Ketamine abuse is not widely talked about in the news. It should be understood, however, that just because it does not make the headline news every day does not mean that it is not a very dangerous drug to use and that it is not highly addictive. In an effort to bring attention to the growing problem the American Addiction Center, released a report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) there were 1,150 emergency department (ED) visits due to an adverse reaction to taking ketamine for nonmedical purposes.
Ketamine is a prescription drug known by the brand name of Ketalar. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it is dispensed in 10, 50, and 100 mg per ml injectable formats for use during surgical and other medical procedures. It is a dissociative anesthetic drug that is often used medically as an animal tranquilizer. The drug was first developed to help induce anesthesia in people for medical care. Newer medications quickly replaced this drug that was much safer to use.
What Ketamine Does To Your Body – Part One
On the street Ketamine is known by many names. When used, Ketamine puts you in an almost trance-like state. You are euphoric and feel as if you are not attached to your body. Many people relate this feeling to an “out of body” experience or near-death experience. Ketamine distorts your vision and your hearing and in most cases it causes the body to be unable to move. Ketamine has been used in the past as a “date rape” drug for these properties.
Ketamine works almost instantly, which is another reason that the drug has become very popular on the street. It does not take much effort at all to get high, and the high is not over quickly. People snort, inject, and smoke Ketamine mixed with pot or tobacco.
What Ketamine Does To Your Body – Part Two
People who use ketamine are very susceptible to addiction and overdose. The euphoric feeling that is achieved when used can be more addicting than the physical addiction. Emotional dependency on Ketamine is very common.
However, Ketamine is very dangerous for your body. There are several side effects that are also connected with the use of this drug, especially with the increased dosages that are associated with continual use. Some of these dangerous side effects include:
- Rapidly changing heart rate and blood pressure – either up or down
- Nausea and vomiting –which is dangerous when you cannot move
- Decreased breathing – many people breathe so shallowly that they stop altogether
- Kidney failure – the slowing of all your bodily functions causes toxins to build in your kidneys
- Urinary Tract infections – the use of Ketamine decreases output from your kidneys and allows bacteria to rapidly grow in your urinary tract, leading to serious infections
Amnesia in Ketamine users is very common. When they take the drug they simply forget everything over the period of being high and generally right before they used the drugs. What is very scary about this fact is that the amnesia progresses over time and Ketamine users can get to the point that they do not know where they are, who they are, or what they are doing. This also leads to overdose. This also makes is very difficult to recognize addiction with Ketamine.
When you have completely forgotten that you have taken a drug, it is only “natural” at that point in time if you have an addiction, to want to take that drug. Nearly all Ketamine overdose situations occur because the person using the drug “forgot” that they took some and then took more.
Sadly, another common cause of overdose deaths in relation to Ketamine involved forgetting as well. Many of the documented cases of overdose that involved Ketamine also involved other drugs. The person who had taken the Ketamine forgot they took it and used another drug to get high, or they have memory loss from using the drug and forget when or how much of another drug they have just taken. Either way, the end result is an overdose.
Treatment for Ketamine Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that there are no current medications specifically approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ketamine addiction or reverse an overdose, however, for those suffering from Ketamine addiction it’s important to know that it can be overcome with treatment. Due to the nature of this type of addiction the use of an Addiction recovery center will be most beneficial to the process. A drug rehab that offers in-patient care would be the best choice because this type of addiction recovery needs continual monitoring for a period of time.
The monitoring is not because the physical withdrawals are so hard to cope with. In fact, physical withdrawal from Ketamine is not hard at all. Most people do not suffer any real physical withdrawal symptoms. It is the emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms that need to be managed carefully by a qualified substance abuse counselor.
The emotional need for Ketamine is the real addiction. While you are in rehab, you will learn how to overcome this emotional need for the drug and learn how to take charge of your life again.
The Rehabilitation Process
When a person is in rehab for an addiction of any type, it is the obligation of that rehabilitation center to treat the “whole” person and not just the physical addiction. A quality addiction recovery center helps their clients address all the issues in their life, including their physical health and the reasons that they turned to drug use.
It is very common for a person suffering from an addiction to admit that they use it to escape from a problem. A physical or emotional issue that they feel they cannot manage without the aid of the substance. A drug rehab recovery program help these clients learn what they can do to overcome these problems and move forward with their lives.
Being able to take control of your life and face the issues that have led you to addiction is very powerful. It is the leading reason that recovery works. When a person learns to take control of their lives and themselves, they can move forward with their lives drug or substance free. They now have the power to overcome and change their world.
Facing an addiction can be difficult, especially if you are not completely ready to even admit you have a substance abuse problem. However, everyone should understand that there is help available. There are caring and compassionate drug and alcohol abuse counselors that can work independently with you at an addiction recovery center to help you conquer your addiction and empower you to take control of your new life that is now substance free.