Ketamine was first developed in the early 1960s and was originally created to be used in human medicine as a sedative and in veterinary medicine as a tranquiliser.

However, in high doses, it can also cause intoxication and hallucinations, which are similar to the effects of LSD. As a result, an increasing number of people are using ketamine as a party drug.

As with any recreational drug, addiction is always a risk, especially if Ketamine is consumed frequently or relied upon in certain situations. In this guide, we’ll explore everything that you need to know about ketamine addiction.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is used by medical practitioners and veterinarians as an anaesthetic. It is also now used to treat some patients with depression.

However, this highly addictive drug is also sold illegally to those chasing a high. Ketamine is known as a dissociative drug, meaning it reacts with different chemicals in the brain to produce visual and auditory distortion, which in turn, creates a detachment from reality – a form of escapism that is highly appealing to addicts.

Why is Ketamine addictive?

Ketamine addiction is incredibly complex due to the many effects that the drug has on the brain. The drug affects the brain’s reward system, inducing a strong feeling of euphoria by flooding the brain with dopamine. It is these feelings of pleasure that can lead to unhealthy addictions.

When the drug is regularly used, the high can become less intense, leading many people to take larger doses.

The effects of a ketamine addiction on an addict’s day-to-day life can be incredibly destructive, resulting in cognitive impairment, which impacts productivity and the ability to perform everyday tasks.

Signs of Ketamine addiction

A number of psychological and behavioural symptoms can be associated with ketamine addiction, including:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fear and paranoia
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Lack of concentration
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Experiencing feelings of being able to fly
  • Distorted perception of time, space, and reality
  • Feeling detached.

Addicts may also display the following behaviours:

  • Using Ketamine frequently in their day-to-day life
  • Becoming increasingly defensive about their relationship with the drug
  • Isolating themselves or only socialising with other addicts
  • Stealing money or selling valuables in order to pay for Ketamine
  • Mixing Ketamine with other drugs to experience a better, longer high
  • Becoming reliant on the drug and feeling as though it has taken over their life
  • Being secretive about their drug use.

Effects of Ketamine addiction

The effects of a Ketamine addition can be incredibly debilitating, impacting all aspects of someone’s life. Here are some of the specific health effects of ketamine addiction:

  • Ketamine is commonly ingested nasally in powder form, meaning it can cause damage to the nasal passageways and sinus cavities.
  • It can also be injected, meaning it can damage veins, muscles, skin and internal organs.
  • The consumption of Ketamine has also been widely linked to skin infections, infectious diseases or endocarditis.
  • Ketamine abuse has also been known to damage people’s kidneys and liver, especially when consumed over long periods of time.

Can Ketamine kill you?

Ketamine can have a detrimental impact on a person’s health and ability to function and can even be life-threatening. Ketamine abuse has been linked to heart attacks, organ failure and death.

Is Ketamine dangerous?

Taking ketamine can be fatal, especially if it is mixed with other drugs.

Where can you get help with Ketamine addiction?

At ANA Treatment Centres, we work closely with our clients to help them rebuild their lives, regain confidence and self-worth, and believe that they can live healthy, responsible, and productive lives, free of addictive substances.

Contact ANA today, our friendly team is on hand and ready to help.