The use of ketamine is a complex issue. While ketamine is commonly abused and can be incredibly dangerous, it also has significant medical benefits. Ketamine is approved to be used in hospital settings as an anesthetic. Additionally, studies are currently being conducted regarding ketamine’s usefulness in the treatment of depression. Although not currently approved as a possible treatment option, early results suggest it could be highly effective.
Ketamine is a medication used by doctors and veterinarians as an anesthetic. Ketamine is considered a Schedule III substance, meaning that it has valuable approved medical uses but can be dangerous when abused. Schedule III substances are not considered to be as dangerous or addictive as Schedule II substances.
When being abused, ketamine is commonly used as a “club drug,” meaning it is used in party settings. Like most “club drugs,” this means that ketamine is generally used in combination with other substances, such as stimulant drugs or alcohol. Ketamine can be found in a variety of forms, including powder, capsule, or tablet. In powder form, the drug can be dissolved in liquid and then ingested or injected directly into the bloodstream.
Ketamine can cause a person to lose consciousness or feel detached from reality. It can also cause memory loss and periods of blacking out. Because of its effects, ketamine is considered a “date rape” drug, meaning that people can use the drug to sexual assault victims without them being able to fight back or even remember the events the next day.
Ketamine is also considered to be a hallucinogenic drug. Ketamine can cause someone to feel detached from reality as if they are outside their own body or in a dream. It can also cause visual or auditory hallucinations of things that aren’t there.
Ketamine use can have a variety of effects. The longer ketamine is used for, and when ketamine is used in combination with other substances, the effects can be severe and threaten mental and physical health. Possible symptoms of ketamine use include:
If used for an extended period, ketamine can cause psychosis, amnesia, high blood pressure, breathing problems, or seizures. When combined with depressants, such as alcohol or opioids, ketamine can cause slowed breathing, vomiting, comas, or even death. The combination of ketamine and stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines, can cause strain on the heart, potentially leading to heart attack or cardiac arrest.
Ketamine is considered to be an addictive drug. Prolonged ketamine can cause a person to become addicted and may require them to seek medical help to overcome their substance abuse issue. Once an addiction has developed, a person may continue to use ketamine even if they are aware of the dangers they are putting themselves in. An addicted person may continue to use drugs even if they want to stop.
Ketamine can cause a person to build a tolerance to the effects, which is one of the key symptoms of substance abuse disorder. A tolerance will make a person take a substance in larger amounts and more often to achieve the desired effects.
Although an addicted individual may go through withdrawal, ketamine does not cause any physical withdrawal symptoms. A person going through ketamine withdrawal will only experience psychological symptoms, such as cravings, depression, and anxiety.
When taking a large enough dose, it is possible to overdose on ketamine. An overdose of ketamine can be potentially lethal and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a ketamine overdose include an inability to move or control muscles, fever, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and coma. If someone has taken ketamine and shows any signs of overdose, it is crucial to get them to a hospital as soon as possible.
Ketamine also increases the likelihood of overdosing on other substances when taking it in combinations with other drugs. Ketamine can impact a person’s coordination and decision-making ability. If someone has already taken ketamine and then continues to use other drugs, it can be incredibly dangerous. They may accidentally take too large of a dose, or they may not notice the building effects of other substances and continue to take more.
Substance abuse treatment should always be catered to the needs of the individual. Each person in recovery may respond differently to various types of treatment, so no one treatment program will work for everyone.
Psychotherapy options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, can be beneficial in the treatment of substance abuse. Group meetings, such as SMART Recovery or Narcotics Anonymous, may be helpful tools for people who find group support helpful.
If you or a loved one may be suffering from substance abuse disorder, the first step is to seek a medical professional’s help. Getting help with addiction treatment is a vital step in the recovery process. Symptoms associated with withdrawal are often challenging and can be dangerous to face alone. Treatment facilities can help guide you through the initial stages of the recovery process safely and effectively.
At AM Health Care, we believe in finding the recovery method that will work best for you. Every person has different needs when it comes to addiction treatment, and not one thing will work for all people. We can find the facility and program that best fits your needs to receive the best chance at recovery possible. Please reach out to us at 818-383-1297 to learn more about substance abuse treatment options.