Drug addiction is a complex issue – it can affect all aspects of your life. Despite being used in medical settings, many people abuse ketamine, taking it recreationally for its dissociative effects.
But is ketamine addictive? Can you develop a physical addiction to ketamine or just a psychological addiction? That’s what we’ll be exploring today.
Read on to learn more about ketamine, including the effects of ketamine, addiction risk factors, and the addictive nature of ketamine. We’ll also be discussing how our team at Rehubs can help you along your recovery journey and embrace a new, sober lifestyle.
The Basics of Ketamine
Before we explore the addictive potential of ketamine, let’s discuss its basics. Ketamine was originally developed as an anaesthetic. It alters perception and induces a trance-like state, leading to feelings of detachment from reality.
In recent years, however, its use has extended beyond medical settings, finding a place in the realm of recreational substances. Many people use ketamine to experience its dissociative effects such as distorted perceptions of sight and sound.
Ketamine affects the glutamate system in the brain, blocking NMDA receptors and altering the release of neurotransmitters. While these effects contribute to its anaesthetic properties, they also lead to hallucinogenic experiences.
However, ketamine misuse can be dangerous – especially when it comes to mixing ketamine with other drugs or with alcohol.
Abusing ketamine can have several long-term effects on your health, such as damage to the bladder. This is known as ‘ketamine bladder’ – serious damage to the urinary tract, which can be irreversible. Chronic ketamine abuse can lead to an overdose, which can be fatal.
The Psychological Effects of Ketamine
Ketamine can affect you psychologically – ketamine users often take the drug for the psychological experiences it offers. The dissociation and altered perceptions can be enticing, which can lead to a psychological dependence on the drug. Some other psychological effects can include:
- Colourful and vivid thoughts
- Detachment from surroundings and reality
- Distorted sense of time and space
- Altered perceptions
These psychological effects can make ketamine seem like an attractive drug, and make it difficult to quit ketamine.
Ketamine and Physical Addiction
Unlike some substances such as cocaine or heroin, the potential for addiction is considered lower with ketamine. However, it’s crucial to note that physical and psychological addiction are intertwined, and one can influence the other.
While the risk of physical dependence might be lower, the psychological pull towards ketamine can be significant.
Ketamine has the potential for abuse, as well as physical and psychological dependence. It can be difficult to overcome ketamine addiction without the right support. Explore our online rehab program today to overcome ketamine addiction and get your life back for good.
The Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction
The more you take ketamine, the more you may develop a tolerance to the drug. Knowing the signs of addiction is key for early intervention.
Here are some of the key ketamine addiction symptoms to be aware of, including physical and psychological symptoms:
One of the key signs of addiction is increased tolerance. Ketamine users may need higher doses of ketamine to feel the same effects. This is a classic indication that you’re developing an addiction.
Continued Use Despite Consequences
If you continue to use ketamine despite experiencing negative effects from the drug, it’s time to reconsider your ketamine use.
For example, if you struggle to stop using ketamine (or have no desire to stop taking ketamine) despite issues with your relationships, physical health, or trouble at work, you are exhibiting a key sign of ketamine addiction.
Likewise, if you have an addiction, you may begin to neglect your responsibilities at work, home, or in your personal life. Ketamine can quickly become the most important thing in your life when you develop an addiction.
Ketamine withdrawal symptoms can include mood swings, anxiety, and cravings. If you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking ketamine, it’s likely you have an addiction. Likewise, if you seek the drug to ease these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, this is a clear sign of addiction.
The psychological aspects of addiction are often the most difficult obstacles in the recovery journey. This is why therapeutic support is so important in ketamine addiction treatment.
Ketamine Addiction Risk Factors
Anybody can be affected by addiction – but here are some of the key elements to consider that could increase the likelihood of developing an addiction to ketamine:
Those facing underlying mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, may be more susceptible to the psychological effects of ketamine.
For example, you may seek the drug to relieve the negative feelings or sensations associated with mental health conditions. Using ketamine as a form of self-medication can increase the risk of addiction.
Ketamine is becoming more prevalent in the UK, which unfortunately makes it easier for people to access. The availability of ketamine within social circles can play a huge role in its abuse.
Additionally, the normalisation and social acceptance of the drug can contribute to its frequent use.
The more you use ketamine, and the higher doses you take, the higher the risk of addiction. As you develop a tolerance, you may find yourself increasing the amount and frequency of ketamine use to achieve the desired effects.
Get Support for Ketamine Addiction Today With Rehubs
If you frequently abuse ketamine or you’re concerned you have an addiction, you’re not alone. At Rehubs, we are dedicated to helping people with drug addiction and drug abuse issues turn over a new leaf and embrace sobriety.
At Rehubs, we offer a convenient and effective online rehab program designed to address the unique challenges of ketamine abuse.
Our comprehensive ketamine rehab program caters to the specific needs of ketamine users. We understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to addiction, which is why your treatment will be tailored to you.
Through our online rehab program and convenient mobile app, you can develop a solid understanding of yourself and your addiction. This includes the potential root causes of your addiction, as well as your addiction triggers.
We combine group therapy and one-to-one counselling to give you the best chance of overcoming addiction for good. Our sessions take place in the evenings, which is ideal if you work or have other commitments.
Recovery is a transformative journey, and with the right support, you can overcome the challenges of ketamine addiction.
Choose Rehubs for your addiction recovery partner today, and let us guide you towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Contact us via our free helpline number today at 0330 094 5970, or complete our free consultation to begin your treatment plan.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab centre called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade.