Ketamine is a dissociative drug/ a dissociative anaesthetic that can make you feel relaxed or ‘zoned out’. It can also leave you feeling sedated, and detached, and can relieve pain. You may have heard ketamine being referred to as ‘Ket’, ‘Special K’, ‘K’, ‘Cat Valium’, ‘Vitamin K’, or ‘Purple’. [i]
If you think you or a loved one may have an addiction to ketamine, contact us today to discuss your treatment options.
At Help4Addiction, the key is in the name – we are here to help with your addiction. We can find the right treatment plan and treatment provider for you, increasing the chances of you detoxing from ketamine and preventing relapse.
What is Ketamine Addiction?
Drug addiction is defined as the lack of control over taking or using a drug despite the negative effects it may have on various aspects of your life [ii] – for example, your finances, your physical and mental health, and your relationships.
Someone that is addicted to ketamine may wish to stop using the drug, but struggle to stop – or end up relapsing. In terms of addiction, relapse is when you start taking drugs again after a period of stopping.
Rehab treatment for ketamine addiction at a quality drug rehabilitation centre can be effective in getting you free of ketamine and preventing relapse.
This is because they have a similar chemical structure. This means that prolonged ketamine use can lead to you developing tolerance and physical and psychological dependence on the drug.
Regular ketamine users may feel the need to take more of the drug to experience the desired effects.
You may experience drug withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug and feel the urge to take the drug to soothe the negative or uncomfortable mental and physical symptoms.
Ketamine is used in medical settings by medical professionals, as well as in the veterinary field in veterinary clinics.
Despite this, it is a controlled substance according to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 [iii]- and is placed as a Class B Drug, making it illegal for recreational consumption.
People still use the drug recreationally, and it is known as a party drug. Although it is used in the medical field, it is no less dangerous than other hard drugs – which is why it was moved from a Class C to a Class B drug back in 2014. [iv]
Ketamine Addiction Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms that you may be addicted to ketamine – the main sign being that you struggle to stop using ketamine despite the negative effects it may have, or that you experience withdrawal symptoms when you lower your usual dose or you stop taking it.
However, some other signs and symptoms of ketamine addiction or ketamine use disorder include:
- Bladder pain
- Weak bladder
- Trouble sleeping
- Reddened skin
- Difficulty concentrating
- Unexplained bruises and other injuries from intoxication
- Numbness to physical pain [v]
If these symptoms resonate with you and you are a regular ketamine user, contact us today to discuss your treatment options – and to start your drug-free life.
If you stop taking ketamine or lower your usual dose after developing physical dependence, then you may experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Substance withdrawal can be tough, leaving you with unpleasant physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. It is important to note that many people report physical symptoms when detoxing from ketamine, but this is yet to be scientifically proven.
Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Ketamine withdrawal can be an uncomfortable process – however, it isn’t considered particularly dangerous.
When withdrawing from ketamine, you may experience a range of physical withdrawal symptoms, psychological withdrawal symptoms, and behavioural withdrawal symptoms.
Some psychological and behavioural withdrawal symptoms you may experience include:
- Psychosis or psychotic episodes
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Intense depression
And some physical symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of motor skills
- Hearing loss
Some ketamine withdrawal symptoms can be particularly dangerous – primarily psychological symptoms. This is especially the case if you experience severe depression, as you may experience suicidal thoughts. Residential rehab with a medically supervised detox may be the safest option when detoxing from ketamine.
Inpatient Detox vs Outpatient Detox
The two main forms of detox are inpatient detox and outpatient detox. Inpatient detox takes place at a residential facility on an inpatient basis, where you will be a resident until you have completed treatment.
This means that your accommodation and meals will be provided as part of the package – allowing you to focus solely on your recovery.
If you undergo an outpatient detox, you will detox at home with the support of qualified professionals.
This is usually only recommended if you have a mild addiction and severe symptoms of withdrawal aren’t recommended – although you will still receive the support and tools needed to break the addiction and complete a ketamine detox.
You can find 7-day detox plans, 14-day detox plans, 28-day detox plans, and even longer plans. However, the longer detox plans are generally only recommended for more severe drug addictions – for example, opiate addiction or heroin addiction.
Ketamine Addiction Treatment
If you are thinking of stopping your ketamine use, we can help you find the right addiction treatment for you.
You may wish to undergo treatment on an inpatient basis at a residential rehab centre (inpatient rehab), or you may prefer to remain at home but attend treatment sessions at an outpatient rehab clinic.
At Help4Addiction, we can also find treatment plans if you’re addicted to other addictive drugs. Read on to learn more about the process, from detox to aftercare.
The first stage of ketamine addiction treatment involves detoxing from the drug. This is the stage where you stop being physically dependent on the drug. You may experience ketamine withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable and unpleasant – especially if you quit cold turkey.
The withdrawal process/ detox process can vary in length depending on the severity of your addiction, and other factors such as your height, weight, and substance abuse history.
The ketamine withdrawal timeline varies from person to person, but typically, the most severe symptoms last up to three days. However, chronic users may find that the process takes longer.
During this time, you may experience mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, as well as hallucinations and delusions.
After the first couple of days, the psychological symptoms of withdrawal may continue – which is why the next stage of the rehab process is essential.
Detox only focuses on managing the physical aspect of addiction – withdrawal and intoxication. This stage is aimed at minimising the physical damage of ketamine use – and doesn’t cover the social, behavioural, and psychological issues that ketamine addiction can cause. [vi]
Some people prefer to undergo a medically supervised detox with a medical professional in an inpatient rehab centre. However, others prefer to detox at home.
Therapy is an integral part of ketamine rehabilitation as it can build your confidence and give you a better understanding of your triggers – including the root of your addiction and your triggers.
CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is especially common in ketamine rehab treatment. It is based on the belief that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are linked – and you can break the cycle. [vii]
You may also be offered one to one counselling with a qualified professional, or attend group therapy with other individuals in a similar situation as yourself. Therapy is great at preventing relapse.
After completing a ketamine detox and therapy, you’ll typically continue treatment on an outpatient basis.
This can keep you on the right path and prevent relapse. Some forms of aftercare include group therapy, support groups, and counselling.