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Is Ketamine Addictive?

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Ketamine is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance. Used as an anesthetic, it provides a feeling of detachment and of being sedated. Many people wonder “Is Ketamine addictive?” Using it does put the user at risk of addiction.

Ketamine is typically sold as a fine white powder. Users ingest it by taking it orally, snorting, or injecting it. 

Why Do People Abuse Ketamine?

Ketamine often gets used as a party drug, providing a feeling of happiness and relaxation. Ketamine’s popularity as a recreational drug started in the 1980s (after being developed in the 1960s), around the same time ecstasy (MDMA) became a commonly used party drug. The two drugs are often used in combination to heighten the experience of being high. 

Club-goers helped popularize Ketamine, using it to help enhance music and lighting in nightclubs, raves, and other dance party events. The use of Ketamine also provides a dreamlike state. This result makes it popular with both high school students and young adults, although people of all ages misuse or become addicted to it. 

Often people, particularly younger ones, do not ask themselves, “Is Ketamine addictive?” Youth and inexperience often keep a person from understanding the risk of using and abusing drugs. 

These individuals sometimes rely on the false idea that because a drug like Ketamine is medical in nature, that makes it safer than street drugs like heroin or cocaine. Yet any prescription or medical procedure type medication should only be administered by a professional and taken at the recommended dosage. 

Some people use Ketamine as a date rape drug. When it is surreptitiously mixed into someone’s drink, it can cause the person to become sedated to the point of being unable to fight off an attacker or to lose consciousness. 

Is Ketamine Addictive?

Ketamine has the potential to be abused and the risk of becoming addicted to this drug makes it dangerous to use outside of a supervised medical procedure.

An FDA-approved drug, Ketamine is used as a procedural sedative or anesthesia. Hospital medical professionals recognize the potential for the risk of addiction. Many veterinarian clinics use the narcotic on animals. Some vet clinics report being robbed by individuals looking specifically for Ketamine.

Side Effects of Ketamine Usage

Like any other drug, side effects may happen when using Ketamine. These can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Allergic reactions, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat
  • Muscles that become stiff or spasm
  • Cognitive confusion
  • Skin rash in the injection area
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular issues, including arrhythmia, bradycardia, heart failure, and cardiac arrest
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Amnesia
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Physical and psychological addiction

Signs of an Addiction to Ketamine

An addiction to Ketamine can show up in a number of different ways.  Some of these include:

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Feeling distracted
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory loss
  • Constant feelings of sleepiness or exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of coordination
  • Pain in the bladder
  • Incontinence
  • Inflamed skin or rash at injection sites
  • Reduced ability to feel physical pain
  • Cravings for Ketamine when not in possession of the drug

Many people experiencing a Ketamine addiction end up neglecting or losing interest in their relationships, work, and social events. They prioritize using Ketamine over obligations to people and life situations. 

As with any drug addiction, a person may become desperate to procure large amounts of their drug of choice. Some Ketamine addicts go into debt, sell their possessions, or steal in order to get money to purchase the drug. The latter puts them at risk of being arrested, fined, and jailed.

Using Ketamine to Treat Depression

In recent years, medical clinicians began testing and using Ketamine in the treatment of depression. Its usage can be applied to people with treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal feelings.

Still lacking FDA approval for the treatment of depression, clinics that offer this treatment exist in only a handful of states and are typically not covered by insurance. 

Supporters of this type of treatment argue that administering Ketamine can offer quick results to those with severe depression or suicidal thoughts. However, one or two treatments will not offer long-term assistance or a cure. 

Ultimately, anyone suffering from depression, suicide ideation, and related conditions needs to enter long-term therapy and other treatment options that address their mental illnesses fully.

While Ketamine may enjoy some success as a treatment for depression and related ailments, asking “Is Ketamine addictive?” in these cases still results in the same answer. The potential for abuse still applies, particularly if a person self-medicates. 

Treatment for Ketamine Addiction Requires Supervision

Those suffering from Ketamine addiction have the option to enter professional treatment programs. Going off Ketamine solo is not recommended, as medical supervision provides the treatment expertise and support a patient needs. 

Withdrawal symptoms from stopping usage of Ketamine can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, sweating, nightmares, tremors, and irregular heartbeat. A residential or detox program can provide medical and psychological support to help a person complete the detox process. Talk therapy offers additional help in dealing with emotions related to becoming sober.

Drug Treatment in Texas

Purpose Driven Recovery offers gender-specific living facilities in Houston. We understand how to treat people new to recovery with access to traditional therapy, intensive outpatient treatment, and sober coaching. Our round-the-clock management ensures you receive the support you need as you learn to manage your recovery and any accompanying mental health issues.

Contact Purpose Driven Recovery by calling us at (713) 266-1507 or click here to email us.

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