Club drugs exist in the shadows of the drug world. They’re seen neither as benign as marijuana nor as pressing of a concern as the opioid epidemic that dominates the news. But, they can still be deadly and addictive.
Ketamine, also known as Special K and a host of other nicknames, is one of the most popular club drugs. Amongst this class of drugs, it is the third most prevalent among 12th graders in the U.S. who used club drugs in the past year. Teens only used LSD and MDMA more often.
In the U.K., there were 23 deaths reported from ketamine overdose between 1993 and 2006. Many of those deaths also involved other substances.
Since ketamine is so often overlooked, it’s especially important to know how to treat ketamine addiction when it rears its ugly head. There are options for ketamine users when they own up to having a problem and start to seek help.
Let us lay out these options for you. Here is what treatment for ketamine addiction looks like and how it differs from treatment and rehab for other addictions.
Inpatient treatment is a particularly intense and direct form of addiction treatment. It’s typically associated with addiction to the hardest drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. But ketamine addicts can also benefit from inpatient treatment.
This is what ketamine inpatient treatment looks like.
What Is Inpatient Treatment?
Ketamine addicts live at inpatient treatment facilities when they choose this form of treatment. These facilities employ doctors, nurses, and other therapeutic professionals. They pay close attention to the symptoms of withdrawal in the early stages of detox.
There is a still a lot that isn’t known about ketamine. The detox itself is among the murkier aspects of ketamine addiction.
Ketamine is usually completely out of the addict’s body within 24 hours of their last dose, however, psychological cravings are a big part of ketamine addiction and can persist weeks and even months after the drug has left an addict’s body.
The physical withdrawal symptoms of ketamine can include any of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Anxiety and depression
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
These symptoms can last anywhere from 24 hours to several days. Because of the intensity of some of these symptoms, some treatment teams recommend tapering off ketamine rather than quitting the drug cold turkey. When tapering, the detox period lasts longer than just a few days.
Standard Length of Ketamine Inpatient Treatment
The length of an inpatient treatment program is highly variable. Some last 30 days. Others can last months.
Ketamine is a strong psychological addiction as well as a physical one. It’s important to choose a treatment program that lasts long enough and includes the holistic support necessary to address all facets of the addiction.
Detox is important, but so is learning healthy coping skills and addressing psychological issues in therapy.
Whatever length of treatment you choose, make sure to follow it with some form of aftercare. That can take the form of individual therapy, participation in recovery groups, or formal outpatient treatment.
Outpatient treatment gives ketamine addicts the tools to address their addictions in the context of their everyday lives. They can attend these programs while maintaining their commitments to their jobs, families, and communities.
What Is Outpatient Treatment?
A ketamine addict still has a large support team in outpatient treatment. But, they meet with the members of this team less often than they would in inpatient treatment. In fact, they set their own treatment schedule, since they live at home and not on-site at a treatment facility.
Because they set their own schedule, it’s important for ketamine addicts in outpatient treatment to be diligent in honoring this schedule. Otherwise, the risk of relapse increases, which may necessitate admission to inpatient treatment.
Standard Length of Ketamine Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment, like inpatient treatment, varies in length. Unfortunately, this is often left in the hands of a ketamine addict’s insurance company rather than as the result of a decision made by the addict or their support team.
If they have the approval of their insurance provider, a ketamine addict can attend outpatient treatment for several months. This is usually preferable because of the intensity of the addiction. It’s also encouraged due to the fact that it occurs on both physical and psychological levels at once.
Ketamine Sober Living
Sober living is another option for ketamine addicts who have done considerable damage to their lives as a result of their addictions. This provides a safe place for them to get the support they need.
What Is Ketamine Sober Living?
Sober living is a residential treatment option program with a little less structure and professional support than inpatient treatment. However, it involves more accountability than outpatient treatment.
When an addict in recovery chooses sober living, they’ll live in a shared house with other recovering addicts for months at a time. This could be anywhere from one month to six months. Sometimes, a recovering addict can stay even longer.
What to Expect
The ketamine addict who chooses sober living has regular responsibilities at the sober living house. They’ll do chores and follow a curfew. They’ll also need to apply to a set number of jobs every week until they find work.
These responsibilities create accountability and habits that support the addict in their recovery when they start living on their own.
All treatment for ketamine addiction should include some form of aftercare to guarantee the addict gets the continued support they need to stay sober. That aftercare may include ongoing therapy, support groups, and basic self-care activities like exercise.
There are several recovery groups that may be helpful for a ketamine addict to attend. Despite the fact that ketamine is not a narcotic, Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step group that serves many ketamine addicts well. For those who prefer not to go the 12-step route, SMART Recovery groups are another option.
Get the Help You Need Today
If you or someone you love has an addiction to ketamine, the most important decision you can make is to get help.
At Addiction Treatment Services, we’ll help you find the right treatment program. We’ll also work with your insurance to lessen the burden while you’re in recovery.
If you need more information about ketamine treatment and rehab, let us help. Contact us today.