8 Facts about Ketamine Use, Abuse and Addiction

You may have heard of ketamine, or special K, but you might not know much about it. Many people associate the drug with a horse tranquilizer because that is what it is currently primarily used for. Developed during the Vietnam War as an anesthetic, alternative to PCP, and as a safer painkiller, ketamine virtually disappeared from hospital settings for nearly two decades. That said, veterinarians still use the drug to put larger animals to sleep while they undergo surgery. Doctors will also employ the drug during surgical procedures in humans who have respiratory problems.

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic which distorts perceptions of sight and sound while promoting the feeling if detachment from the environment and the self. It can cause a person to be unable to move or even speak, let alone realize what is going on around them. This intense dream like state, and the ability to produce amnesia of current events, makes it not only a desired drug of abuse, but also a secondary date rape drug after GHB.

Today, ketamine research is becoming increasingly trendy particularly for its ability to help people who are terminally ill or severely depressed. Outside the world of medical research, ketamine seems to go in and out of trends of abuse. Once more, ketamine abuse is on the rise with interests having been sparked by coverage of the drug on the television and internet. Ketamine is commonly abused in teens and adults under thirty as a rave or club drug; quickly surpassing other substances like LSD, GHB and ecstasy. While it may be a drug that can be useful for medical purposes, it comes with a lot of risk when it is abused. Because many people are not familiar with ketamine, it’s important to understand this powerful and highly addictive drug.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is primarily obtained in the manufactured version which is a clear, injectable liquid. Although using ketamine via injection is the go-to route for medical professionals, abusers of the drug will abstract it turning it into a white, crystal like powder. This ketamine powder is then crushed, snorted and compressed into pills. The time it takes to affect the user will depend on the method of abuse. Ketamine injections can take about 1 to 5 minutes, snorted it takes between 5 and 15 and orally is about 10 to 30 minutes. The most intense effects last for about 1 hour with the obstructions in judgment, coordination and cognitive functioning lasting for up to 24 hours. Street names for ketamine include Special K, K, Kat, Kat Valium, Vitamin K or Kit Kat.

What You Might Not Know About Ketamine

  • Ketamine is used for Medical Purposes

Ketamine produces less cardiovascular and respiratory depression than other drugs like opioids. Emergency medical technicians are not reluctant to use ketamine to calm or sedate out of control patients while transporting them to the hospital, control pain in traumatic injuries where internal bleeding is not recognized or to induce a hypnotic state (for example removing someone who is in pain and trapped in a car crash).

  • Ketamine Could Be Used to Help Depression

Currently, there is research being carried out which suggests when monitored, ketamine could help severely depressed people who are non-responsive to other more formal treatments. When it is used for this purpose, the ketamine will be injected. Research shows that it can decrease the depressive symptoms for up to two weeks. Like any mental health disorder, the individual should attempt to reach the core cause of their depression through different therapies or healing techniques.

  • Illegal Use of the Drug is on the Rise

Since 2010, special K has become one of the most popular club drugs in the U.K., France and the U.S. With ketamine abuse, the drug can cause intense hallucinations and a deep mental trip which is one of the reasons younger generations are opting to use it.

  • A lot of People Believe Ketamine is Not Addictive

Even though ketamine can be classified as a psychedelic, the idea that it is not addictive is just a myth. Ketamine is not only a psychedelic but pain reliever. It is associated with habitual behaviors, cravings, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. When put together, these are the core things which make up an addiction.

  • Effects of Using Ketamine can be Deadly

Ketamine abuse can not only cause delirium, confusion and a manic like behavior, but it can also cause respiratory failure, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, stroke heart attack or coma. As the ketamine tolerance grows and the abuse continues there is a growing risk of overdose and death.

  • The Withdrawal from Ketamine is said to be One of the Worst

Talk to anyone who has been to a ketamine rehab and they’ll likely tell you the withdrawal was absolutely terrible. In fact, addicts who have had more than one drug addiction which includes ketamine have been noted to say the symptoms are unlike those of other substances. This in itself is a primary reason to seek the help of a ketamine treatment program. Many of the ketamine withdrawal symptoms are psychological. Severe depression, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, feelings of isolation or being trapped and suicidal thoughts is all common experiences addicts of ketamine discuss. The intensity of these can be so extreme that the risk of relapsing is high.

  • Ketamine Bladder Syndrome can occur with Repeated Abuse

Regular doses of ketamine can lead to a newly discovered health issue called ketamine bladder syndrome. This is a painful condition which requires long term ongoing treatment. People with ketamine bladder syndrome may struggle to hold urine and develop ulcerations in the bladder.

  • Recreational Use of Ketamine in Asia is Rising Rapidly

In Asia, ketamine abuse is on the rise, and rapidly growing. Countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia have all seen an increase in recreational abuse as well as, hospital room visits due to ketamine overdoses. While many of the local drug enforcement agencies are working hard to decrease this trend, the numbers are proving that it is easier said than done.

Going to Rehab for Ketamine Abuse or Addiction

A ketamine addiction requires the help and support of a well organized treatment program. This is primarily due to the strong psychological addiction which occurs from using ketamine. If you or someone you know has an addiction to ketamine and is ready to go to rehab, contact Serenity Chiang Rai Rehab today.