Ketamine, also known on the street as Special K, Vitamin K, or Kit Kat, is a drug that is used legally as an anesthetic and painkiller. It is used primarily by veterinarians but is also occasionally used with humans. Research is being done currently on whether ketamine could have wider uses, such as potentially effective treatment for mental health issues such as treatment-resistant depression or suicidal thinking. Beyond research studies, some individuals are beginning to use ketamine in an attempt to treat their mental health issues on their own, which is dangerous as ketamine is a controlled substance that can result in dangerous consequences if not used in a clinical setting with oversight from medical professionals. When someone is using ketamine illegally, they are often using it for the hallucinogenic effects.
The Basics of Ketamine Use
When used in professional medical settings, ketamine is injected in a liquid form. When sold illegally, it is typically in powder form and snorted or mixed into drinks. When this drug started to become a club drug in the 1990s and people began to participate in ketamine misuse, one of these unfortunate misuses was as a date rape drug. The anesthetic effects of ketamine render someone unable to defend themselves from the advances of an unwanted sexual encounter.
The effects of this short-acting drug depend on individual factors, including other types of simultaneous drug use, as well as the dose used. Low doses typically make an individual feel a buzz and/or enter a trance-like state, however, high doses can cause adverse effects such as loss of consciousness, temporary paralysis or stumbling, high blood pressure, respiratory depression, memory loss, or extremely intense and traumatic hallucinations.
Effects of Long Term Ketamine Abuse
Ketamine is meant to be a short-term anesthetic drug used by licensed medical professionals only. When individuals abuse ketamine long term, they take lots of risks including developing a tolerance for the drug, eventual drug addiction, drug abuse of other substances, and ketamine withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it. Long-term ketamine abuse can lead to more general mental health issues as well as physical health issues.
Mental health effects are dramatic and can include cognitive decline, memory issues, and persistent and distressing flashbacks. Most of these symptoms can be improved with proper ketamine addiction treatment in a drug rehab such as those with Archstone Behavioral Health, but the hope of improvement does not mean that treatment should wait; someone who has ketamine addiction should seek treatment immediately so their condition does not worsen. If someone has a pre-existing mental health disorder, they are more likely to experience these adverse symptoms and at higher intensities.
Ketamine abuse can also lead to physical effects which someone likely does not anticipate when they use the drug. Changes involve vision difficulty as well as damage to major important organs in the body including the heart, bladder, and kidneys. Ketamine increases the likelihood of someone developing ulcerative colitis, which means that due to ketamine abuse, someone could be left with chronic pelvis pain.
Residential Treatment for Ketamine Addiction
Due to the withdrawal symptoms associated with long-term ketamine use, attending a residential program including medically assisted detox is important. Ketamine abuse treatment includes the monitoring of these withdrawal symptoms during medical detox by a qualified healthcare provider. Some of the symptoms that need to be addressed might also be related to behavioral health conditions such as depression or anxiety. Attending treatment programs that are inpatient also gives the addiction professionals the opportunity to work with patients on other substance use disorders, as drug and alcohol issues are not usually limited to only one substance.
Numerous Treatment Options for Ketamine Addictions in Lantana
Within ketamine treatment centers such as ours, in addition to inpatient treatment, outpatient programs are also offered. The team consisting of the patient, trained addiction professionals, and family if desired, always work collaboratively to create a treatment plan that will work best for the patient. For example, perhaps an outpatient program would work best for the individual due to their financial situation, or maybe an outpatient program would be desired after the patient graduates inpatient treatment. This is an example of the great continuum of care that is offered for those experiencing this type of substance abuse; many individuals find themselves needing additional support such as relapse prevention or continued group therapy beyond the initial treatment. At treatment centers such as ours at Archstone Behavioral Health, we know that the patient and their family know their situation best.
If you have further questions about getting help for yourself or a loved one who needs ketamine abuse treatment, please contact us to speak to a qualified admissions representative, who can explain the treatment process to you in more detail.