Unfortunately, even though “ketamine users can develop signs of tolerance and cravings for the drug,” the issue of ketamine addiction has not been studied in depth enough for there to be any FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to it (The National Institute on Drug Abuse). Though certain options do exist and medications are sometimes used in ketamine treatment, there is no specific medication approved for this purpose like in the case of opioid, nicotine, or alcohol addiction.
What Medications are Used in Ketamine Addiction Treatment?
For the most part, any medications used to treat issues associated with ketamine addiction would be used early on to minimize withdrawal symptoms or treat overdose. According to the NIDA, “Patients with a ketamine overdose are managed through supportive care for acute symptoms, with special attention to cardiac and respiratory functions,” and sometimes, medication may be given to reestablish normal function in these cases.
The Center for Substance Abuse Research states, “To date, identifying physical withdrawal symptoms has been limited to only personal accounts,” but some medications may be given to help patients cope with certain issues, especially that of depression. This symptom must be treated in whatever way is most effective for the patient, and antidepressants should not be withheld if they can be beneficial to the individual and will not cause serious side effects.
It is important to remember, though, that none of the medications used to treat any of these symptoms or side effects is actually a treatment for the addiction itself. Though research associated with ketamine abuse and addiction is ongoing, there is currently no medication designed to treat the disorder.
How is Ketamine Addiction Treated Instead?
Instead of with pharmaceuticals, ketamine addiction itself is mostly treated with behavioral therapy. This option allows patients to learn how to:
- Cope with the issues that may have led them to ketamine abuse in the first place
- Cope with trauma experienced while intoxicated on ketamine
- Recognize triggers associated with their drug abuse and become more adept at dealing with them
- Cope with and fight against cravings instead of giving into them
- Deal with the depressive symptoms sometimes associated with ketamine withdrawal
- Imagine certain scenarios that may compromise their recovery and decide ahead of time how best to deal with them
Counseling is the most commonly used form of treatment for addiction recovery, according to the NIDA, and it is the best option for individuals who require treatment for ketamine addiction. Even in the cases where medications exist to treat certain addiction syndromes, counseling or behavioral therapy of some sort is usually always recommended and can be immensely helpful toward rebuilding the individual’s sense of self, self-esteem, and control over their actions.
Ketamine Addiction Requires Treatment
Though the program isn’t as strongly mapped out as some others, addiction treatment will vastly improve the chance of a strong recovery and of relapse prevention in ketamine addicts. Though medications may be used during this time, they will usually only be to minimize certain side effects or symptoms of withdrawal and to make the experience less difficult on the patient. If you have more questions, please call 800-601-3889 today.