it is too late.
Signs of Ketamine Addiction
Ketamine is habit-forming. It is a drug that can produce addiction quite quickly when it is misused repeatedly. Part of this stems from the way ketamine use builds a tolerance in the body. When tolerance rises, the body needs more ketamine to produce the original, desired effect. Using more and more ultimately leads someone to dependence and then addiction.
The biggest of the ketamine addiction signs is cravings. When a person begins to uncontrollably experience drug cravings, it is a clear indication that they have an addiction. Often, these cravings drive them to pursue the acquisition and use of a drug, even when it damages their life, job prospects, or relationships.
Moreover, people who are addicted to ketamine tend to display a number of physical and psychological signs. Watch out for these signs of ketamine addiction:
- Confusion, delusions, and paranoia
- Shaking, sweating, and chills
- Watery eyes
- Excessive salivation
These symptoms of ketamine addiction are serious enough. Yet, in severe cases, ketamine use can also cause seizures. Even more dangerous is the possibility of a ketamine overdose, which can be fatal. Common signs of a ketamine overdose include paralysis, loss of consciousness, extreme confusion, chest pain, and hallucinations. If you are ever in doubt whether or not your loved one is overdosing or just tripping, be sure to play it safe and call emergency services.
Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction Withdrawal
In addition to the signs of ketamine addiction, it is worth examining typical symptoms of ketamine addiction withdrawal. This is because people may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using ketamine on their own. Knowing the signs of ketamine addiction and the symptoms of ketamine addiction withdrawal means you will be set up to best support a loved one no matter what stage of substance use you find them in.
Ketamine addiction signs related to withdrawal start with anxiety and restlessness. When coming off of ketamine, a person’s mood will likely not be the best. Anxiety levels will be high, and they will struggle to sit still. A low or depressed mood is also common in people withdrawing from ketamine. Other withdrawal symptoms are chills, drug cravings, a lack of appetite, rapid heartbeat, and tremors. The suppressed appetite may go so far as to cause weight loss. While it likely won’t be a dangerous amount of weight loss, it may be noticeable.
Access Treatment for Ketamine Addiction at Serenity Grove
The sooner you can address your loved one’s ketamine addiction, the better. The best way to support them is to get them connected with high-quality ketamine addiction treatment through a provider like Serenity Grove.
Ketamine addiction treatment tends to be grounded in behavioral therapy options like cognitive-behavioral therapy or motivational enhancement therapy. Inpatient treatment may be necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms, though outpatient is often a sufficient level of care for people trying to recover from ketamine addiction.