Ketamine is an anesthetic and analgesic drug. Many individuals begin using ketamine as a party drug for its hallucinatory effects. This can escalate as users quickly develop a psychological dependence on the drug, which can be extremely hard to beat. Ketamine addiction can result in serious health issues, financial problems, social problems, and more.
Do you believe that a young man that you care about is suffering from ketamine addiction? New Life House is here to help. Our sober living facility has helped young men get sober and maintain their sobriety for more than 30 years. We work with men from adolescence through adulthood to treat a range of addictions, including ketamine dependency. Learn more about ketamine abuse below, and contact New Life House today to find out how we can help you.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride), sometimes known as ‘ket’, ‘K’, or ‘special-K’, is categorized as a ‘dissociative anesthetic’. It is a strong hallucinogenic and anesthetic drug. It is usually used in liquid form to be injected, or as a grainy, white powder which can be swallowed in tablet form or snorted.
It has been a schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act since 1999. This means that it can be used legally for medical purposes and acquired through a prescription, but is illegal if used recreationally.
As ketamine is a strong hallucinogenic and anesthetic, users can often become quickly addicted to the substance. If you believe that someone you care about may be addicted to ketamine, contact New Life House for more information on how we could help.
What is Ketamine Normally Used For?
Ketamine was initially developed in the 1960s for pain relief, and was first used in veterinary clinics for animal sedation. In the 1970s it was registered as safe for use on humans as an anesthetic.
Ketamine is listed on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List. Today, ketamine is mainly used in the veterinary field to sedate animals, but is still available on prescription to treat some chronic pain conditions in the U.S. It is also used as a sedative for patients undergoing intensive care.
While ketamine is considered to be a low-risk drug when medically administered, it can be very dangerous when taken out of this context. In the last few decades, it has become an increasingly popular party high. Without the direction and monitoring of a medical professional, the side effects and dosage of ketamine cannot be controlled, and individuals may find themselves quickly developing an addiction.
At New Life House, we have extensive experience with treating ketamine addiction. We understand how addiction to the drug can begin and develop. To get support for someone who may be misusing ketamine, contact New Life House for further information on our services and sober living facility.
What Makes Ketamine Addictive?
Ketamine is not thought to be as addictive as some other drugs. Opioids such as heroin, for example, cause much stronger physical addictions through changes to the brain. Even so, users of ketamine are often likely to develop a pattern of abusing ketamine that can be hard to quit because of its psychological effects.
As a schedule III controlled substance, Ketamine is classified as a drug that leads to high levels of psychological dependence, and can also induce moderate physical dependence. Because of its powerful pain killing properties and anesthetic effect, Ketamine is highly addictive. Ketamine is known to induce a feeling of separation between the mind and the body. It distorts perception of reality, and this effect of distortion or dissociation has led to the high from ketamine to be known as the ‘k-hole’ by users.
Addiction to ketamine also stems from the fact that its immediate effects are relatively short-lived. This makes the drug strongly habit-forming, as users take more and more to achieve the desired effects as they wear off.
At New Life House, we are experienced in supporting people who have developed a psychological addiction to ketamine. We can help individuals break the habit-forming effects of ketamine. If this could be beneficial to someone you know or care about, contact New Life House to find out about how we can help.
Why Do People Start Abusing Ketamine?
Ketamine is a popular recreational drug, and the abuse of ketamine often starts with casual use at parties. In fact, it was originally used to enhance the effects of ecstasy (MDMA) in the 1980s. Since then, it has continued to be popular as a standalone drug.
One of the main reasons for people to begin abusing ketamine is the drug’s psychoactive effects. Feelings of euphoria are commonly reported as an effect of ketamine. These desired effects do not last for long, making people tempted to use again. This can quickly lead to a psychological dependence on the drug. Often, this results in a cycle of dangerous drug-taking behavior rather than one-off instances, and this is how addiction and ketamine abuse forms.
It has also been suggested that people who already have an underlying mental health problem that they are struggling with, such as anxiety or depression, may be more susceptible to developing a ketamine addiction. This is because they may use ketamine to self-medicate in order to control or lessen their symptoms. This not only has a negative impact on their health, but also leads to exactly the same addiction as any use of the drug.
Environmental factors also play a part in causing people to abuse ketamine. Being surrounded by peers who are also addicted to ketamine or engage in addictive behaviors could increase an individual’s propensity to begin abusing the drug themselves. Going through stressful or traumatic life events are also thought to increase the likelihood of developing any kind of addiction.
In summary, there are a number of factors that can lead to ketamine abuse. At New Life House, we have found that working with individuals to identify why they started abusing ketamine can be an effective way to address their addictive behaviors.
Do you believe that someone you love or care about could benefit from this kind of service? By getting in touch with New Life House, we can help ketamine users begin their path to recovery.
What Are the Symptoms & Side Effects of Abusing Ketamine?
The effects of using ketamine can vary depending on the individual and how much they have taken. They can also be broken down into short-term side effects and long-term side effects.
Short-term side effects:
Because ketamine is primarily an anesthetic, it causes drowsiness and a dream-like state after taking it. This can last for as long as 24 hours, depending on the dose. Other short-term effects may include:
- Visual hallucinations
- Auditory hallucinations
- Double vision
- Increased Heart Rate
Another side effect of ketamine is a direct result of its anesthetic properties. The numbing sensation that the user experiences can lead to accidents and serious injuries because the user cannot feel other pain to the body.
It is possible to overdose on ketamine. As ketamine is a sedative drug, the two key symptoms of an overdose are severely reduced or stopped breathing, and an inability to wake up. If you suspect that someone you know has overdosed on ketamine, seek emergency medical assistance immediately – call 911.
Long-term side effects:
In cases where users have been taking ketamine long-term, they may experience chronic or continued presentations of the effects listed above. When ketamine abuse takes place over a longer period of time, other symptoms begin to manifest. Other long-term side effects and symptoms of ketamine abuse may include:
- Persistent hallucinations
- Continued disruption of normal sleep patterns
- Bladder problems
- Behavioral issues
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of appetite
- Bodily twitches
- Decreased heartbeat
As ketamine addiction is mainly psychological, these symptoms will go away upon abstaining from the drug. The time it takes for symptoms to lessen will depend on the particular circumstances and history of the individual.
Take note that going sober from ketamine can be difficult, particularly when going cold-turkey. This is sometimes necessary, however, especially in cases where physical symptoms have manifested. New Life House can help you to support a loved one through this process. We have supported individuals who exhibit a range of long-term side effects. Contact us today for more information.
How Can I Tell if Someone is Addicted to Ketamine?
It is important to take note of the behaviors and symptoms of an individual if you think they may be at risk of developing an addiction to ketamine. It is a powerful drug, and users can quickly become addicted to it. If someone you care about may be developing – or already have – an addiction to ketamine, you may be able to spot the signs of this. The signs of ketamine addiction may include:
- Skin redness
- Poor body coordination
- Slurred speech
- Rapid eye movement
Most additions tend to be characterized by:
- A preoccupation with the drug
- Neglect of other parts of the user’s life, including school/work and friends and family
As the addiction sets in, ketamine users are often more concerned with procuring and taking the drug than other aspects of life. An extreme behavioral indication of ketamine addiction is stealing money or selling valuables to pay for ketamine. Ultimately, ketamine addiction can lead to the user avoiding interactions with their family and friends, resulting in social isolation.
If you have noticed that someone you love is exhibiting the signs of ketamine addiction, talk to us at New Life House. By getting in contact with us, you are helping someone you care about begin their path to recovery.
How Does Someone Detox from Ketamine?
Ketamine abuse can rapidly leave the user with a psychological dependence on the drug. Users can quickly build up tolerance to ketamine, meaning that they increasingly require a higher dose at more regular intervals to feel the effects. This generally always culminates in addiction. When someone who is addicted to ketamine stops using it, they begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The most common ketamine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Psychosis (hallucination and delusion)
- Cognitive impairment
- Hearing loss
- Extreme fatigue
The length of time that these symptoms will last depends on the history of the individual user, and factors such as the length of time that they have been using, and the dosage of ketamine they have been regularly raking. Withdrawal symptoms will typically last somewhere in the range of 4-8days, and will usually start about 24-72 hours after the individual has taken their last dose.
The symptoms of psychological withdrawal can be managed by gradually decreasing the dose of ketamine over a short period of time. Tapering the dose of ketamine allows the body to adjust itself to the loss of the drug.
However, because physical dependence is rarely developed in ketamine use, it is often possible for users to stop using the drug immediately, rather than gradually decreasing the dose. This could be the recommended detox route for individuals who have had a long-term addiction and caused bodily damage. For example, damage to the urinary tract can be caused by chronic addiction to ketamine, and stopping use immediately would be necessary to improve bladder function.
Stopping ketamine use can be very uncomfortable for the individual, particularly after long-term use. Detox from ketamine can include a range of techniques, therapies, and activities.
Our professionals at New Life House can help you decide the best course of action, and offer expert advice on detoxing from ketamine. Get in touch for more details on our approach to helping individuals with ketamine addiction.
How Can New Life House Help?
Ketamine addiction can be hard to beat alone, because the psychological aspects of withdrawal can take such a strong hold over the user. However, with the right support, your loved one can make a full recovery and leave their addiction in the past. That’s where New Life House comes in. We specialize in providing treatment for addictive behaviors at every stage of the addiction.
As a specialist sober living facility in California for young men, New Life House is committed to helping individuals tackle and overcome addiction. We help individuals learn the values they need to be successful going forward with their lives.
At New Life House, everyone lives together completely sober. Everyone at the facility has a shared responsibility to enact and promote a newly sober life. We create a community of support and development, which helps promote healthy routines. These include healthcare, exercise, financial planning, and a commitment to the future. We aid individuals in returning to a normal life through career training and further education opportunities.
Contact New Life House to learn more about how we can help you help a loved one today. Anyone addicted to ketamine can go on to have normal, healthy life. At New Life House, we are dedicated to making this a reality.