Ketamine Addiction Treatment

Ketamine is used by medical practitioners as an anaesthetic. A dissociative drug, it acts on different chemicals in the brain to distort sight and sound perception and elicit feelings of detachment from reality.

Understanding Ketamine addiction

  • Ketamine is an anaesthetic usually administered to animals. It can also be used medically on individuals who have had adverse reactions to other anaesthetic medications or on those who require sedation but cannot cope with stronger anaesthetics
  • The drug elicits a dreamlike state. In small doses, it can create a feeling of euphoria and waves of energy. Often confused with ecstasy, its relatively low price has contributed to its continued popularity at club and dance events.
  • Depending on the amount consumed, the user may find it difficult to move; an effect that accounts for its frequent use as a date-rape drug. At extremely high doses, users have reported feeling an out-of-body or near-death experience, referred to as a ‘K-Hole.’
  • When ketamine is abused as a recreational drug, users experience a detachment from themselves and their surroundings. Especially popular in the club scene, ketamine can be injected, snorted, consumed in drinks or added to joints or cigarettes

Also known as Special K, Vitamin K and K, the drug delivers a short-lived high. A user’s tolerance builds up quickly and increased quantities need to be consumed to experience the initial effect

The effects of Ketamine

The immediate physical effects of taking Ketamine are similar to those of exercising; an increase in heart rate, cardiac output and blood pressure. Due to the unpredictable nature of the drug, an overdose can occur even after taking a theoretically small amount. In fact, respiratory failure is the leading cause of death from a Ketamine overdose.

As the drug is a tranquiliser, users may feel numb, rendering them vulnerable to accident and injury. At worst, complete loss of mobility may occur, leaving them unable to ask for help.

While the high may be short-lived, users can experience prolonged side effects. From flashbacks of hallucinations and feelings of anxiety to loss of coordination and muscle weakness, the ketamine comedown can be severe.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Warning Signs

The warning signs of abuse

When users develop a tolerance for the drug, chasing the initial high can often spiral into abusive behaviour. The signs of addiction become more severe with long-term abuse. There are several tell-tale signs to be aware of.   

Users may demonstrate an increasing difficulty with learning or thinking. From unusual mellowness or depression to amnesia, individuals may exhibit an increasing disassociation from themselves. Changes in perception can lead to agitation, hallucinations and even delirium.

Slowed breathing, fluctuations in blood pressure and involuntary muscle movements are all physical symptoms that should arouse suspicion.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment

Treating Ketamine addiction

With the right support, it’s possible to overcome ketamine addiction and reverse many of the drug’s negative effects. It’s important to speak to an addict about their addiction. The first step on the road to recovery is acknowledgement of a problem and the need for help.

While a support network is essential whatever the circumstances, trying to resolve an addiction without professional involvement may prove problematic. In some circumstances, an intervention by friends and family may provide the motivation needed to address an addiction.

Depending on the severity of the case, Ketamine detoxification is often the first, essential step on the road to recovery and should be medically monitored. Withdrawing from ketamine can cause a variety of symptoms. From agitation to a decrease in respiratory and cardiac functions, it’s crucial that the withdrawal process is managed by fully-trained staff. This ensures that the process is safe and that an individual can be made to feel as comfortable as possible.

Care from medical professionals and support from others who have been through the same process can be essential to recovery. A residential rehabilitation programme provides access to comprehensive physical, mental and emotional support. A combination of counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and holistic therapy can provide the tools needed to tackle cravings, avoid relapse and begin the journey to wellness.

Alcohol and drugs thoughtful therapist

When COVID restrictions allow – we can offer you a private tour

Just in case any concerns about staying with us still remain, we offer every client – and their family members – the opportunity to visit our recovery centre and residences with no obligation, free of charge.

Book an appointment with us and we will happily welcome you to the centre and give a guided viewing with a member of staff, which can help put to rest any remaining fears or anxieties surrounding the rehab experience. Contact our assessment and admissions team to book your visitation slot today.

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