The propensity to begin using ketamine is often attributed to curiosity and the will to experience the pleasurable and hallucinogenic experiences that the drug can produce. As a dissociative anesthetic and hallucinogen, ketamine is able to drastically alter the way the brain responds to pain, perceptions, the real environment, and other stimuli.
According to a study by the University of Southern California, “many young people enjoyed the effects from sniffing ketamine and later transitioned into injection as the preferred mode of administration.” The pleasure obtained from these ketamine trips can lead to psychological cravings to repeat the experience and regular use leads to dependency where ketamine withdrawals are anything but pleasurable.
Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Recent studies of ketamine withdrawal symptoms show that they can be physical as well as psychological and while the physical symptoms may be somewhat easier to cope with, the psychological symptoms can become overwhelming.
The most common ketamine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Increased sensitivities to pain and other stimuli
- Increased respiration
- Double vision
- Hearing loss
- Impaired motor skills and coordination
Psychological ketamine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Severe depression
- Persistent impairments in cognition, memory, and emotional stability
- Intense cravings
- Suicidal ideations
- Irritability, frustration, and outbursts of anger
- Aggressive or violent tendencies
- Sleep disturbances or nightmares
- Schizophrenic-like or bizarre behaviors and possibly reoccurring hallucinations
Tips for Coping with Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Most ketamine withdrawal symptoms will run their course in few days. You may want to avoid overexerting yourself or engaging in activities that could place you in harm’s way because of impairments to cognition, sights, sounds, motor functioning. A quiet, safe, and comfortable place can help you remain relaxed where over-sensitivities to people, lights, sounds, or other environmental stimuli can exacerbate both the adverse physical and psychological symptoms.
To reduce the severity of cravings, find a place where conditioned reminders or cues to use are unavailable and hopefully, where you will have the comfort of encouragement and support for your recovery efforts. The longer you remain abstinent from ketamine, the greater your chance of regaining the stability you’ll need to prevent relapse.
Proper nutrition and hydration can help expel the toxins from your system quicker and by improving your physical health your emotional and mental health can also be improved.
It is important to not be left alone if you are experiencing severe depression, suicidal ideations, schizophrenic-like behaviors, flashbacks, or violent tendencies. These conditions may require professional help to prevent future harm.
Whether you are a regular user or an occasional user of ketamine, you would be wise to seek professional help to cope with the ketamine withdrawal symptoms for comfort, safety, and guidance through your recovery.