Ketamine Addiction Treatment, Effects & SympToms

Ketamine is a popular party drug used for its disassociate and hallucinatory effects. It can cause long-term cognitive impairment and in severe cases, amnesia.

Introduction to Ketamine

Short for ketamine hydrochloride, ketamine is a fast-acting anesthetic primarily used to treat major depression. It is related to PCP, but only has a fraction of its potency. Illicitly, ketamine is a popular party drug that’s a staple of the club scene. A ketamine high causes hallucinatory effects such as distorted sights and sounds for a dissociative out-of-body experience.

Ketamine is fast and powerful and can take effect in as little as 5 minutes. The initial high typically lasts between 30-60 minutes, but remnant effects such as a lack of coordination and dizziness can persist for up to 24 hours after the last use. 

How Does It Work?

Ketamine blocks HCN1 receptors, but at higher doses can bind to opioid receptors as well. It works by disrupting the neurochemical glutamate which is tied to learning, memorization, emotion, and pain. 

Ketamine is most commonly found as a powder that can be smoked or snorted. It can also regularly be found in liquid form where it is either injected or mixed with other liquids. In either form, ketamine is odorless and tasteless which has contributed to its use as a “date rape” drug.

Ketamine Side Effects

Ketamine’s effects on glutamate receptors pose a significant risk to long-term memory and learning capabilities. It is at its most dangerous, however, when combined with additional substances such as alcohol, caffeine, or other drugs. Existing side effects are amplified and new dangerous symptoms arise.

Short-Term Side Effects

  • Slowed breathing
  • Impaired vision and double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Raised blood pressure

Long-Term Side Effects

  • Ulcers
  • Bladder pain
  • Kidney problems
  • Depression
  • Poor memory or amnesia
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Severe anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Coma

The Best Treatment for a Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine is dangerous in its own right, but because of the high likelihood of it being abused in coordination with other drugs, it poses a significant health risk. While there is no antidote for a ketamine overdose, medical treatment is strongly recommended to intervene with more serious symptoms such as seizures or respiratory failure. An overdose can be fatal, so if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of long-term ketamine abuse, contact us today.

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