When not addressed, ketamine abuse and addiction can lead to serious health issues, including overdose. If you or someone you know is misusing ketamine, entering an appropriate rehab program is crucial.
Ketamine rehab begins with detox before entering an addiction treatment program offering therapy and support group meetings to guide a person toward recovery.
Do You Need Treatment for Ketamine Addiction?
Ketamine is a non-narcotic substance approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a general anesthetic. It’s used to sedate a patient before a medical procedure. However, it’s also an illicit drug used for recreation.
Recently, ketamine has been tested in treating several mental health disorders and conditions, such as depression and chronic pain.
People who abuse ketamine may need treatment. When the drug is used as prescribed by a healthcare professional, it has a lower risk for abuse and addiction compared to other drugs of abuse.
Though ketamine does not present a high risk for addiction, the risk is still present. People with ketamine addiction may have other drug addictions as well. Because of this, they may benefit from ketamine addiction treatment.
Can Ketamine Abuse Lead to Addiction?
Ketamine drug abuse can lead to many side effects, ranging from dizziness and confusion to hallucination, vomiting, and drowsiness.
One possible effect of long-term ketamine misuse is developing an addiction to it.
When ketamine is used as directed for a mental health condition or as an anesthetic, it doesn’t always lead to addiction. The risk of addiction comes with continued abuse of the drug.
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder or ketamine use disorder, is characterized by continued use of ketamine despite negative consequences,
Ketamine Treatment Options
If you or a loved one have a ketamine addiction, you may benefit from entering a ketamine rehab program, especially if you have other substance abuse issues.
The following ketamine treatment options may help you quit ketamine drug abuse and enter drug addiction recovery.
Detoxification allows you to flush out ketamine and any other substances of abuse. Detox is where you will experience ketamine withdrawal symptoms, such as intense cravings, and receive proper care.
Medical detox programs are available at both detox centers and recovery centers. After detox, you can proceed to professional treatment with a healthcare provider.
Ketamine Rehab Programs
Ketamine rehab programs can be found at an addiction treatment facility and come in several forms. The most intensive form of addiction treatment is inpatient treatment programs.
Inpatient rehab (also called residential treatment) is held onsite at a rehab facility where you will stay overnight for care. Here, you can find help for all behavioral health and mental health disorders simultaneously.
Ketamine addiction treatment plans may include a combination of behavioral therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and group therapy.
They may also include detox on-site, aftercare planning, relapse prevention training, counseling, alternative therapies, access to support groups, and more.
Ketamine Outpatient Programs
Addiction treatment centers may also offer outpatient treatment for ketamine addiction. These are less-intensive levels of care that people can complete while living at home.
Partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient services (such as counseling or group therapy) are a few forms of effective outpatient rehab programs.
People with ketamine addiction may follow a treatment plan with several levels of care (i.e., residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and counseling) to foster long-term recovery.
Ketamine Addiction Recovery Support Groups
When you seek recovery from any form of addiction, having a strong support group can be crucial to recovery success.
You can find local support groups for drug addiction, seek group therapy sessions, or ask for a recommendation from your treatment facility.
Treatment for Ketamine Withdrawal
Ketamine withdrawal should be completed in a medical detox setting. While ketamine withdrawal symptoms are not considered dangerous, some rare cases of ketamine withdrawal have been reported.
The most dangerous symptoms associated with ketamine withdrawal syndrome are worsened depression symptoms and suicidal ideation.
This means that ketamine detox programs should address cravings, other typical withdrawal symptoms, and any co-occurring mental health issues.
Ketamine detox programs may include:
- Antidepressant medications
- Fluids to restore hydration levels
- Proper nutrition
- Monitoring of vital organ health (heart, lungs, etc.)
Treatment for Ketamine Overdose
It is possible for people using ketamine to experience a ketamine overdose, also known as ketamine toxicity.
When this condition occurs, a person has taken too much ketamine. Ketamine overdose depends on several factors, including the dose a person took and whether they were using ketamine to treat a health condition or abusing it.
Ketamine overdose symptoms may last from 15 minutes to several hours and include:
- Impaired consciousness
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
- Lowered breathing rate
How ketamine overdose is treated depends on the symptoms present during the overdose. A healthcare provider may use a stimulant prescription to help bring a person out of sedation or a depressant medication to lower an increased heart rate.
Antidepressants or antianxiety medications can help combat mental health symptoms during an overdose. Regardless of the symptoms a person is experiencing, it’s important to seek help for a ketamine drug overdose immediately.
Who’s at Risk for Ketamine Misuse?
People who seek ketamine for its effects rather than as a treatment may be at risk for ketamine misuse and addiction. Ketamine can cause hallucinations similar to other hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and PCP.
As a result, people looking to get high as they would with LSD (or similar hallucinogenic drugs) use ketamine for its dissociative effects.
Teens and young adults are a high-risk group for ketamine abuse, as ketamine has grown in popularity as a “club drug” at dance clubs and raves.
Due to ketamine’s sedative properties, it has unfortunately been used as a “date rape” drug.
Factors That Affect Ketamine Addiction Recovery
The key component in long-term recovery from any drug addiction is continuing care. Research shows that people who get into a treatment program and remain in it for at least 90 days or more see effective results.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some of the most important aspects of lasting recovery include effectively treating withdrawal, staying in treatment, and preventing relapse.
These aspects may be found in certified addiction centers, which work to treat ketamine addiction, other drug addictions, mental health disorders, and other issues.
How Do You Know Someone Needs Ketamine Rehab?
If you are concerned that you or someone you know might be facing a ketamine addiction, you can watch for certain signs.
Be on the lookout for the following symptoms of ketamine addiction:
- Redness of the skin
- Rapid eye movements
- Antsy behavior
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Memory problems
They also might begin to act or behave in strange ways due to their substance abuse.
Examples of behavior changes due to ketamine abuse include:
- Taking ketamine in ways other than medically directed
- Lying or being secretive about ketamine use
- Hiding empty pill bottles or drug paraphernalia
- Struggling at work or school as a result of drug use
- Using ketamine in dangerous situations
- Being unable to quit taking ketamine
- Spending a significant amount of time, energy, and money getting ketamine and using it
Get Help for Ketamine Addiction
If you or a loved one is battling ketamine abuse or addiction, it’s important to get help before you experience negative side effects or seek other drugs of abuse.
Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their online program locator to find ketamine addiction treatment providers in your area.
Ketamine Rehab FAQs
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is a Schedule III non-narcotic, meaning it has a moderate to low potential for abuse.
Ketamine is predominantly used as a general anesthetic but has also been used to treat certain seizures and mental health issues.
It is also an illicit drug, which means the substance can be sold on the street and misused.
Is Ketamine addiction treatable?
Ketamine addiction can be treated at a rehab center. Treatment focuses mainly on psychotherapy.
What is the most common type of treatment for ketamine addiction?
The most common treatment for ketamine addiction is therapy, specifically psychotherapy, which can be found in various rehab programs.
Examples of psychotherapy that have been used to treat ketamine addiction include:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy
How long does it take to recover from ketamine addiction?
Addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Detoxing from ketamine can take 2-4 days, after which you will begin drug rehab.
Aftercare and relapse prevention tools are also available so you can continue your sobriety for decades to come.
What is the most common reason people seek ketamine rehab?
There are many reasons why a person might seek ketamine rehab.
Some of the more common reasons are:
- They tried to stop using ketamine and have been unsuccessful.
- They have gotten into legal trouble as a result of their ketamine use.
- Struggling at work or school as a result of their ketamine use.