Ketamine Addiction – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

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Ketamine is a powerful anaesthetic and hallucinogenic substance with potent sedative and hallucinogenic effects that can negatively impact overall health and wellness. Some may use it to escape their worries and stress or to seek pleasure, but it can lead to severe physical and mental health problems. If you are suffering from ketamine addiction, we understand it is a complex struggle that requires support and professional help.

Let us help you learn more about ketamine addiction, the signs and symptoms of ketamine addiction and its treatment, acknowledging the challenges and promoting understanding and healing.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is primarily used as an anaesthetic due to its pain-relieving and sedative properties. However, it’s essential to recognise that ketamine is also misused recreationally, leading to potential risks and concerns.
Powdered ketamine is often snorted, though it may be swallowed. If sniffed, the effects of ketamine generally come on quickly and can last from about 20 minutes to a couple of hours.

History of Ketamine

The unique story of ketamine began in 1956 with synthesising the phencyclidine. As a remarkable monkey anaesthetic, phencyclidine became available for humans after numerous animal-based experimental tests. Unfortunately, the side effects that researchers observed in some patients were concerning. Instead of waking peacefully from anaesthesia, some patients experienced acute emergence delirium lasting hours after their operation was over.

As time went on, ketamine also gained attention beyond the medical community. People discovered its hallucinogenic effects and began using it recreationally. This led to its classification as a controlled substance due to the potential for abuse.

However, it’s important to note that ketamine continued to play a vital role in medicine. It became increasingly recognised for its unique properties in managing pain and even treating depression, particularly in cases where other medications had limited success.

Throughout its history, ketamine has remained a subject of ongoing research and debate. Scientists continue to explore its potential uses and effects on the brain, striving to understand its mechanisms better and refine its applications.

Overall, the story of ketamine is one of complexity and evolution. From its origins as an anaesthetic to its recreational use and subsequent medical discoveries, this substance has left a significant mark on medicine and society.

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In the United Kingdom, Ketamine is controlled as a Class B Drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. It was reclassified from Class C in June 2014. This classification means that possessing ketamine without a valid prescription or supplying it to others is illegal and can result in criminal charges.

The UK government recognises the potential for abuse and harm associated with ketamine. They aim to protect public health and prevent misuse by controlling availability and distribution.

However, it’s important to note that ketamine does have legitimate medical uses and can be prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals. In these cases, it is regulated and administered under strict guidelines to ensure safe and appropriate usage.

Individuals possessing ketamine for personal use can face fines and imprisonment. Those involved in the supply or trafficking of ketamine may face even more severe consequences.

Other Variations

In addition to the standard form of ketamine, other variations of this substance are worth exploring. These variations offer different effects and uses, catering to specific needs and preferences.

One such variation is “S-isomer” or “S-ketamine,” also known as “esketamine.” It is a more recent development and has gained attention for its potential in treating severe depression. Esketamine is administered through a nasal spray or under the supervision of healthcare professionals and has shown promise in cases where other treatments have been ineffective.

Another variation is “Racemic ketamine” or “R-ketamine.” This form consists of a mixture of both “S-isomer” and “R-isomer.” It is the more commonly available form of ketamine and is used for anaesthetic purposes in medical settings.

It’s important to note that these variations of ketamine have specific uses and should only be administered under proper medical supervision. They are regulated substances, and their usage requires adherence to legal and safety guidelines.

When sold illegally, ketamine usually comes as a white or off-white powder. It can also be made into pills or dissolved in a liquid.

How Does One Get Ketamine?

Ketamine can be acquired through various means, and it is essential to approach it carefully and cautiously and ensure you are aware of the potential dangers and risks associated with its acquisition.

One common way people may attempt to purchase ketamine is by connecting with people who may not have their best interests at heart. Meeting such people or dealing with unreliable sources can expose you to significant risks. These encounters can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous, often occurring in unfamiliar or unsafe environments.

Also, there is a risk of obtaining counterfeit or impure substances when purchasing ketamine through unofficial channels. The substance’s quality, potency, or safety is not guaranteed without proper regulation. This lack of certainty can lead to unexpected and harmful consequences for individuals seeking the drug.

Another concerning avenue for obtaining ketamine is through the dark web. Engaging in such transactions carries its own set of dangers, including the risk of falling victim to scams, identity theft, or even legal repercussions.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that ketamine has legitimate medical uses, such as in treating major depressive disorder. However, the abuse of prescription ketamine is a significant concern. Inappropriate use of prescribed ketamine can lead to dependence, substance addiction, and severe health consequences.

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In light of these risks and dangers, it is essential to prioritise personal safety and well-being. Seeking professional help through proper medical channels is the safest and most responsible approach for accessing ketamine, especially for legitimate medical reasons.

Remember, the decision to use ketamine should be made with the guidance of healthcare professionals who can provide appropriate supervision, dosage, and monitoring. They can also help address underlying issues, such as major depressive disorder, through comprehensive treatment plans. However, if you find yourself abusing ketamine, it’s not the end of the line for you. With CATCH Recovery’s comprehensive addiction counselling and relapse prevention treatments, we can help you end substance abuse and get back on track for great achievements and exceptional health.

The Effects of Ketamine: How Does it Make You Feel?

Ketamine can have a range of effects on a person suffering from Ketamine addiction. Let’s delve into the immediate, short-term, and long-term effects of ketamine while also considering the risks of overdose.

Immediate Effects

When ketamine is used, various effects can be experienced immediately. These can include a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and detachment from one’s surroundings. Ketamine can also induce hallucinations and distort perceptions of time and space. Some users may feel dissociated from their bodies, creating a sense of floating or being disconnected.

Short-term Effects

In the short term, ketamine can impact motor function and coordination. You may feel unsteady on your feet, have difficulty moving or speaking, and experience blurred vision. It can also cause confusion, memory loss, and problems with concentration. Additionally, ketamine can produce nausea, increased heart rate, and elevated blood pressure.

Long-term Effects

Long-term ketamine use can have more severe consequences. One potential symptom is a poor sense of smell, especially for users who regularly snort the drug. Ketamine abuse has also been associated with abnormal liver or kidney function, which can lead to organ damage and dysfunction. Another notable concern is developing a condition known as “ketamine bladder.” Urinary problems, frequent urination, and in severe cases, ulceration and scarring of the bladder characterise this condition.

Risk of Overdose

Like any potent substance, ketamine carries the risk of overdose. Taking high doses or combining ketamine with other drugs can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening. An overdose can result in respiratory distress, loss of consciousness, and even coma. It is crucial to exercise caution and seek immediate medical help if an overdose is suspected.

Are You Addicted to Ketamine?

If you or anyone you care about has been using ketamine, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks of addiction. Ketamine addiction can have profound effects on physical and mental well-being. By recognising these indicators, you can take steps towards seeking help and fostering a path to recovery.

Signs of Ketamine Addiction

Identifying whether you or a loved one is addicted to ketamine can be challenging, but understanding the signs can be a crucial first step. Physiological indicators of ketamine addiction may include developing a tolerance to the drug, and requiring larger doses to achieve the desired effects. You may also experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop or reduce ketamine use.

Emotionally, ketamine addiction can lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression, and a preoccupation with obtaining and using the drug. Behavioural changes may become evident, such as neglecting responsibilities, isolating oneself from loved ones, or engaging in risky behaviours to acquire ketamine.

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If you or anyone you know exhibits these signs, it may indicate ketamine addiction. It is essential to approach the situation with empathy and understanding and seek professional help to address the addiction effectively.

Symptoms of Ketamine Withdrawal

For anyone using ketamine regularly, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut down on use is a clear sign of dependence. These symptoms can vary in intensity, including cravings, insomnia, restlessness, irritability, sweating, and headaches. Some individuals may also experience gastrointestinal distress, muscle aches, and depression or anxiety.

It is crucial to remember that withdrawing from ketamine can be physically and emotionally challenging. Seeking support from healthcare professionals or addiction specialists can provide guidance and assistance during this difficult process.

Risk of Overdose

Using ketamine also carries the risk of overdose, which can have severe and potentially life-threatening consequences. Taking large doses of ketamine can lead to respiratory distress, loss of consciousness, and coma. Mixing ketamine with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids, can significantly increase the risk of overdose.

If you suspect an overdose or encounter symptoms like shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, or loss of consciousness, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Prompt medical intervention can be life-saving in these situations.

Social and Economic Effects of Ketamine in the UK

Ketamine, a drug with both medical and recreational uses, can have significant social and economic effects in the United Kingdom.

On a social level, ketamine abuse can lead to strained relationships, isolation, and a decline in overall well-being. Those struggling with ketamine addiction may withdraw from family, friends, and social activities, impacting their support systems and sense of connection. The emotional toll can be immense, with guilt, shame, and losing control over one’s life.

Moreover, the misuse of ketamine can have broader social consequences. It can contribute to increased healthcare costs as individuals seek treatment for the physical and mental health issues associated with addiction. Ketamine abuse can also burden law enforcement and the criminal justice system due to related offences.

With CATCH Recovery’s outpatient counselling programme, we can help you and your community feel safer and more secure when it comes to problems related to ketamine abuse and dependence.

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Economically, the impact of ketamine abuse can be significant. Productivity loss in the workplace due to addiction or related health problems can harm individuals and the wider economy. The cost of treating ketamine addiction and its associated health complications strains healthcare resources. Additionally, law enforcement efforts to combat the illicit use and distribution of ketamine require financial investment.

When addressing the social and economic effects of ketamine in the UK, it is crucial to adopt a compassionate and holistic approach. Prevention and education programmes can play a vital role in raising awareness about the risks and consequences of ketamine abuse. Early intervention, access to addiction treatment services, and support networks can help individuals recover and reintegrate into society.

Furthermore, collaboration between healthcare providers, community organisations, and law enforcement agencies is essential to develop comprehensive strategies that tackle the social and economic challenges posed by ketamine abuse. CATCH Recovery prioritises mental health support at the top of our services. We invest all our experience in the quality of our addiction therapy services. We are also ready to help local communities by promoting research into alternative pain management approaches such as EMDR. We can all contribute to mitigating the negative impacts of ketamine use.

Finding Treatment

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When finding treatment for ketamine addiction, CATCH Recovery offers outpatient services with various therapy options. While we do not provide detoxification or medical support, we can refer anyone to the inpatient services offered by Castle Health, which is part of the same treatment family. Our focus is on outpatient packages and therapies, providing a supportive environment to address and guide people suffering from addiction towards recovery.

CATCH Recovery’s Bespoke Counselling

At CATCH Recovery, we promise to provide compassionate care, kindness, and a collaborative approach to support anyone needing long-term recovery from addiction. We prioritise ongoing support and offer various treatment options for individual needs. Our website outlines cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), group therapy, and relapse prevention strategies. We understand the importance of working together with anyone on their journey to recovery, providing the tools and guidance needed for sustained healing.

Contact us today to learn more about our compassionate treatment options and take the first step towards lasting recovery. Together, we can overcome addiction and build a healthier, happier future.

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