As one of a handful of drugs that’s gained popularity within the “club” scene, ketamine produces unusual effects that leave a person in a highly vulnerable state. Like other hallucinogens, ketamine incites hallucinatory experiences. Ketamine also produces comatose-like effects, which accounts for its label as a “date rape” drug.
Unlike most other hallucinogen drugs, ketamine does carry a high risk for addiction. Once addiction takes hold, ketamine addiction effects can be just as harmful as any other type of addictive drug.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ketamine targets the brain’s glutamate and dopamine neurotransmitter activities, slowing brain electrical activity and stimulating its pain/pleasure centers. These combined effects start to impair a person’s psychological functioning over time, which is where ketamine addiction effects take hold.
Questions to Ask
Do You Feel Detached from Others or Your Surroundings?
Ketamine’s ability to slow the brain’s electrical activities accounts for the comatose-like effects experienced when under the influence. In effect, the drug blocks incoming communications from the body, leaving the brain free to create its own reality in the form of hallucinations. Once ketamine addiction takes hold, the cumulative effects on the brain’s chemical processes leaves users feeling an overall sense of detachment from their surrounding environments.
Do You Experience Flashbacks from Previous Drug Trips?
The “highs” or drug trips brought on by ketamine abuse stem from marked changes within the brain’s chemical network. With frequent drug use, repeated fluctuations in glutamate and dopamine levels alter the brain’s chemical pathways over time.
According to Reuters Health, these effects cause users to experience flashback episodes of previous drug trips when not under the influence of the drug. Users may also experience increasing levels of paranoia once a full-blown ketamine addiction develops.
Have Your Daily Priorities Changed?
Ketamine effects on dopamine activities in particular directly impact the brain’s reward system functions. This system regulates a person’s learning and behavior for the purpose of ensuring his or her survival. In effect, your priorities, motivations and overall belief systems originate within the brain reward system. As ketamine addiction takes shape, drug-using behaviors start to take precedence over other important life areas, such as family, work and physical health.
Have You Experienced Overdose Episodes and Still Continue to Use the Drug?
Ketamine produces powerful effects overall. On average, it only takes two to 20 milligrams to produce comatose-like effects, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Subsequently, it’s fairly easy to overdose once ketamine addiction becomes an issue. If a person has experienced overdose incidents in the past and continues to use the drug, ketamine addiction has greatly impaired the brain’s judgement and decision-making abilities.
Considering how ketamine addiction essentially takes over your thinking and behavior, it can be easy to minimize and ignore the negative consequences that come from using the drug. Without needed treatment help, the consequences of drug use only grow more dire, stripping away your quality of life over time.
If you or someone you know struggles with a ketamine addiction problem and have more questions, or need information on available treatment options, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-915-1270 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.