ketamine addiction and abuse

Ketamine may able to to take you to a higher place but its effects can be devastating. Misuse of it can cause horrific bladder problems and even death.

The search for an all-time high may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. This drug is an anesthetic that can be legally prescribed for medical use.

In the wrong hands though, it can lead to ketamine addiction and abuse, sometimes with lethal consequences.

Ketamine Addiction Statistics

Because of these properties, it’s been open to serious misuse. It’s known to have been used to make carrying out sexual assaults easier, for example.

Accurate statistics on its use as a date rape drug are difficult to come by. This is because victims may have no recollection of the abuse they have suffered. 

Twenty years ago, ketamine was given the status of a Schedule III non-narcotic substance. This was granted under the Controlled Substances Act.

General Statistics on Addiction to Ketamine

It’s thought that more than two million Americans over the age of twelve took the drug illegally in 2013. It’s proved popular at dance clubs and raves over the past twenty years.

Teenagers and young adults tend to be the most regular users of ketamine.

The Department of Justice’s National Drug Intelligence Center looked into emergency hospital visits linked to ketamine. They noted that those aged between 12 and 25 accounted for almost three-quarters of those visits in the year 2000.

Demographics

Those connected with the medical profession and who have access to ketamine in their work can become abusers. It is because of this that ketamine sometimes reaches the wider community.

The drug also appeals to young casual drug users. This is because it appears in a similar form and is taken in a similar way to other drugs. 

Users who take drugs in clubs say they enjoy it when it’s combined with other types of drugs they are using. 

Ketamine is produced commercially as a liquid or powder. Ketamine crystals can also be formed from the pharmaceutical liquid by evaporation. These are then crushed into a powder.

On the street, ketamine is more likely to be sold in its white powder form. It’s then cut into lines and snorted in a similar way to cocaine.

It can also be scooped onto a tiny spoon with the user snorting what are known as ‘bumps’ of K. It’s often shared amongst groups at nightclubs. It’s also known to come in pill form.

Ketamine can be smoked, often in marijuana or tobacco cigarettes. Liquid ketamine is known to be injected or mixed into drinks.

The drug has popular street names such as Special K, Cat Tranquilizer and Jet K.

Signs of Ketamine Abuse

Ketamine causes users to experience a pronounced feeling of relaxation. It distorts awareness of sound and sight. This makes users feel detached and not in control. It also causes hallucinations. In clubs, it’s often taken with MDMA or ecstasy. 

Some users say they prefer the trip on Ketamine to that of LSD, for example, because the effects are relatively short-lived. These typically last less than an hour, as opposed to a few hours.

When more ketamine is snorted or when it’s injected the user can experience what’s known as a K-hole. It’s described as a near-death or out-of-body trip. Again though, it tends to last a short time, although flash-backs have been reported.

These are some of the most common effects of taking ketamine illegally

  • Hallucinations typically lasting less than an hour
  • Not being able to see or hear normally causing a fuzzy sensation
  • Pain relief and feeling relaxed
  • Forgetfulness
  • An inability to move 
  • A feeling that the mind is disconnected from the body
  • Unconsciousness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 

Am I Addicted?

Frequent use of the drug almost always leads to addiction. Some users have expressed shock at how fast they’ve become dependent on what can be a very dangerous substance.

An addiction to ketamine is hard to beat without help. A user may well want to stop using ketamine. Chemical changes in the brain though can make it very hard to kick the habit. 

Recognition of the addiction by friends or family can be vital. It allows them to stage an intervention when things are spiraling out o control.

Addicts spend their lives feeling totally detached from their environment. Having a normal and productive life becomes an impossibility. Speech and memory will also be impaired. 

Ketamine can cause a person to become delirious and forgetful. They may experience high blood pressure and begin to suffer from depression. 

The signs of ketamine addiction can include

  • An increase in the frequency of use 
  • A continued preoccupation with the next hit
  • Getting into debt by spending large amounts of money on the drug
  • Missing days at work
  • Developing resilience so that more is needed to get the same effects 
  • A disassociation from family and friends 

Dangers of Ketamine Abuse

The anesthetic properties cause the user to feel numb. This can lead to accidents, such as falling down stairs or getting hit by a vehicle.

The result while under the influence can cause serious injury or even death. Users frequently use ketamine as a relaxant after a night out clubbing. They have been known to drown while bathing, for example.

Someone using ketamine can carry on as if nothing has happened because they’ve lost their sensations. This can, in turn, make a bad situation even worse.

Ketamine is unpredictable by nature. It is also often taken in combination with other illegal drugs. These factors make overdoses common. Breathing difficulties are the main cause of death from a ketamine overdose.

If ingested into the stomach, ketamine can bring about serious abdominal pain. 

Ketamine can also provoke severe damage to the bladder and urinary tract. This causes a condition known as ketamine bladder syndrome or ketamine bladder. Most long-term users will end up with some level of damage to their bladder. 

Passing urine can become unbearably painful. Users can lose control of the bladder and incontinence can then follow. The syndrome can also lead to blood being found in urine and ulcers forming in the bladder itself.

In the worst cases, the bladder can get so harmed that it has to be surgically removed. The person will then have to pass urine using a pouch attached to the body.

Ketamine Addiction and Abuse

Getting professional help is vital to recovery from ketamine addiction and abuse.  

We hope you will get in touch so that we can help you select a rehab center that meets all the requirements necessary.