Anyone who’s used ketamine has probably heard of the ketamine k-hole effect where users enter into a near-comatose state. As a hallucinogen drug, ketamine produces powerful effects that vary according to dosage amount. Unlike the majority of hallucinogen drugs, ketamine use also comes with a high risk for addiction.
While it’s possible to experience some wild and unusual hallucinations while under the under the influence, ketamine k-hole episodes can pave the way for a developing ketamine addiction. Understanding how this drug disrupts the brain’s chemical system can help shed some light on how ketamine k-hole effects help drive the ketamine addiction cycle.
Ketamine users seek out the hallucinatory effects of the drug, which develop out of drastic changes within the brain’s neurotransmitter processes. Ketamine acts on key groups of cells to force the release of dopamine and glutamate, chemicals that regulate emotions, perceptions and brain electrical activity.
With ongoing ketamine abuse, the affected cells become less sensitive to the drug and so require increasingly larger doses to produce the desired “high” effects. According to the University of Maryland, the brain’s growing tolerance for ketamine soon drives users to engage in bingeing behaviors where large amounts are ingested at once. These interactions lay the groundwork for ketamine addiction to develop.
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Besides its use as a recreational drug, ketamine is commonly used as an anesthetic agent during surgical procedures. In effect, this drug shuts down communications between the brain and body, which accounts for the ketamine k-hole effects that can result when taking larger dosage amounts.
Overall, it only takes a little more than two milligrams of the drug to induce the ketamine k-hole effect, according to the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In light of how quickly brain tolerance levels rise, and the overall desire to experience the ketamine k-hole effect, it’s only a matter of time before recreational drug use turns into a full-blown ketamine addiction.
The Ketamine Addiction Potential
While ketamine abuse doesn’t normally produce the types of physical withdrawal symptoms that come with opiate and stimulant abuse, users can still expect to go through an emotional “version” of withdrawal. Ketamine withdrawal symptoms typically take the form of:
- Depression episodes
- Bouts of anxiety
- Flat affect, or lack of emotional expression
Once withdrawal takes hold, it’s not uncommon for a person to take more of the drug to gain relief from these symptoms.
With repeated use, the drug’s start to reconfigure the brain’s reward system, an area that ultimately determines a person’s psychological makeup in terms of what motivates and drives his or her behaviors from day-to-day. Herein lies the heart of ketamine addiction, at which point getting and using the drug takes on top priority in daily life.
In effect, the dosage amounts needed to produce ketamine k-hole episodes not only feed the withdrawal-abuse cycle, but also compromise brain reward system functions along the way. Considering how powerful a drug ketamine is, it only takes so many k-hole episodes before a full-blown ketamine addiction takes hold.
If you suspect you or someone you know struggles 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.