Ketamine is a common prescription medication that is primarily used in the treatment of post-surgical pain. The drug also causes sedation and a trance-like state. It is these effects that might compel you to start abusing it.
Also known as Vitamin K, Special K, and K, Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic medication. When you take it, it will cause you to feel detached from your body. For this reason, doctors often use it in veterinary medicine. You may also start abusing it while seeking the detachment that it creates.
The drug is available in various forms, such as a white powder, liquid, and pills. It offers such powerful dissociative effects that some people also use it as a date rape drug. If you abuse this drug, it will cause you to hallucinate and experience auditory and visual disturbances.
Since Ketamine is an anesthetic, it may also cause you to experience a reduction in physical sensations as well as temporary paralysis. This means that you would ideally be awake but not able to talk or move your limbs.
Ketamine is also similar to LSD in the sense that it provides effects that are unpredictable and varied. It could, for instance, induce euphoria and hallucinations - although the latter might turn out to be frightening. If you mix it with another depressant like heroin and alcohol, the drug combination will intensify your dangerous of suffering fatal respiratory depression.
Due to the sedating effects that it provides, Ketamine is commonly referred to as a dissociative anesthetic drug. It can produce out of body experiences where you feel that you are detached from yourself and your surroundings.
The drug can also distort your perceptions of sound and sight as well as make it difficult for you to move. If you take it in high doses, you may suffer a near death experience or utter bliss.
Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration - the DEA - classified Ketamine as a schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This effectively means that it can cause physical and psychological dependence even though it has some medical uses.
Other Names for Ketamine
Ketamine is a generic name for the Ketalar brand name drug. On the streets, it is also known by many different names among people who are trying to avoid detection by law enforcement officials and other authorities. Examples of these street names include but are not limited to:
- Cat Valium
- Kit Kat
- Special K
- Special La Coke
- Super Acid
- Super K
- Vitamin K
Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction
Abusing Ketamine could lead to the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction. After you have become addicted to it, you will find that it is increasingly difficult for you to stop your substance abuse. Other signs and symptoms of Ketamine addiction include:
- Antsy behavior
- Becoming obsessed with your next dose of ketamine
- Bladder pain
- Building up tolerance to the drug, meaning that you need to take more of it to feel its effects
- Cravings for this drug
- Desire to limit your ketamine use but not being able to achieve this goal
- Difficult breathing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Failure to keep up with your responsibilities at school and work
- Feelings of detachment
- Frequent distraction
- Ignoring your obligations and responsibilities so that you can continue abusing the drug
- Impaired ability to learn or think clearly
- Increasing the volume of ketamine that you use
- Lack of control over your ongoing ketamine use
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of coordination
- Memory impairment
- Mood changes
- Neglecting your friends and family so that you can abuse the drug
- Problems with relationships
- Rapid eye movements
- Reduced ability to experience physical pain
- Skin redness
- Slowed breathing
- Slurred speech
- Social, legal, and monetary consequences due to ongoing ketamine use
- Spending a great deal of your money and time trying to get and abuse the drug
Short and Long-Term Effects of Ketamine Abuse
Since it is a dissociative hallucinogenic tranquilizer, this drug can cause you to suffer a full body that could result in intense relaxation. Often, this initial high will last for about a hour.
If you take Ketamine in high doses, it could lead to K-hole, an effect in which you feel an out of body or near death experience. During this effect, you could feel that you are detached from reality, number, and more.
Other effects that you may experience when you abuse this drug include:
- Bladder problems
- Distorted perceptions of sound and sight
- Elevated heart rate
- Flashbacks of hallucinations
- High blood pressure
- Impaired cognitive function
- Impaired judgment
- Impaired motor function
- Kidney issues
- Long-term difficulties with cognition
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of mobility
- Memory loss
- Muscle rigidity
- Muscle weakness
- Psychotic episodes
- Respiratory distress
- Respiratory failure
- Sleep problems
- Slowed movement
- Slurred speech
If you overdose on Ketamine, it means that you would have taken such a high dose of the drug that your body cannot cope with the experiences that you are going through. This could lead to the following symptoms:
- Involuntary muscle twitches
- Respiratory depression
- Slurred speech
- Stopped breathing
- Stumbling like you are drunk on alcohol
This condition could lead to fatal outcomes, especially as a result of respiratory depression. For this reason, it is recommended that you call 911 or your local poisons control center as soon as you realize that you may be overdosing on Ketamine.
Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms
You can prevent yourself from ongoing Ketamine abuse by going through detox. This means that you will stop or significantly reduce your use of this drug until you get to a point where you no longer need it.
However, you need to realize that Ketamine can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. This is because you would have become tolerant to its effects and your bodily systems will not be able to cope or continue functioning normally unless you use this drug.
Examples of these withdrawal symptoms include:
- Double vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of motor skills
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart beat
One of the most significant risks that you stand to suffer while withdrawing from Ketamine is that you may experience depression. This condition could increase your risk of suicidal ideation and actions - that may eventually lead to death. For this reason, it is recommended that you seek medical detox services to ensure these withdrawal symptoms are properly managed.
The Best Options for Ketamine Addiction Treatment
Ketamine abuse and addiction are serious issues that require medical attention. If you have been taking this drug in high doses whether for a short or a long period of time, it is recommended that you check into an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program.
The substance can make it difficult for you to continue functioning normally in your daily life. It can also lead to significant health effects in the long term. In particular, the drug could increase your risk of kidney pathology and urinary tract infections, as well as neurocognitive impairments related to memory.
Today, there are two main forms of addiction treatment available for Ketamine abuse. The first is inpatient addiction treatment. It would be the right option if your Ketamine addiction is severe, long standing, and/or accompanied by other co-occurring addictions and medical and mental health disorders.
You can also opt for outpatient drug rehab. This form of treatment is ideal if you have a mild or relatively new substance use disorder involving Ketamine and you have not been diagnosed with any other co-occurring disorder.
Both of these forms of treatment will provide you with a wide variety of recovery services. These include individual and group counseling, 12 step support group meetings, medication management, detox services, and aftercare planning. All these services can help you overcome your Ketamine abuse and addiction in the long term so that you turn your life around from this drug to normal, productive, and fulfilling living.