Ketamine has become a popular drug within the nightclub/party scene, which makes older teens and young adults most susceptible to the more harmful effects of this drug. As one of several hallucinogen-type drugs, ketamine produces dissociative effects essentially sever body and brain communications, leaving the mind to create a world of its own. If you’ve been abusing ketamine, call our helpline at 800-601-3889 (Who Answers?) for treatment placement.
Hallucinogen drugs as a group carry a low potential for abuse and addiction which can easily draw unsuspecting recreational users to drugs like ketamine. Ketamine actually carries an incredibly high risk for addiction, unlike other hallucinogens.
In effect, ketamine addiction works in much the same way as any other form of addiction, though its mechanisms work a little differently. Knowing what signs to look out for can go a long way towards avoiding the pitfalls that ketamine addiction brings.
Ketamine’s Mechanism of Action
A ketamine “high” produces vivid hallucinations made up of strange colors and lights as well as a sense of floating, which stems from the drug’s “dissociative” properties. These effects develop out of changes within the brain’s chemical system. Ketamine effects are also dose dependent, with lower doses producing a mild sense of detachment and euphoria while large doses can induce a near comatose-like state, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Ketamine alters dopamine chemical levels, a neurotransmitter that regulates sensory perception and pain/pleasure sensations. Ketamine also interferes with glutamate, another neurotransmitter that regulates electrical activity in the brain.
Unlike other forms of addiction, ketamine addiction doesn’t usually produce physical withdrawal symptoms, but with frequent, ongoing use, psychological dependence can develop quickly. Psychological dependence lies at the heart of ketamine addiction.
Not sure if your insurance will help cover your treatment costs? Call our helpline at 800-601-3889 (Who Answers?) for more information.
Questions to Ask
Are My Dosage Amounts Increasing?
With frequent ketamine use, the drug’s effects quickly offset the brain’s chemical levels within a short period of time. In the process, the brain becomes increasingly tolerant of ketamine effects to the point where larger amounts must be ingested to produce the desired “high” effect, according to the University of Maryland. These developments set the ketamine addiction cycle in motion.
Do I Engage in Bingeing Practices?
Once brain tolerance levels reach a certain point, users must ingest multiple doses of the drug at a time in order to experience the drug’s effects, which are never as intense as they were during the early stages of drug use. Considering that feelings of euphoria and contentment make up a big part of a ketamine “high,” users reach a point where they can no longer experience any sense of contentment without the drug. This marks the beginnings of psychological dependency.
Have I Come to Depend on Ketamine to Get Me Through the Day?
Over time, psychological dependency grows stronger leaving a person unable to cope with everyday life stressors and pressures without ketamine’s effects. Once a person “needs” the drug to make it through the day, a full-blown ketamine addiction has taken root.
Ketamine addiction impacts most every facet of a person’s daily life, directing his or her focus, motivations and priorities. In effect, the drug warps your psychological makeup to the point where work, important relationships and self-care issues fall by the wayside as ketamine takes on increasing importance in your life. Under these conditions, the need for treatment help becomes glaringly apparent.
If you suspect you or someone you know are struggling 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 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of addictions specialists.