Ketamine is a drug used by vets during surgical procedures on animals and is often referred to as a horse tranquilizer. It is sometimes used as anesthesia for people too but usually only if the person has been known to have adverse reactions to more widely used anesthetics. Some people abuse ketamine and use it to get high. According to NIDA, “distort the way a user perceives time, motion, colors, sounds, and self”. People take just enough of the drug to feel its effects but not enough to go to sleep or be put under. Ketamine is extremely dangerous when it is not used while under a doctor’s care and is illegal.
Ketamine is considered a party or rave drug. Most people do not use it often enough to develop a tolerance to the drug, however, ketamine addiction can occur when it is taken in excess. Street names for Ketamine are special K, K, jet and cat valium. Ketamine has disturbing psychological effects when taken in large doses and it’s users often feel like they are detached from their bodies or floating when using it. This is called a K-hole. So if someone has become addicted to ketamine, how can you tell?
Telltale Signs of Addiction
- Preoccupation with obtaining and using ketamine-When someone suffers an addiction they become consumed with whatever they have become fixated on. A shopping addict will talk about shopping or different stores and sales constantly, alcoholics are obsessed with drinking and are always thinking about getting their next. Same goes with Ketamine. Addicts will on the phone making arrangements to buy more or meeting someone here to pick up the drugs. It’s front and foremost on their brain.
- Secretiveness/suspicious behavior-In order to disguise drug use many addicts will become very secretive and suddenly start taking calls in another room or closing themselves off from other family members. They might spend an unusual amount of time in their room, bathroom or other secluded place where others can’t see or hear them doing drugs or making arrangements to buy drugs.
- Incoherent speech and lack of coordination-Using large amounts of ketamine has a dissociative effect on the brain because it is basically trying to put you to sleep. Some under the influence of ketamine might appear confused, their speech may be slurred or incoherent and they just don’t seem to have it together.
- Drowsiness-Ketamine use also causes extreme drowsiness. Someone abusing ketamine might be awake for long periods of time but then will crash hard, sometimes for days. Unusual sleeping habits are often a big indicator of a drug problem. If you are aware of ketamine use in the past, it might be an indication of a problem.
- Paranoia-when ketamine is abused and taken in higher doses it can cause extreme psychological distress which includes symptoms that resemble paranoid schizophrenia. They might be anxious, speaking irrationally, believing they are being followed or that they are in danger. They might talk to themselves or think that they see things that are not there.
If you’re concerned that you or someone you love is addicted to ketamine talk to your doctor. For most, outpatient treatment is an option, which allows you to live at home and keep working in most cases while you receive therapy. Long term recovery can be achieved and addictions to drugs like ketamine can be overcome.