Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used primarily on animals. Due to its hallucinogenic effects, it is commonly used in dance clubs and raves by teens and young adults.
What Are Common Street Names?
Cat Tranquilizer, Jet K, Kit Kat, Purple, Special K, Special La Coke, Super K, Vitamin K
What Does It Look Like?
Ketamine is sold as either a clear liquid or a white powder. Powdered ketamine is sometimes sold in capsule form.
How Is It Used?
Powdered ketamine is snorted or smoked. Liquid ketamine is mixed into drinks or injected.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Ketamine?
Ketamine can produce powerful effects within minutes. Individuals looking for relaxation or pain relief may turn to ketamine to sedate themselves. Users may also pursue escapism, as ketamine causes individuals to dissociate from their surroundings. In comparison to LSD, these hallucinatory effects wear off after a shorter period of time, but individuals should still be wary of the health risks ketamine can pose.
Why Is Ketamine Harmful?
Ketamine causes undesirable short-term effects such as nausea, high blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. Many ketamine users turn to more potent drugs like heroin. Ketamine makes users unresponsive to the world around them, impairing individuals’ ability to react quickly to dangerous situations. Because it causes temporary memory loss for those under its influence, the drug is particularly notorious for facilitating sexual assault.
Long-Term Effects of Ketamine Abuse
Frequent ketamine misuse can lead to addiction and health problems, including:
Continued ketamine abuse can lead to a neurological dependence on the substance. Ketamine addiction impacts the mind and body in several ways, including:
Redness of the skin
Rapid eye movements
Impaired motor function
What Does a Ketamine Overdose Look Like?
An overdose occurs when an individual takes a toxic amount of ketamine. Individuals who overdose may breathe at an alarmingly slow rate and lose consciousness. Because ketamine has a more immediate impact than other drugs, accidental overdoses are common.
Signs of Overdose
Shortness of breath
Individuals who experience an overdose require immediate medical attention, as a ketamine overdose can have serious permanent effects including coma, permanent psychosis, tissue damage, and death.
How Do You Treat Ketamine Addiction?
Removing toxins from the body is a necessary first step in recovering from addiction. While medically-monitored detox is not necessary for ketamine addiction, individuals often experience intense cravings once they have stopped regular use. This can lead to relapse and, in some cases, overdose. As a safety precaution, it is recommended that individuals go through the detoxification process under the supervision of a healthcare professional who can help manage the discomfort often experienced during this period.
Loss of motor skills
Loss of coordination
Ketamine Addiction Treatment
Like all hallucinogens, ketamine deeply impacts mental well-being. Because of this, addressing the psychological effects caused by addiction is particularly important. Individuals with a history of ketamine use should seek addiction counseling and psychiatric services through either inpatient (residential) or outpatient treatment.
To complement the progress made during drug counseling, individuals should take part in holistic therapies. These wellness therapies aid traditional addiction treatment by providing individuals with alternative methods of addressing emotions or traumas that may be too difficult to address during counseling.
Individuals can achieve total wellness in their recovery from ketamine addiction through multiple activities. Those who used ketamine to escape their surroundings may benefit from Therapeutic Art, which encourages the exploration of thoughts and emotions in a creative, visual way. Individuals who sought out of body experiences through their ketamine use can find a higher purpose through Spiritual Enhancement. Users who experienced stomach pains as a result of a ketamine dependency may find value in Nutrition Education, which teaches new, healthy eating habits that can repair bodily damage.
Emotional exploration and personal fulfillment through art therapy techniques including drawing, collages, and hands-on crafts.
Reflection workshop to encourage peace of mind and spiritual development through readings and discussion of non-religious parables.
Group designed to create mindful eating habits by exploring the role nutrition plays in recovery. Activities include label reading, food preparation, and food tastings.
To learn about a range of other therapeutic activities that can help those afflicted by addiction, visit our Wellness page.
If you or a loved one is struggling with ketamine addiction, know that you are not alone. Our team of medical, clinical, and wellness experts are here to help you break free from addiction and achieve the happy, healthy life you deserve.