Ketamine Addiction: Signs, Symptoms and Rehab Treatment

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a class B drug that is approved for use in medical settings as an anaesthetic. It can relieve pain and produce feelings of relaxation in humans and animals. Ketamine can be safely used in controlled medical practice, but it has a high abuse potential. Outside approved limits, it can lead to hazardous physical and mental effects. If ketamine is abused for an extended period of time, it can result in tolerance and psychological addiction. Common street names for ketamine include KitKat, Cat Valium, Vitamin K, Special K, Ket, Horse Tranquiliser, Purple, Super K and Jet.

Ketamine Abuse: Key Facts

Government statistics show that there are about 100,000 ketamine users in the UK. Most of the ketamine found being abused on the streets is usually stolen from veterinary clinics. Probably one of the most shocking facts about ketamine abuse is that teens are the primary users of this dangerous substance. The drug is also a major element of the UK’s stock of recreational drugs: about 0.3% of Britons between the ages of 16 and 59 used ketamine at least once in 2015/16, whilst up to a quarter of drug users in the UK admit to having consumed ketamine in 2015. Ketamine produces intense hallucinogenic and dissociative effects that last between 45 to 90 minutes. The effects of the drug can also linger for up to 24 hours. Once under the influence, there are also risks of amnesia and blackouts.

Effects of Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine can cause muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, seizures, fainting, blacking out, dizziness and lightheadedness. You may also experience double vision, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and other short-term effects when using ketamine.

Other short-term or immediate effects of ketamine use include changes in perception of sound, time, surroundings, and body, hallucinations, dream-like state, sedation, feelings of invulnerability, reduced awareness of the environment, impaired thinking, increased distractibility, reduced pain perception and out-of-body experiences.

Additionally, using high doses of ketamine can lead you into a “K-hole”, a hallucinogenic state often described as a frightening or like a near-death experience. Allergic reaction to the substance is also possible and can result in severe consequences. Ketamine can also dramatically reduce heart rate which can be fatal if not immediately treated.

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

If you suspect someone close to you is abusing ketamine, it’s important to get help right away. When used in excessive doses for an extended period of time, it can cause severe damage to the respiratory system and also affect memory. A tolerance for the drug can also develop, leading to addiction. There are several long-term effects that can result from using ketamine. These include:

  • Painful urination
  • Stomach pain, commonly referred to as “K-cramps”
  • Delusional thinking, even after abstinence
  • Depressive and dissociative symptoms
  • Visual disturbances or problems
  • Impaired memory and cognition
  • Impaired psychological wellbeing
  • Diminished executive function
  • White matter degeneration in the brain
  • Psychological dependence

Here are some specific tell-tale signs you might notice when a loved one is abusing ketamine. These signs and symptoms become more severe with long-term abuse in high doses:

  • Amnesia
  • Slowed breathing
  • Increased blood pressure that then slowly drops
  • Hallucinations
  • Unusual mellowness
  • Changes in perceptions of colour or sound
  • Difficulty thinking or learning
  • Nausea
  • Dissociation from body or identity
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Delirium

Treating Ketamine Addiction

You don’t have to suffer from lifelong ketamine addiction, and if you or your loved one is abusing ketamine, you can get help. Treating ketamine addiction reverses a lot of the negative effects of the drug on the brain and helps you get back on track. This means you can overcome the cravings that lead to relapse time and time again with the right help.

Generally, the first consideration when it comes to treatment may revolve around trying to choose between private rehab or ending the addiction on your own. The right one for you depends on your individual treatment needs.

Private rehab for ketamine addiction is the most recommended option as it is comprehensive and meets all of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. In private rehab, you’ll have access to all you need to stay clean and avoid relapse including 24/7 medical monitoring, holistic programmes, medical detox, sleep and nutrition management.

Withdrawal and Detoxification Process

Ketamine Detoxification is usually the first process to undergo when you arrive at the treatment facility. This involves withdrawal from all drugs and alcohol. Detox may involve medication to control any severe withdrawal symptoms that occur. You’ll be made to feel as comfortable as possible during this period and offered support from medical caregivers and others who’ve gone through the same treatment.

Detoxification can cause a wide variety of symptoms including extreme agitation, loss of touch with reality and a decrease in respiratory and cardiac functions, which can rapidly become dangerous without appropriate medical attention. This is why the withdrawal and detox process needs to be managed by a clinical medical team.

Get Help Today!

The best way to overcome ketamine addiction and live a drug-free life is to choose a professional rehab treatment programme. Ketamine addiction is an extremely serious problem that often needs medical attention. It’s essential to get the help you need before it’s too late.

At Primrose Lodge, we provide evidence-based treatment methods that effectively treat drug abuse and addiction, and our caring team is equipped with the resources and experience to ensure your recovery and long-term abstinence. If you or your loved one needs urgent help to quit ketamine addiction, that’s where we come in.

Call today in complete confidence on 0203 553 9263 to begin the journey to a fulfilling and healthy new life.

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Call Now 0203 553 9263

Call Now 0203 553 9263

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