When people go to clubs or parties, they might experiment with drugs to elevate their experience. One type of party drug is ketamine. While some people might think that trying ketamine can make their party-going experience more enjoyable, it creates the potential for misuse and addiction.
Ketamine addiction can have disastrous effects on an individual’s life. Regular use of ketamine has many severe side effects, and addiction to any substance can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.
Ketamine is a Schedule III substance, meaning it has medical applications but also a risk for addiction or misuse. Ketamine is a hallucinogenic drug with dissociative effects, and recreational use is increasing in popularity, particularly among teens or young adults. When a person becomes addicted to ketamine, they have a physical and psychological dependence on the substance. However, ketamine has a lower risk for physical addiction than psychological.
Ketamine use is dangerous since it can increase the risk of aggressive or reckless behavior, such as sexual assault, falls or accidents. Combining ketamine with other substances, such as drugs or alcohol, can increase its side effects and the risk of overdose. If a person becomes addicted to ketamine, it has a short- and long-term impact on the brain and body. Even a single dose has the potential to be fatal in specific circumstances, but the risk increases from long-term use.
Ketamine is used in medical practices as a pain-reliever or an anesthetic, even though it’s not considered a tranquilizer. Ketamine is also used for treatment-resistant depression and is often combined with other antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Ketamine can help people with mood disorders who haven’t found success with other forms of treatment, such as therapy or medication.
People who use ketamine recreationally often use it in party or club settings. There are many ways people can administer ketamine, including injection, snorting, orally, smoking, mixing it into drinks or vaporizing the drug. People who use ketamine recreationally often chase the euphoric high, hallucinogenic or dissociative effects.
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Ketamine will affect each person differently, and the signs or symptoms can vary based on dosage, where they took the drug and a person’s history with the drug. If you or someone you love consumes ketamine regularly, they may be addicted to it. Other signs of addiction include various behavioral changes, such as:
When a person uses ketamine, they’ll also experience physical symptoms. The symptoms will vary depending on how long a person has used the drug and their usual dose. Common ketamine addiction symptoms include:
Many of these symptoms can impact a person’s quality of life, making it harder to escape from ketamine addiction. If you notice any signs or symptoms of ketamine addiction in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to seek professional treatment.
Ketamine has a high potential for addiction, and regular use can quickly become an addiction. Ketamine alters chemicals in the brain and takes over the reward system. A person may develop a physical dependence on the substance after continued use, but the psychological dependence is much stronger. Ketamine addiction causes can vary but often include:
When people try ketamine for the first time, they may become hooked on its euphoric, hallucinogenic or dissociative effects. They’ll continue to use ketamine to achieve the same effect, which will create a physical and psychological dependence on the substance. Once the body relies on the substance, the altered brain chemicals and withdrawal symptoms can be enough to encourage continued use until it becomes a full-fledged addiction.
Certain individuals have a higher risk of becoming addicted to ketamine than others. Risk factors for addiction include:
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If you or someone you love is struggling with ketamine addiction, there will be some telltale signs, such as an inability to control your use or intense cravings. People addicted to ketamine may also have difficulty keeping up with their social life and responsibilities. The more someone uses ketamine, the more intense and noticeable these signs will become.
If ketamine has affected your or a loved one’s quality of life, it’s time to seek treatment. Signs that your quality of life has been affected by ketamine addiction include:
It can be challenging to quit the drug on your own since ketamine has a strong psychological effect once it rewires the brain’s reward system. When you try to quit alone, you’re likely still surrounded by many triggers that can cause cravings, and without the proper coping mechanisms, it can be challenging not to give in to temptation.
The best way to overcome ketamine addiction is to seek treatment from an addiction specialist at a professional treatment facility. These specialists have the knowledge and experience to help you safely detox from ketamine. They’ll also provide you with the necessary coping skills to overcome triggers and uncomfortable situations or feelings when you reenter sober society.
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While overcoming a ketamine addiction can be challenging, it’s possible with expert help. If you’re using ketamine alongside other substances or have a co-occurring mental health disorder, you’ll be treated simultaneously for each condition.
Various types of treatment are available for ketamine addiction, including inpatient and outpatient treatment. The treatment you’ll need will depend on your circumstances, such as how long you’ve been taking ketamine, the intensity of your cravings and your environment at home.
Inpatient treatment means you’ll reside at the addiction rehabilitation facility for the duration of your treatment. Residential inpatient treatment is best for people who need assistance with withdrawal management or those who live in a home with others who use alcohol or drugs.
Residential treatment allows you to recover in a sober environment with medical care available 24/7. When you’re staying at a treatment facility, there’s no chance for you to relapse, allowing your body to detox entirely from all toxins. While you’re there, you’ll also undergo other treatments, such as group or individual therapy. You’ll also have a structured routine to follow, which means fewer decisions to make throughout the day. A daily schedule will allow you to focus on your treatment rather than thoughts about using ketamine.
Outpatient treatment programs are similar to inpatient programs, but the main difference is that you’ll return home at the end of your treatment. Some outpatient treatment programs will keep you at the facility for the whole day, while others will be a few hours of treatment multiple days of the week. The amount of treatment you’ll need will depend on your circumstances.
Many people prefer outpatient treatment due to its flexible nature. You can seek treatment while still keeping up with your outside responsibilities. For example, if you have a child at home, you can come in for treatment while they’re at school and make it home in the afternoon to care for them.
Outpatient treatment has many of the same treatment programs as inpatient treatment. You’ll have access to various therapies, but you won’t have the same access to medical supervision as people in inpatient care. However, outpatient care can still be a good option if you live in a sober environment at home and can manage your triggers outside of treatment.
Regardless of whether you’re in an inpatient or outpatient program, you’ll participate in similar types of therapy. Since ketamine has a significant impact on a person’s psychological help, treatment for ketamine addiction predominantly focuses on healing the mind through psychotherapy. Therapies for ketamine addiction include:
You’ll participate in a combination of treatments while recovering from ketamine addiction. The goal is to help you understand what made you start using ketamine in the first place and why you’ve developed an addiction to the substance. With a deeper understanding of yourself and your addiction, you’ll be able to overcome your psychological dependence on ketamine and improve your quality of life. You’ll also have the skills to cope with cravings or uncomfortable feelings to prevent a relapse.
Receive high-quality care for ketamine addiction from Gateway Foundation, one of the nation’s leading rehab facilities. With 16 locations in Illinois to choose from, you can find a nearby treatment center to start your recovery process.
When you first begin ketamine addiction treatment, you’ll receive a professional assessment before starting official treatment. A professional will ask you questions about your ketamine use. They may ask you if you’re currently under the influence, when you used ketamine last, how often you use the drug and when you started using it. Questions like these help addiction specialists create a personalized treatment plan that would benefit you the most.
You’ll also be asked about your behaviors that could indicate an addiction. For example, they may ask about your relationships or work habits. Being honest during this process is essential to curate your treatment to your specific needs.
You might also have to take a urine or blood test during the assessment process to determine how much ketamine is in your system. A professional will also evaluate your mental health to determine if you have any underlying conditions requiring simultaneous treatment.
Once you’ve completed your assessment, you’ll start the withdrawal management process. Withdrawal management is possible in inpatient and outpatient programs, but it’s easier to achieve in an inpatient program where you can be supervised. Detoxing from ketamine will allow you to focus on your treatment and learn how to manage your triggers and cravings.
Withdrawal management will help you manage the uncomfortable feelings as ketamine leaves your body. You may also be provided medication to help you feel safe and comfortable. Medication-assisted withdrawal can also help you start treatment sooner since you’ll feel more relaxed than overwhelmed by withdrawal symptoms.
During withdrawal, you’ll be monitored by medical staff on a 24/7 basis, ensuring you’re as safe as possible. A physician will also direct your care, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the most professional care possible.
As you’re detoxing from ketamine, you’ll participate in various treatments to help you understand the underlying cause of your addiction and learn skills to manage triggers and cravings. There are multiple types of addiction therapy, including:
The last part of the process is aftercare planning. Once you finish official treatment and reenter sober society, you’ll have to manage your triggers and cope with challenging situations. You’ll learn how to cope with these circumstances in therapy, but aftercare planning can help you create a specific outline for handling these situations.
You’ll work with a professional to create a detailed aftercare plan specific to your needs. You’ll outline your triggers and ways to avoid them or manage your feelings if you cannot prevent the situation. Your aftercare plan should also include the names and contact information of people you can call when you need help or feel like you might relapse.
An aftercare program might also include a 12-step support program. These programs allow you to meet with others in recovery and discuss your challenges and concerns or ask questions. Connecting with others who share your experiences can help you validate your emotions and find support from people who understand what you’re going through. These support programs are a lifelong resource to help you remain successful in your recovery from ketamine addiction.
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Addiction can be challenging to overcome, but professional addiction specialists at rehab facilities are equipped to handle your every need to help you take control of your addiction and adjust back to sober living. Many people seek professional help due to the many benefits treatment facilities offer. Some of these benefits include:
Treatment for ketamine addiction can be confusing if you’ve never sought addiction treatment before. Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about ketamine addiction treatment to help you understand what you can expect and where to start.
People will seek treatment at different stages of addiction. If using ketamine starts to affect your life negatively, you should seek treatment. Using ketamine regularly can affect your physical and mental well-being on top of other aspects of your life, including your personal and work relationships.
Various medications are used in medication-assisted detox to make you more comfortable during withdrawal. Different drugs used in detox include:
Each of these medications has different effects. Naltrexone is often used to make taking ketamine and other drugs less appealing. Buprenorphine is prescribed to help reduce cravings and make withdrawal symptoms more comfortable. This medication can also trick the body and mind into thinking you’re still consuming ketamine or other drugs so you can clear the toxins from your body.
When you go in for your assessment, an addiction specialist will help you determine what medication is proper for you. If you’re taking any other medications for other health conditions, inform your specialist so they can prescribe you a medication that doesn’t interact with anything you’re currently taking.
Many people are concerned about the rehab costs, especially since inpatient care has upfront costs. The good news is that most insurance providers cover most rehab costs. In the United States, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires insurance providers to offer the same coverage for mental health or addiction conditions as physical conditions.
Different providers will have limitations on their coverage, so you should know what your provider covers and what you’ll be required to pay out of pocket. However, you can assume that you’ll have some coverage if you have an insurance policy.
A day in treatment will look different for each person, depending on their personalized treatment plan. Some people require different levels of care, such as inpatient treatment, while others participate in an outpatient program.
If you’re participating in an inpatient program, your day will look similar to others residing within the facility. You’ll have a set time to wake up in the morning and a time to be in bed.
During the day, you’ll have a set schedule filled with therapy and other forms of treatment. Addiction specialists will ensure that all activities and treatments are engaging and informational to help you understand yourself and your addiction. The structured schedule will help you keep your mind off negative thoughts and uncomfortable feelings while building a new set of healthy habits.
If you’ve decided to take the first step and seek treatment, you can get started by reaching out to an addiction treatment facility or specialist. At Gateway Foundation, we make first-time treatment as simple as possible so you can get the help you need without confusion. Our team of specialists can walk you through the process and answer any questions you might have about treatment. They’ll also recommend what type of treatment would be best for you.
If you or a loved one is struggling with ketamine addiction, you’re not alone. Many people just like you have found success in professional treatment. Overcoming ketamine addiction is essential for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. If you’re ready to take the first step towards recovery, Gateway Foundation is here to help.
We offer multiple levels of care and support, regardless of whether you choose inpatient or outpatient care. You’ll have access to various services and treatments to help you reclaim and improve your life. Contact us today to learn more about our services and find relief from ketamine addiction in Chicago, Illinois.
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