If you suspect you or a loved one may need ketamine treatment, the first step is acknowledging the problem.
Use this information to help you understand what ketamine is, how to recognize addiction and what to expect during recovery.
Ketamine is a sedative used mostly in veterinary medicine but sometimes abused by people. It is rarely used medically because, after its development, it was discovered to have too many adverse effects on humans. It has a Schedule III drug classification and is defined as a dissociative anesthetic. Additionally, it is a well-known date rape drug due to its ability to sedate and even temporarily paralyze the user. It can take the form of a powder, tablet or liquid.
The drug first appeared in the recreational drug scene in the 1980s. While it is frequently used on its own for the dissociative high it creates, it is often combined with other common nightclub drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) and heroin. Combining ketamine with other substances, particularly heroin, can be deadly because of respiratory depression — the inability to breathe properly.
Aside from being abused in the nightlife scene, ketamine is also sometimes abused by people who suffer from depression. The blissful high produced by the drug may help lift people out of deep depressive episodes and even suicidal ideation. However, users then come to depend on the drug to feel happy and become addicted, making it a dangerous form of self-medication.
The important distinction between signs and symptoms of abuse is that a sign is something another person notices in an addict while a symptom is what the user experiences. Signs of ketamine abuse include:
Symptoms that the ketamine user would experience include:
The duration of a ketamine high depends greatly on how the drug is taken. Snorting powdered ketamine or taking the liquid form can cause a high that lasts only an hour or so. Taking ketamine in pill form can result in a high that lasts around four hours. However, after the initial use of ketamine, a delirious and dreamlike state can last for up to 24 hours.
When used for extended periods of time, ketamine abuse can lead to long-term bladder and urinary tract damage, which results in incontinence. The condition is so common, it has even become known as “ketamine bladder syndrome.” Ketamine also impairs the brain’s ability to learn, think, and retain memories, although these effects generally wear off after detoxification.
Another danger of ketamine use, particularly in powdered form, is that it could be laced with other substances. The ketamine could be cut with heroin or other dangerous chemicals, like drain cleaner or acetaminophen. Since the drug is meant for animals, it is also difficult to determine dosage, which could lead to an overdose. Before you or a loved one reach this potentially fatal point, seek professional help in the form of ketamine rehab centers.
Ketamine abuse treatment starts with inpatient treatment and detoxification. Ketamine withdrawal generally lasts for 4-6 days after the final use and will probably feel like a severe flu. At our live-in facility, we will help you through the process with our 24-hour care.
After detoxification, your personalized recovery plan will consist of professional counseling and other services, including:
Following the completion of inpatient ketamine rehab, clients can begin intensive outpatient rehab that involves several hours of treatment per day for several days per week. Our outpatient rehab program coupled with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are important for those recovering from ketamine abuse because the drug is psychologically addictive; cravings can be triggered when the individual is exposed to environments and people where the drug was once used. Such therapies will help individuals transition back to life outside of rehab while staying on track for long-term recovery.
If you or a loved one are facing the challenges of ketamine abuse, you can take your first step toward recovery with us. The admission staff in the ketamine treatment center are available 24/7 to take your call. Reach out today.