What is ketamine addiction?
Ketamine is a short-acting anaesthetic that is traditionally used in veterinary medicine. However, its illegal use is becoming increasingly popular in the club drug scene. It dissolves in liquid which allows it to be slipped into drinks. It is therefore referred to as a “date rape” drug. Ketamine can also be injected as a liquid or snorted as a white powder. It acts by depressing the central nervous system, causing a temporary loss of body sensation. It also has powerful hallucinogenic qualities. Ketamine users report a dissociative analgesic effect with a distortion of reality and objects. Some report terrifying hallucinations and “near-death” experiences. Street names for ketamine include Special K, Ket and vitamin K. While there is no evidence of a physical addiction to ketamine, the chances of developing a psychological addiction are high. Also, tolerance to ketamine develops quickly and the user may need to take an ever-increasing amount to achieve the same effects.
Signs, symptoms and risks of ketamine addiction
As the use of ketamine as a recreational drug is relatively new, there may be psychological and physical problems associated with it that are presently unknown. However, we do know low doses can result in users feeling nauseous, distracted and confused. High doses can cause respiratory and heart problems which can lead to unconsciousness and, ultimately, death. Ketamine abuse and addiction canalso lead to panic attacks, black-outs, amnesia, paranoia and depression. On the club drug scene, ketamine is often taken with amphetamines which can increase blood pressure and be fatal. As the drug reduces the user’s ability to feel pain, serious injury may go unnoticed and untreated.
Treating ketamine addiction
Ketamine does not appear to produce physical withdrawal symptoms so a detox is not usually necessary. Ketamine addiction is best treated in a rehab centre where individuals can participate in a range of behavioural therapy and counselling programs to help them understand the nature of their addiction and to become equipped with strategies to cope with a ketamine-free life. At Addiction Helper, we’ll guide you through the options available and provide you and your family with all the support you need for a healthy recovery from ketamine addiction.