Like many other drugs, ketamine has ‘street’ names – you may have heard ketamine being referred to as ‘Ket’, ‘Cat Valium’, ‘Vitamin K’, ‘Special K’, or simply ‘K’.
Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic that is often used as a party drug, despite being a class B drug and illegal for recreational use in the UK (according to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971). Ketamine is often used in veterinary settings by veterinarians as well as in the medical field as an anaesthetic and analgesic.
However, ketamine can be an addictive substance, and frequent ketamine use may lead to you developing a dependence on the drug. If you think that you or a loved one may be addicted to ketamine, contact us today.
At Help4Addiction, we have relationships with rehab clinics all around England and Wales and can help to find the best treatment centre and treatment plan for you.
Start your recovery journey with us today and call us to discuss your treatment options – and read on to learn more about ketamine addiction and the drug rehab process.
Ketamine, like other drugs and substances such as cocaine, opioids, and alcohol, can be addictive.
This is because it has a similar chemical structure to drugs such as amphetamines or cocaine, and alters your brain’s chemistry in a similar way.
Because of the way that ketamine affects your brain, you may develop a purely psychological dependence on ketamine – meaning you’ll feel the need to take more of the drug to feel the same effects or the desired effects.
In terms of drug addiction, addiction is defined as having a lack of control over taking a substance – despite the negative consequences it may have on different aspects of your life.
This means that if you have a ketamine addiction, you may continue taking the drug despite being aware of the physical health risks, social risks, financial risks, and mental health risks.
Because ketamine is no less dangerous than other hard drugs, it was moved from a Class C to a Class B drug in 2014.
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If you have an addiction to ketamine, chances are, you abuse ketamine. However, one can abuse ketamine without being addicted to it.
Some people use the two terms interchangeably – but substance abuse and substance addiction have different meanings. Substance abuse and substance addiction both fall under substance use disorder.
Ketamine abuse is essentially using ketamine in a way other than recommended. You may become moody or irritable if you abuse ketamine, and you may stop partaking in hobbies that you once enjoyed.
Unlike ketamine abuse, ketamine addiction is a diagnosable brain disease (according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse). Drug addiction is often the result of drug abuse.
If you are a regular or chronic ketamine user, then you may develop a dependence on ketamine in time.
This means that you’ll feel the need to take more of the drug to feel the same effects. If you stop taking the drug, you may experience drug cravings as well as other uncomfortable symptoms.
Ketamine causes a primarily psychological dependence – meaning that you’ll feel the mental effects or psychological effects when you withdraw from the drug.
Although not scientifically proven, some users have reported feeling physical withdrawal symptoms when detoxing or withdrawing from ketamine.
Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and can be affected by factors such as your height and weight, the severity of your addiction, and your history of substance abuse.
Some of the most common ketamine withdrawal symptoms include:
Some of these withdrawal symptoms can be particularly debilitating and dangerous, which is why ketamine rehab is so important.
If you experience severe depression, you may experience suicidal thoughts. This is why many people choose to withdraw from ketamine in a medically supervised environment – for example, a residential drug rehab clinic.
Ketamine withdrawal can be a difficult and uncomfortable experience. Withdrawal symptoms may vary in severity and duration, depending on the length and intensity of ketamine use.
Common withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and cravings for ketamine.
There are several strategies that can help individuals cope with ketamine withdrawal side effects.
One approach is to seek professional support through a medical detox programme, which can provide 24/7 supervision and medical care to help manage symptoms. Additionally, therapy and counselling can be helpful in addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of withdrawal.
Other strategies that may help individuals cope with ketamine withdrawal include exercise, meditation, and mindfulness techniques.
These practices can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve mood. Adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and staying hydrated can also be helpful in managing withdrawal symptoms.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with ketamine withdrawal is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to coping with it. Seeking professional help and support from loved ones can be invaluable in navigating the challenges of withdrawal and achieving long-term recovery.
Ketamine rehab programmes are designed to help individuals overcome ketamine addiction and achieve long-term recovery. There are various types of ketamine rehab programmes available, each with its own unique approach and level of intensity.
Inpatient or residential rehab programmes are typically the most intensive and comprehensive form of ketamine rehab.
These programmes provide 24/7 supervision, medical care, and support in a structured and supportive environment. Individuals are required to live on-site for the duration of the programme, which can range from a few weeks to several months.
Outpatient rehab programmes offer more flexibility, allowing individuals to attend treatment while still living at home and maintaining their daily responsibilities. These programmes may involve group therapy, individual counselling, and other forms of support and treatment.
Other types of ketamine rehab programmes include partial hospitalisation programmes (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programmes (IOPs).
These programmes offer a level of care that falls between inpatient and outpatient treatment and may be suitable for individuals who require more support than outpatient treatment can provide but do not need the intensive level of care offered by inpatient rehab.
When choosing a ketamine rehab programme, it’s important to consider individual needs and preferences, such as the severity of addiction, financial resources, and other factors that may impact the ability to commit to a programme.
Consulting with a healthcare professional or addiction specialist can be helpful in determining the most appropriate treatment programme.
Ketamine addiction can often co-occur with mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions may have contributed to the development of the addiction or may have developed as a result of it.
Dual diagnosis treatment is a specialised approach to addiction treatment that addresses both the addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders.
This type of treatment involves a team of professionals, including therapists, psychiatrists, and addiction specialists, who work together to provide comprehensive care to the individual.
In dual-diagnosis treatment for ketamine addiction, the individual may undergo a combination of therapies, including behavioural therapies, medication management, and other supportive treatments.
The focus is on addressing the underlying mental health issues and providing the individual with the tools and skills they need to manage their addiction and improve their overall well-being.
Overcoming the stigma of ketamine addiction treatment can be a challenging and emotional experience. Many individuals may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help for their addiction, fearing judgement from others or feeling like they have failed. It’s important to remember that addiction is a complex disease that affects many people from all walks of life.
Seeking treatment is a courageous step towards recovery and should be celebrated as such.
One way to overcome the stigma of ketamine addiction treatment is to educate yourself and others about the nature of addiction and the benefits of seeking help.
Surrounding yourself with supportive and understanding individuals, such as friends and family, can also help to ease feelings of shame or embarrassment.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, and there may be ups and downs along the way.
Stay committed to your recovery goals and seek support when needed. With time, patience, and determination, it is possible to overcome the stigma of ketamine addiction and build a healthier, more fulfilling life in recovery.
Aftercare and relapse prevention strategies are critical components of ketamine rehab that can help individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.
After completing a ketamine rehab programme, it’s important to have a plan in place to continue to receive ongoing support, resources, and education to maintain a healthy, fulfilling life in recovery.
One effective aftercare strategy is to attend support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, which provide a supportive community of individuals who are also in recovery from addiction.
These groups can provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and receive encouragement and support from others.
Other aftercare strategies may include individual therapy or counselling, meditation or mindfulness practices, regular exercise and healthy eating habits, and continued education on addiction and recovery.
Relapse prevention strategies may include developing healthy coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness or relaxation techniques, identifying triggers and learning how to manage them effectively, developing a relapse prevention plan, and staying connected with a supportive community.
By continuing to prioritise their recovery and utilising these aftercare and relapse prevention strategies, individuals can increase their chances of long-term sobriety and a fulfilling life in recovery.
Ketamine addiction recovery is a journey that can be challenging but ultimately rewarding. The recovery process often begins with detoxification and withdrawal management, which can be a difficult experience due to the potential for intense cravings and unpleasant side effects.
After completing detox, individuals may enter a variety of rehab programmes, such as inpatient, outpatient, or intensive outpatient, depending on their unique needs and circumstances. Dual diagnosis treatment may be necessary for individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders.
Aftercare and relapse prevention strategies are critical components of long-term recovery and may include ongoing therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes.
By staying committed to the recovery process and utilising available resources and support, individuals can successfully overcome ketamine addiction and build a healthier, more fulfilling life in recovery.
Getting treatment for your ketamine addiction is the best thing you can do. If left untreated, ketamine can present some serious physical health issues and mental health problems.
If you snort ketamine (take it nasally), then you can end up damaging your sinuses and your nasal passageways, ultimately affecting the structure of your nose.
If you inject ketamine, you can end up damaging your muscles, skin, veins, and even your internal organs.
You may also be at a higher risk of blood infections and other infectious diseases. Frequent ketamine use can also lead to heart attacks, organ failure, and even death.
However, it isn’t just your physical health you need to worry about. If you don’t undergo ketamine addiction treatment or stop ketamine use, then your ketamine use can result in irreversible psychological impairment, affecting your memory and thought processes.
At Help4Addicton, we can find you the right treatment for ketamine addiction for you and your circumstances.
With clinics located around England and Wales, we can help you to find your local drug rehab centre for ketamine addiction if you wish to seek treatment for drug addiction.
Professional treatment is almost always recommended for ketamine addiction treatment – and detoxing from ketamine cold turkey can be dangerous.
Although different rehab clinics may have different systems in place, almost all drug treatment centres follow the same structure.
The rehab treatment process usually begins with detox, then therapy, and finally, aftercare/ secondary treatment.
Ketamine detox can be difficult but is generally made easier when you’re in the right environment.
During this stage, you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms – chronic users especially. However, the ketamine detox process is a crucial part of the ketamine addiction treatment process.
Unlike the rest of the ketamine rehab addiction treatment process, detox focuses primarily on the physical aspect of addiction – more specifically, withdrawal and intoxication.
The detox process alone doesn’t focus on the social, psychological, and behavioural aspects of ketamine addiction.
Once you have successfully detoxed from ketamine, you will undergo rehab therapy – typically with an addiction specialist, a qualified counsellor, or a psychiatrist.
Depending on your rehab centre of choice, you may be offered individual therapy on a one to one basis or group therapy.
Therapy can teach you valuable coping mechanisms, as well as give you a further understanding of your addiction (e.g your triggers, the root causes, etc). A common form of therapy in rehab is CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy.
If you attend a private rehab, you may be offered holistic therapies such as sports therapy or art therapy.
Your treatment won’t usually end as you leave the rehab centre – you may wish to continue your treatment on an outpatient basis, whether it be by attending support groups, group therapy, or further counselling with addiction counsellors.
Secondary treatment can streamline the recovery process. Aftercare can be effective in not only helping you break free of your addiction but helping you to avoid relapse – ultimately living a healthy and drug-free life.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.
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