Using ketamine as a recreational drug has gained considerable popularity within party, nightclub and rave-type environments, as teenagers and young adults seek out ways to enhance the party experience. The effects of a ketamine “high” enhance sensory experience while altering consciousness to the point where users enter into a world of their very own.
This drug’s classification as a hallucinogen may seem like a bonus considering hallucinogens as a group carry a low risk for abuse and addiction. While this may be true for the majority of hallucinogens, ketamine addiction can quickly take shape when using this drug on a regular basis.
If you use ketamine regularly and have noticed certain subtle changes in your mood, physical wellbeing and/or habits, you may be in the midst of a developing ketamine addiction. Understanding how this drug works and knowing what signs to look for can go a long way towards preventing a full-blown ketamine addiction from taking hold.
Ketamine belongs to the Schedule III class of controlled substances due to its use as an anesthetic agent during surgical procedures. As part of its hallucinogenic effects, ketamine produces feelings of detachment from self by shutting down communications between the body and the brain, according to the University of Maryland, which makes for an effective anesthetic agent.
In effect, the altered states of consciousness ketamine produces provides an escape for recreational drug users, sometimes bringing on transcendent-like experiences made up of vivid imagery. These effects develop out of drastic shifts in neurotransmitter production within the brain, most notably those involving glutamate and dopamine.
Over time, these interactions start to affect a person’s thinking and perceptions in harmful ways in terms of how he or she manages everyday life. Herein lies the beginnings of ketamine addiction.
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3 Reasons to Consider Ketamine Addiction Treatment
1. Loss of Control over Intake Amounts
If you started out using ketamine on an occasional basis only to wind up taking multiple doses of the drug at a single setting, this drug’s rising tolerance level effects are to blame. The brain quickly adapts to ketamine’s presence so large doses must be ingested to experience the desired “high” effect. Rising brain tolerance levels ultimately become the driving force behind a developing ketamine addiction.
2. Frequent Withdrawal Episodes
According to the Journal of Addiction, regular ketamine use will eventually bring on withdrawal episodes made up of uncomfortable symptoms that only work to perpetuate ongoing drug use and eventual ketamine addiction. Withdrawal symptoms typically take the form of:
- Feelings of hostility and rage
- Intense drug cravings
3. Inability to Cope with Daily Life without the Drug
Like any other form of addiction, the inability to face daily life pressures without the drug’s effects most characterizes ketamine addiction from casual drug use. In this respect, ketamine has become an essential part of a person’s life for which he or she gradually sacrifices other important life areas to ensure continued drug use.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be struggling with ketamine addiction and need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-601-3889 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.