Ketamine belongs to the hallucinogen class of drugs, most known for their hallucinatory effects. Not unlike PCP, ketamine places users in a dissociative state characterized by extreme disorientation.
Legally used as an anesthetic for animals and humans, ketamine was first developed in 1963 as an alternative to PCP. As with most hallucinogen-type drugs, dosage amounts taken, for the most part determine how ketamine’s effects will play out, according to the University of Maryland.
If someone you love is addicted to ketamine, certain key signs and symptoms will start to become apparent over time. People addicted to hallucinogens also tend to lead a certain type of lifestyle, so lifestyle indicators may well present themselves as potential signs of ketamine addiction.
As with any form of addiction, the sooner you can spot these signs the better since ketamine’s effects can cause considerable damage to brain function over time.
Methods of Use
Ketamine, as well as other hallucinogen drugs, have become especially popular within the “club scene.” Within this environment, people seek to experience intense physical and emotional highs cast against a backdrop of incredibly loud music. So someone addicted to ketamine will likely frequent these types of clubs or bars on a regular basis.
While ketamine does exist as a legal drug, recreational users must still obtain supplies in illegal ways, stealing from hospitals, veterinary hospitals and manufacturing facilities. Methods of use include snorting ketamine in powder form, orally in pill form or injecting it in solution form.
Injections produce the most intense of effects, followed by snorting and then pills. Someone who’s engaged in ketamine abuse for a long time will likely have “graduated” to injecting the drug since the brain tends to become less sensitive to the drug’s effects over time.
Physical Warning Signs
Unlike opiates and stimulants, hallucinogen drugs carry a lower potential for physical dependency, though someone who uses ketamine on a frequent basis will likely start to exhibit physical signs of dependency.
Physical warning signs typically take the form of:
- Incoherent or gabled speech patterns
- A flushed skin tone
- Higher than normal blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Experiencing a distorted sense of space and/or time
One key indicator of a potential ketamine addiction is an overall loss or noticeable reduction in pain sensation, according to Brown University Health Education. Ketamine’s use as an anesthetic produces ongoing feelings of numbness and an overall sense of detachment from one’s surroundings when abused on a regular basis. If you believe your loved on is using ketamine they may need help to quit. Call 800-601-3889(Who Answers?) to find treatment today.
Behavioral Warning Signs
Behavioral warning signs of ketamine addiction are hard to miss as this drug greatly impairs brain function on multiple levels. Behavioral warning signs may take the form of:
- Episodes of extreme anxiety
- Persistent feelings of depression
- Residual hallucinations
- Tension or jumpiness
Ultimately, ketamine becomes a top priority in the addict’s life, so a loved will likely spend less and less time with friends and family while neglecting important daily obligations. Since ketamine addiction can gradually diminish a person’s brain function over time, getting needed treatment as soon as possible is imperative.