For many years, Ketamine has been used as a substitute for anesthesia and most recently for depression.
In this article, we’re going to talk about its abusive properties and how it can be addictive.
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a chemical substance that produces a relaxed state of mind for many people. This drug is used in various settings such as human medical trials and in the field. Also very common is its usage in the veterinarian field. Since the 1970s, this drug has been a powerful prescribed medication. However, it’s also quite powerful and addictive if you are not careful.
Ketamine’s effects work by binding with opioid mu and sigma receptors in your brain. This causes a distortion in the perception of reality and if performed outside a medical procedure, can be quite dangerous.
Alongside its mental alterations, it can also have physical consequences as well.
Recently in 2019, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved this drug as a treatment for depression. For many years doctors had been prescribing the chemical substance as a strong alternative for an anti-depressant. It seemed like the best option in certain medical situations. After many years of careful research, it is now an official treatment. The reason it took so long to be qualified as a treatment was due to its addictive properties. The FDA recognized the need for strong and effective additional treatment for depression.
Ketamine And Abuse
Its soothing properties lure many people into abusing the drug to feel better and to seek new highs. Its dissociative effects are quite strong and lead you to experience hallucinations. These hallucinations can be both visual and auditory. For many years, this drug has been used as an anesthetic; therefore, people who abuse the drug tend to feel reduced physical sensations. This leads them to feel temporarily paralyzed and unable to interact with their surroundings. When under the influence, you may experience signs of:
- Mood swings
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Dissociation from real life
Long-term use effect on the body includes bladder pain and recurrent urinary tract infections. The name of this condition is ketamine bladder syndrome. It can also produce incontinence.
Ketamine acts similar to other dissociative drugs such as PCP and LSD as they have dangerous short and long-term effects on the brain. Many of the symptoms of addiction are aggressiveness, violence and acting psychotic at times.
Why Is It Addictive?
Ketamine users are known to feel euphoria, along with feeling like they are floating or having an “out of body” experience. Hallucinations are commonly experienced. These effects are desirable for many people which is why ketamine can be addictive. Like other forms of hallucinogens, ketamine seems quite interesting to many. Many people like to mix this drug with other substances such as marijuana, alcohol or heroin.
Mixing various substances with ketamine can result in an intense withdrawal phase. Overdosing is possible since the body can only take so much abuse at a time. For anyone who has strong cravings for ketamine, it is best to seek proper medical care as soon as possible.
The withdrawal symptoms associated with Ketamine are uncomfortable. Quitting the drug can produce harmful imbalances in the brain. This can lead to serious consequences of not being able to perceive reality or having issues with their immediate environment. People in these situations are more prone to stress and pain caused by the psychological withdrawal.
Many people fail to overcome addictive behavior because they detoxed on their own without medical supervision and support. The notion of quitting cold-turkey is the best and the simplest way to go often results in drug relapse. While that may seem like the best option on paper, it is actually dangerous.
Long-term substance abuse of drugs results in dependency on the substance. This prompts your central nervous system to need regular intake constantly. When you cease your daily consumption of the drug, your body responds by producing withdrawal symptoms that can be frightening and uncomfortable.
This is why medical detox treatment programs help with managing the physical and psychological aspects of substance abuse withdrawal. Medical detox programs rid the body of chemical toxins and incorporate medication that helps ease the withdrawal phase. Follow-up medical detox with outpatient or inpatient therapy programs to ensure you won’t relapse or have a stronger addictive issue moving forward.