Signs of Ketamine Abuse and Addiction

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a potent dissociative anesthetic. It creates an out-of-body experience by making the user detached from the surroundings. It comes in three forms: white powder, liquid, and pills. 

Wondering what is Ketamine used for? It’s used as a sedative for children with adverse reactions to other anesthetics. It’s also used in radiation as well as burn therapy. This drug is useful where you need sedation, but other anesthetics may not be strong enough. 

However, due to Ketamine’s abuse potential, it’s hardly used in hospital settings. This drug is more used to start and maintain anesthesia in veterinary medicine.

Ketamine Drug Names

Ketamine also has several other names. You can divide these into two categories: Brand names and Street names.

Brand Names

  • Ketalar 
  • Ketalar SV
  • Ketaset
  • Ketanest S

Street Names

  • K drug
  • Special K drug
  • Vitamin K 
  • Kit Kat
  • Cat Valium
  • Dorothy
  • Super C
  • Jet

How Does Ketamine Work?

Ketamine is a complex drug that interacts with many biochemical receptors. The major interaction is with NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors. These receptors monitor glutamate. This is a neurotransmitter in the brain and the central nervous system.

Ketamine suppresses the user’s sensory receptors in the cortex and parts of the limbic system and thalamus. These receptors are important for memory development and peripheral sensory awareness. A high dose of ketamine impairs the user’s ability to recall memories. And to process pain. This is why it’s called an “out-of-body” experience.

Ketamine also works as a painkiller, interacting with nitric oxide (NO). So it might be used for this purpose too.

Is Ketamine Addictive?

Ketamine is one of the most commonly abused drugs. It’s used by recreational users to experience the hallucinogenic high. Those dependent on ketamine for dissociative experiences also take it regularly. This shows it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. This is why it has been classified as a Schedule III controlled substance

Like LSD, Ketamine’s effects are strong and unpredictable. After taking this medicine, users experience disturbances in their visual and auditory perceptions. The user may also experience a near-death experience after taking a high dose. These effects are known as Ketamine high or k-hole. 

Some people experience a state of utter happiness and pleasure after a high dose. This makes Ketamine drug quite popular among individuals. Many veterinarians report that their offices were robbed for this drug. Some users have also made fake Ketamine prescriptions to get it.

Ketamine Addiction Signs

Ketamine abuse often leads to physiological dependence on the drug. Over time, the user develops tolerance. This means that the dose has to be increased after short intervals as it stops making any difference. Here are some signs that can help you identify that someone is using Ketamine:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Slurred speech
  • Depression
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Antsy behavior
  • Loss of coordination

Dangers of Ketamine Abuse and Addiction

Ketamine side effects are severe and can cause physical and mental harm to the user, such as:

  • Disorientation
  • Respiratory distress
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Psychotic episodes and hallucinations
  • Slowed movement
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Numbness
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired motor function

The biggest danger of Ketamine use is that you can never be sure what amount can cause an overdose. In extreme cases, Ketamine overdose can cause heart failure and, consequently, death.

If you are suffering from Ketamine addiction or know someone who is, seek help before it’s too late. Keep the above signs in mind to see if someone you know is addicted to Ketamine.