Ketamine has dissociative, hallucinogenic and tranquilizing properties. This “club drug” also has addictive effects and causes harm to the brain and body when misused. If you or someone you know has an addiction to ketamine, you have help available. Gateway Foundation’s ketamine drug rehabilitation center assists patients in their recovery from addiction. Learn more about ketamine addiction and how Gateway can provide support.
WHAT IS KETAMINE?
If you or someone you love is struggling with a ketamine addiction, it’s essential to know some drug facts about this substance. Ketamine is an anesthetic medication most commonly used for animals. Clinical trials have also shown that it may be useful as a treatment for depression or PTSD.
Unfortunately, it’s also used illegally as a recreational drug — especially in the club, rave and party scene among young adults. Ketamine’s sedative effects can produce dissociative, out-of-body experiences where users feel detached from themselves and what’s going on around them. Some of the street names this drug also goes by include:
- Special K
- Super C
- Super acid
Ketamine is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, in the same category as anabolic steroids and codeine. This classification means that there is a high risk of developing a psychological addiction, and a moderate risk it can lead to physical dependence.
HOW IS KETAMINE USED?
When ketamine is sold illegally, it usually comes as a white crystalline powder. However, it can also be made into pills or tablets or dissolved in liquids. There are a few different ways users ingest this drug:
- Snorting: Also called a “bump,” snorting ketamine is one of the most common ways to misuse the drug.
- Smoking: Ketamine can be added to joints or cigarettes and smoked.
- Injecting: Ketamine is sometimes dissolved in water and injected.
- Swallowing: Although this usage is less common, ketamine can be swallowed in tablet form.
- Drinking: Some users consume ketamine in beverages.
- Bombing: This refers to swallowing a dose of ketamine wrapped in cigarette paper.
THE EFFECTS OF KETAMINE ON THE BODY
A ketamine high involves a full-body buzz and a deep sense of relaxation that typically lasts anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours. Ketamine can have a variety of effects on the body, including:
- Feeling dream-like and detached
- Feeling happy or euphoric
- Altered perceptions of space and time
- Hallucinations, where users see, hear or sense things that aren’t there
- Feeling chilled and relaxed
- Reduced pain sensation, which can potentially cause users to hurt themselves without realizing it
At higher doses, users experience an effect called the “K-hole.” This when a person feels completely detached from reality and sometimes loses the ability to move. This experience is often described as near-death or out-of-body, which can be very frightening.
IS KETAMINE SAFE?
When used in medical settings under the strict supervision of a doctor or medical professional, ketamine is considered safe. However, the unpredictable nature of ketamine makes it very dangerous when used illicitly. Users find it difficult to gauge how much is too much. Many accidental overdoses occur when users attempt to reach the “K-hole” or when they combine ketamine with other drugs or alcohol.
HISTORY OF KETAMINE
Ketamine was first developed in 1962 as a human anesthetic. By 1970, the drug was approved, and doctors used it on soldiers injured in the Vietnam War. The dissociative and hallucinogenic effects were soon widely known, and ketamine’s use as a recreational drug began around the same time.
As the illicit use of ketamine increased, the drug was placed on the list of controlled substances in 1999 as a Schedule III drug. Although the therapeutic potential of ketamine continues to be explored, it’s also viewed with caution because of its potentially addictive side effects.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF KETAMINE MISUSE
People who misuse ketamine take it to feel its hallucinogenic and euphoric effects. However, these feelings come from changes to brain chemistry that can lead to mood disorders. Frequent ketamine use can lead to bladder and kidney issues, memory loss, depression, agitation and stomach pain. The side effects of ketamine misuse include:
- Impaired motor function
- Respiratory issues
- High blood pressure
Since ketamine has very sensitive dosing, it only has a slight difference between a euphoric dose and a lethal one. The risk of ketamine overdose also rises when someone uses it with another substance such as alcohol.
BENEFITS OF GETTING HELP FROM A KETAMINE DRUG ADDICTION REHAB CENTER
An addiction to ketamine negatively impacts your life in many aspects. When you get treatment for your ketamine addiction, you can improve your life by achieving goals such as:
- Mending relationships with family, loved ones and friends
- Rebuilding your life at work, home and school
- Managing your withdrawal symptoms and cravings
- Improving your physical and mental well-being
- Planning for a healthy, productive future
Your ketamine drug rehab treatment center will help you set recovery goals and learn the skills to achieve them.
TREATMENTS AVAILABLE AT A KETAMINE DRUG ADDICTION REHABILITATION CENTER
Treatment for ketamine addiction involves behavioral and medical support to adjust your mind and body to a life without drugs. Everyone has a different experience with addiction treatment. Your care plan might include services, such as:
- Medical services: Some addiction specialists use medication to help patients feel fewer withdrawal symptoms. Your clinic doctor may also recommend treatment for medical issues related to your addiction.
- One-on-one therapy: Individual substance use counseling gives you a space to learn recovery skills. Your therapist helps you set goals and work toward achieving them.
- Group therapy and peer support: Group therapy and other peer support services let you share your experiences with other patients. You will join a community of people who understand the challenges you face in recovery.
Different treatments will work best for different patients. Ketamine addiction treatment may need changes over time to fit your evolving needs.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM GATEWAY’S ILLINOIS KETAMINE DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAM
At Gateway, we provide a personalized approach to drug addiction care services. Allow our addiction treatment professionals to tailor a treatment plan based on:
- Age: We can develop care services that accommodate teenagers, young adults and adults.
- Gender: Our patients can participate in gender-based programs that help patients relate to one another.
- Past experiences: Gateway therapists can provide counseling that accounts for past trauma and substance use.
- Medical history: The medical team at our clinics offers evidence-based treatment for addiction’s physical symptoms and related medical conditions.
- Symptoms: Depending on the nature of your symptoms, we can provide inpatient or outpatient programs.
We use evidence-based practices to create a care plan dedicated to your needs.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU NEED HELP FOR A KETAMINE ADDICTION
The following signs could indicate you, or someone you know has an addiction to ketamine:
- Devoting large amounts of money and time to ketamine
- Having an inability to focus on things other than ketamine
- Feeling uncontrollable urges to use ketamine
- Developing risky behaviors to get and use ketamine
Some people who misuse ketamine also misuse other substances. If you have an addiction to more than one drug, we can build a treatment plan based on multiple substances.
When you visit Gateway for addiction treatment, you get personalized care from a compassionate team. Our multiple sites in the Chicago area make it convenient for patients to get assistance. Schedule your first appointment with us by contacting our team online.