Tips for Getting Over Your Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine is one of the few dissociative-type hallucinogens available and is commonly known as the “date-rape” drug. However, when used medically, it is most commonly used as a tranquilizer or anesthetic for animals…

The strong effects of the drug – offering a dissociative experience, relieving pain, and more – make the drug very appealing to some, highly addictive, and very easy to overdose on. The drug actually works by disconnecting the information pathways between the brain and the body. This effect allows the brain to enter an expanded state of awareness, which explains why users report a feeling of being dissociated from their body.

The most common experiences reported during this time include:

  • Numbness
  • Elevated pain threshold – even breaking bones without knowing
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • A sense of floating
  • Hallucinations
  • Changes in time perception

Because of the psychological dependence, it forms with ongoing use, it can be very hard to get over an addiction to this drug. But, like with any drug, it is possible to overcome it.

If you are suffering from a ketamine addiction – or know someone who is – here are a few tips that might help in recovery:

  1. Start by tapering.Over time, the drug gradually incapacitates the brain’s ability to regulate normal body functions. Therefore, the addiction sets in and the brain has begun to rely on the ketamine to regulate and even complete normal body functions.

    When trying to get clean, slowly start tapering off of the drug to allow your body to realize what is going on.

  2. Do a detox.

    Once you have lowered how much you take, it is now time to detox and get off the drug completely. This might be one of the hardest steps but it is vital for returning your body and brain back to normal.

    Enter a detox program and get a set plan for recovery.

  3. Start psychotherapy.It is likely that a part of your detox program will be psychotherapy. Addiction recovery involves understanding the addiction itself and yourself.

    Why did you get into this drug?

    Are there other underlying issues?

    Psychotherapy can help you cope with stress, anxiety, and other behavioral issues that might stem from sobering up.

  4. Get involved in support groups.Nothing helps more than having someone who understands first hand.

    Continue to meet with your support group to continue to stay on your schedule and remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.

    Accountability makes recovery success that much more likely.

Ketamine: Talking to Your Kids About Drugs

As a parent, one major part of our jobs is to have important conversations with our children…

We talk to them about relationships, school, finances, and an array of things associated with growing up. But, another major topic that we must talk to them about and always leave open for discussion is the topic of doing drugs.

Whether we want to accept it or not, there is no doubt that kids will be presented with the opportunity to do drugs at some point. We simply cannot keep our children in a box and peer pressure, unfortunately, is always lurking.

In the day and age of ketamine and several other very strong drugs being used and abused, it is important that we talk to our children about the dangers of these drugs, and ensure they understand the consequences that could arise.

But, sometimes that can be an awkward conversation to have…

You don’t want to be the bad guy or make them feel like you don’t trust them. But, not talking to them about it will only make them more likely to do it. It is worth it to be the bad guy or have an awkward conversation for a minute if it saves their life.

So, when you go to have that discussion with your kids about ketamine and other drugs, here are a few tips:

  1. Talk to them about healthy living.

    Part of wanting to avoid drugs is knowing the healthy life they can live without them. Encourage them to eat healthy, exercise, and take care of their body – including saying “no” to drugs.

  2. Encourage an open-door policy.

    While they most likely will choose not to talk to you about most issues as teens tend to be pretty private, always encourage them to talk to you. Let them know that if they are unsure about something or need some advice, you are always there to lend a helping hand.

    By encouraging them to talk to you, you help increase the chances that they might tell you if something was wrong or they felt tempted.

  3. Remind them of the consequences if they break the rules.

    Of course, jail and addiction are consequences but also remind them of the consequences that poor choices will have just within your home. It is much easier for teens to say “no” when they are well-aware of both the positive aspects of not doing drugs and the negative consequences they could face if they chose to do them.

  4. Give them the power to say “no.”

    Help build up their self-esteem and teach them how to say “no” in an appropriate way. Sometimes, children will say “yes” just because they are unsure of how to say “no.”

The Details on Teens and Ketamine Abuse

Naturally, parents spend quite a bit of their time worried about their kids:

Are they where they are supposed to be?

Are they making the right decisions?

With drugs, alcohol, and several other things out there posing a threat to your children, it can be hard not to continuously worry about their safety. Part of worrying about them though should include being aware of what to worry about so you know the signs that something might be wrong.

One common drug being abused by people today is ketamine:

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative drug, one of the two types of hallucinogens, and is medically used as a tranquilizer or anesthetic – most commonly used on animals. The drug is short-acting, but not many of the long-term effects are known.

The drug was originally developed in the 1960s and was placed on the U.S. list of controlled substances in 1999. To put into perspective the strength of this drug, it is identified as a Schedule III controlled substance – the third-most addictive and dangerous class of drugs.

Why is it appealing?

Well, to teens, most things seem appealing because it is the element of the unknown:

What does it do?

What would it feel like?

But, one specific reason it might appeal to teens is that of the out-of-body experience it provides. Users feel completely dissociated from their body and the world. In addition, they might experience hallucinations.

Another aspect that might make it appealing to teens, but also pose an even greater risk, is that ketamine is known as a party drug. So, while at a party, peer pressure might get the best of your child leading them to try ketamine. But, the danger lies in their reaction…

Ketamine numbs pain so there have been reports of people breaking their leg without even knowing because they couldn’t feel that anything was wrong.

Therefore, your teen could be at risk for hurting themselves or even overdosing – the drug is very strong and easy to overdose on.

Where do teens get the drug?

Commonly, ketamine dealers are seen in the news for burglarizing a veterinary clinic in search of a substance. In some cases, it is also smuggled into the U.S. from England and Mexico.

Once the drug is obtained, it is evaporated into a powder or compressed into a pill and sold at raves, nightclubs, and parties.

Symptoms of Abuse

A few symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Amnesia
  • Memory loss

Ketamine Abuse: Signs and Symptoms

While we might think that we know our children, our spouse, or other people that we love just about as well as anyone could know them, sometimes it can still be hard to see the signs of addiction.

Sometimes, it might be because they are really good at hiding it, other times it might be because we are just naïve and don’t want to believe that it could be true, then again, there are other times where it just is not out in plain sight as much as you would expect it to be.

But, recognizing the signs is an important part of leading them to addiction recovery. You are able to confront them and show them just how it is that the drug is already taking over their lives and changing them.

But, how can you recognize the signs of abuse without knowing what they are?

Typically, most signs of drug abuse are pretty much the same across the board, such as becoming withdrawn – suddenly going from an extrovert to an intense introvert and things of that nature.

But, the signs of ketamine use are extremely pronounced, making them hard to just look over. There is the exception though when it is used in isolation or away from family as it is commonly used at parties.

For the user:

They will experience a distortion of their perceptions, maybe a sort of mellowness (at a lower dosage), they might feel out of control of themselves, or feel dissociated from their body. In addition, they might also experience hallucinations similar to someone who is using LSD.

But, because these symptoms are not long-lasting if used in isolation or at a party, it is possible they recover before you see them again.

However, a few signs they might show if they are abusing ketamine that might be more obvious to you include:

  1. Slowed breathing
  2. Delirium
  3. Amnesia
  4. Nausea
  5. Agitation
  6. Changes in their perception of sound or color
  7. Unusual mellowness
  8. Involuntary muscle movements
  9. Difficulty learning or thinking
  10. Depression
  11. Dissociation from their body or identity
  12. Increased blood pressure for a short time then it slowly drops

In addition to these physical symptoms, guilt is also another symptom which is a mental symptom. They might act very disappointed in themselves. The drug is highly addictive and easy to abuse so it can easily be misused.

Ketamine is very likely to become a psychological dependent drug.

Ketamine 101: What is it?

Ketamine, a medication sold under the brand names Ketalar, is most commonly known for use during procedures to start and maintain anesthesia. Specifically, it is a dissociative anesthetic. However, it is commonly used on animals. But, it has also been used as a “date-rape” drug.

A dissociative anesthetic is a drug that distorts the perception of sound and sight and produces a feeling of dissociation or detachment from oneself and the environment.

The drug comes in powdered or liquid forms and can be injected, snorted, added to joints and cigarettes, or even consumed via a drink. The common anesthetic has been listed on the controlled substance list in the United States since 1999.

But, what are all the details?

Brand Names

  • Ketalar SV
  • Ketanest S
  • Ketalar
  • Ketaset
  • Ketanest

Street Names

  • K
  • Cat Valium
  • Green
  • Super acid
  • Special K
  • Super C
  • Jet

What makes it addictive?

Ketamine offers users a dreamlike state where they feel completely dissociated from their body and might also find it difficult to move. The feeling is similar to that given by its sister drug, PCP.

The drug is easily abused due to its potency – it is more powerful than coke or speed when compared weight for weight. Therefore, this also makes it very easy to overdose on. Its effects also make it popular on the party scene.

Short-Term Effects

Ketamine produces a very abrupt, almost immediate high that continues for about an hour. Just within about 2 to 5 minutes following smoking or swallowing the drug, the high can begin to be felt. However, with injection, the high is much fast, noticeably appearing after only about 30 seconds.

It begins with a feeling of overwhelming relaxation, often described as a buzz being felt throughout the entire body. Some users also describe feeling like they’re floating or feel as if they are out of their body. Many users also report experiencing hallucinations.

But, the higher the dose, the more intense effects the drug can produce. The experience is often described as being in a “K-hole.”

Long-Term Effects

Typically, powdered ketamine is cut with other drugs, so it can be hard to distinguish which long-term effects are specifically from ketamine.

However, one common effect of ketamine is that it relieves pain, so as long as a user is high they have a hard time telling if they’ve injured themselves or not which can lead to severe injury. Some people have even reported breaking their leg because they couldn’t tell that something was wrong.