Ketamine is a drug that was developed in the 1960s as an anesthetic for human and veterinary use. Many people know this drug as a “horse tranquilizer” because of its common application among vets. It remains in use as a medical anesthetic. When used in a clinical setting, it is safe and effective. Unfortunately, ketamine is often misused as a recreational drug. In this scenario, ketamine is not safe. It has gained popularity among youth in recent years because of its dissociative and hallucinogenic properties. But ketamine is not just unsafe; it is also addictive.
What Is Ketamine and How Does It Affect People?
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that is increasingly being used in recreational settings. It is not legal or safe to use outside of a licensed medical setting. In addition to its addictive nature, ketamine use involves a number of side effects, including:
- Visual disturbances
- Nausea and vomiting
Other, more severe side effects are slowed respiratory functioning, tremors or impaired coordination, and hypotension. These more severe side effects are not as rare, but they are possible.
Ketamine is habit-forming because of the way it interacts with the pleasure centers in the brain. Moreover, ketamine’s dissociative properties are often the most disruptive to a person’s normal functioning. For instance, people who are addicted to ketamine may neglect family or work responsibilities and get themselves in financial trouble by purchasing regular doses of the drug.
If someone uses ketamine for a long period of time and tries to stop, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms tend to be uncomfortable. Without a plan or support network in place, withdrawal symptoms push people back to using a drug to avoid experiencing the pain and discomfort they bring. The answer to ketamine addiction and withdrawal is professional treatment through a ketamine addiction rehab program.
Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction
- Increased Tolerance: Needing more ketamine to achieve the same effects.
- Preoccupation with Obtaining Ketamine: Spending a lot of time thinking about ketamine, obtaining it, using it, and recovering from its effects.
- Neglecting Responsibilities: Failing to fulfill work, school, or home responsibilities due to ketamine use.
- Social Withdrawal: Isolating oneself from friends and family, or only socializing with other ketamine users.
- Continued Use Despite Problems: Using ketamine even when it causes or exacerbates personal, social, or health problems.
- Changes in Appearance: Neglecting personal grooming and hygiene.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea, abdominal pain, or changes in appetite.
- Unsteady Movements: Impaired motor function or coordination.
- Nasal Problems: If ketamine is snorted, chronic nasal congestion or damage to the nasal passages can occur.
- Cravings: Strong desire or urge to use ketamine.
- Mood Swings: Rapid and extreme changes in mood.
- Memory Problems: Difficulty with memory and concentration.
- Hallucinations and Dissociation: Experiencing hallucinations or feeling detached from reality, especially during and shortly after use.
- Depression or Anxiety: Symptoms of depression or anxiety, particularly during periods of withdrawal.
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Types of Ketamine Addiction Treatment Programs
Ketamine addiction treatment is the process of helping someone overcome a substance abuse disorder. The ketamine addiction treatment center at Serenity Grove specializes in comprehensive treatment that not only addresses ketamine addiction but also tackles the lifestyle habits that reinforce someone’s addiction.
Treatment for ketamine addiction can occur in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Which one is best depends on a comprehensive evaluation that explores the severity of someone’s addiction and whether or not their substance abuse disorder is being influenced by a simultaneous mental health disorder.
Serenity Grove’s ketamine addiction treatment center offers a range of treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, support groups, and more. Ketamine addiction specifically is not treated using any specific medications. However, people who struggle with a dual diagnosis may take medications for a mental health disorder as part of their comprehensive treatment plan for ketamine addiction.
Outpatient rehab for ketamine addiction is a form of treatment where patients receive therapy and support while living at home. This type of rehabilitation allows individuals to continue with their daily lives, like going to work or school, while undergoing treatment. Outpatient programs vary in intensity and structure, and two common types are Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP).
Learn More About Serenity Grove’s Ketamine Rehab Center
The ketamine rehab program at Serenity Grove is built on a foundation of compassion, empathy, and evidence-based treatment methods. Accessing ketamine addiction treatment is not just crucial for your current health. It’s also a means of safeguarding your long-term health. Ketamine may not have the deadly reputation of drugs like crack cocaine or fentanyl.
Yet the reality is that ketamine can be deadly in high doses. Complicating the issue is that most ketamine is mixed with other substances or taken in ways that mask how much is being ingested. This leaves people vulnerable to an overdose.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a ketamine addiction, the best thing to do is to access a ketamine rehab center. Contact Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 or via our online form to learn more about how we tackle ketamine addiction holistically.
More on Ketamine
No, ketamine is not a benzodiazepine. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, which means it can cause a disconnection from one’s self and the environment. It’s primarily used for anesthesia in medical settings. In contrast, benzodiazepines, are a class of psychoactive drugs typically used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and various other conditions. They work by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which has a calming effect. Ketamine and benzodiazepines have different chemical structures and work in different ways in the brain.
In the state of Georgia, like in other U.S. states, ketamine can be legally prescribed by a doctor for medical use, particularly as an anesthetic or for certain psychiatric treatments. However, the unauthorized possession, sale, or use of ketamine is illegal and can lead to criminal charges.
Detoxing from ketamine at home is generally not recommended due to potential risks and complications. Detoxing from any substance, including ketamine, can be physically and mentally challenging, and in some cases, it can be dangerous. It is safer and more effective to undergo detox under medical supervision.