Many drugs with medical uses can be addictive. Ketamine is a drug that doctors have been using during medical procedures for decades. But if people use this drug recreationally, they may become dependent or addicted to it.
Learning more about the risk of Ketamine addiction and what steps to take next may help you or a loved one get the treatment you need to overcome addiction.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that the FDA first approved in 1970. Doctors and veterinarians use Ketamine during procedures that require anesthesia, such as major surgery. Recently, doctors have begun to use Ketamine to manage treatment-resistant depression. The medication has proven to be effective when other prescription drugs have failed to provide relief. Medical experts are also exploring the potential to use Ketamine to treat patients’ chronic pain, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
While Ketamine has many known medical uses, the drug has the potential to lead to addiction. Some people take Ketamine recreationally for its euphoric, sedating, and dissociative effects. When sold illicitly, Ketamine is sometimes called:
- Special K
- Vitamin K
- Cat tranquilizer
People may steal Ketamine from veterinary clinics or obtain it from foreign markets to distribute illegally. Ketamine comes in a white or off-white powder–which is made into capsules, snorted, or smoked–and a clear liquid that can be mixed into drinks or injected.
People who take Ketamine may experience effects similar to those of PCP, including:
- Distorted sensory perceptions
- Feelings of disconnection
- Detachment from pain
Effects can last from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on how the user takes it and other personal factors. People who take Ketamine may be less aware of their surroundings. This can make them more vulnerable to accidents like drowning and hypothermia and more likely to be the victim of assault.
Ketamine is gaining popularity in the U.S., likely in part because it is relatively inexpensive when compared to other illicit drugs like cocaine. Still, only about 0.7% of the US population uses Ketamine illegally.
Is Ketamine Addictive?
People who use Ketamine recreationally may develop a psychological or physical dependence on the drug. Prolonged, heavy, or frequent Ketamine use can cause changes in the brain and body that make it very difficult to stop taking the drug on your own. It’s essential to understand the risk of Ketamine addiction and take steps to find the best drug rehab Denver offers if you need treatment.
Some of the signs of addiction include:
- Needing to take more of the drug to get the same effects
- Spending a lot of time and energy getting, using, and recovering from using the drug
- Neglecting your responsibilities at home, school, or work
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the drug
- Isolating or neglecting your relationships
- Facing legal or financial trouble related to your drug use
- Taking risks while using the drug
- Continuing to use the drug despite serious, negative consequences in your health, relationships, or well-being
Comprehensive addiction treatment can help you understand and overcome the physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects so that you can live the healthy, sober lifestyle you choose.
Find Help Now
If you or a loved one need help to overcome addiction, reach out to the Stout Street specialists today to learn about starting a drug rehab Denver treatment program.