The NIDA states that therapy and other types of counseling are still the most “commonly used form[s] of drug abuse treatment” today. Like many other recreationally abused drugs, ketamine can cause severe addiction. Fortunately, this issue can be treated with ketamine therapy.
Therapy’s Impact on Ketamine Addiction
Unfortunately, there is still no medication that specifically treats addiction to ketamine. While the two treatments considered to be the most beneficial to the needs of addicted individuals are medication and therapy, the latter is the strongest choice for ketamine addiction. Therapy can help patients
- Understand more about their addictions and the drug itself
- Learn techniques to fight cravings for ketamine, an issue that often leads to relapse
- Recognize the triggers that are likely to cause cravings and avoid them
- Feel comfortable to discuss their feelings and their fears with a sympathetic individual who truly has the ability to help
As the only formally acknowledged treatment for ketamine addiction, therapy has a strong impact on this disorder. One of the most popular counseling types, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), uses all of these principles to help a patient change the way they think and feel about ketamine.
A Positive Step
Another popular treatment is called contingency management. It is often beneficial for young patients (teens and adolescents), of which ketamine abusers are many, and in the early stages of treatment. Offering patients vouchers for staying sober, it helps by steering these individuals in a positive direction and allowing them to receive immediate rewards for their hard work during treatment, making them more likely (in many cases) to continue it.
A Change in Attitude
Addiction was recognized some time ago as a legitimate mental illness so treating it with therapy has been considered to be one of the best possible courses of action. Addiction is caused by the long-term abuse of a drug to a point where it changes the way the mind works, and therapy is often the only way to change it back. Patients can learn to think in ways that better benefit their situations so that they will not feel as strong of a need to abuse the drug after some time, making it easier for them to stay sober.
Psychological Effects of Ketamine Addiction
Ketamine acts on receptors in the brain which are similar to those acted on by PCP, an incredibly addictive drug that also causes mental illness when abused in the long term. This is one of the reasons why therapy is so important to ketamine addiction treatment; depression and amnesia can be caused by the drug and flashbacks may occur after long-term use. Therapy can help with all of these effects which is why it is so beneficial overall as a treatment for ketamine addiction.
“Past-year use of ketamine was reported by 1.5 percent of 12th-graders in 2014” (NIDA). While this number has dwindled since 2002, there are still a shocking number of cases associated with ketamine abuse and addiction. Therapy treatments have been proven to be successful with almost any type drug addiction syndrome, and patients are highly recommended to pursue it as a part of their overall treatment program.