Ketamine addiction is a serious mental health condition marked by intense cravings, physical and psychological dependence, and mood changes such as depression and anxiety – these are just some of the difficulties that can arise from substance use disorders. Unfortunately, for many individuals grappling with ketamine abuse, it’s challenging to overcome without professional support in the early stages of withdrawal.
As a dissociative anesthetic, ketamine can induce feelings of detachment from yourself and reality. This powerful dissociative drug is highly addictive and has been linked to severe hallucinations or delusions when misused in large doses.
Ketamine’s impact on the brain is multifaceted, impacting neurochemical systems such as opioid receptors and dopamine pathways. These areas of brain chemistry are frequently associated with drug abuse and addiction, as they regulate the body’s pleasure and reward systems and other areas associated with substance abuse.
Ketamine addiction has several consequences, including:
- Impaired cognitive functioning
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of self-control
- Severe depression
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Memory loss
- Double vision
- Aggressiveness and violent behavior
- Persistent drug cravings
- Increasing tolerance to ketamine
- Loss of interest in favored hobbies and activities
- Failure to meet obligations at work, school, or home due to ketamine use
- Worsening mental health symptoms due to ketamine use
- Withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop using ketamine
People struggling with ketamine addiction can often face severe and debilitating consequences. The addictive drug can quickly become a person’s main source of pleasure, leading to compulsive use and an inability to quit or control the urge to take more. Fortunately, a comprehensive ketamine detox program and treatment plan can help them get through the worst of their withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to manage cravings and resist relapse.
Warning signs of ketamine addiction
- Using ketamine in larger doses or more often than before
- Experiencing tolerance to the drug
- Inability to control the urge to use the drug
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using ketamine
- Avoiding activities enjoyed prior to using the drug
- Not being able to fulfill obligations at work, home, or school
- Continuing to use ketamine despite negative consequences
When the effects of ketamine begin to wear off, it can be difficult for those dependent on the drug to cope with their withdrawal symptoms. One of the most challenging aspects of recovery from ketamine dependence is ketamine withdrawal. Ketamine withdrawal symptoms are primarily psychological, but they can be so overwhelmingly powerful that many people return to active substance use rather than continue to suffer from them. Common symptoms include:
- Irritability and mood swings
- Agitation and restlessness
- Cravings for more ketamine
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
- Psychological issues
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nerve cell damage
Receiving comprehensive treatment can help people overcome the severe psychological addiction symptoms associated with ketamine abuse and symptoms of withdrawal and help pave the way for lasting addiction recovery.
Duration of ketamine withdrawal symptoms
Ketamine users generally experience withdrawal symptoms between 24 to 72 hours after the last dose of ketamine was taken. The duration of withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person and depends on various factors, such as how much and for how long the individual was using ketamine. Generally, acute ketamine withdrawal lasts from 72 hours to approximately two weeks. During this time, individuals may experience cravings and psychological distress that interfere with their ability to abstain from drug use.
Ketamine withdrawal timeline
Most users experience ketamine withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of the last dose. Symptoms may include cravings, irritability, agitation, restlessness, and insomnia.
Additional withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks manifest. At this point, most users have a difficult time staying sober.
Cravings, psychological symptoms, and physical discomfort may intensify during this period. Some users experience hallucinations and delusions as they attempt to abstain from ketamine use.
If a person has not yet sought professional treatment for their addiction, they will likely experience a prolonged period of intense cravings and psychological distress. This can make it very difficult to stay sober and progress in recovery.
Ketamine detox is the process of eliminating all traces of ketamine from the body, preferably under medical supervision at a reputable detox center like Gloria Detox and Rehab Center. This consists of medical, psychological, and social interventions to help individuals overcome their physical dependence on ketamine and successfully transition into treatment. A comprehensive ketamine detox program includes:
Medical detox is essential to ensure safety and comfort throughout the detox process. Doctors can provide medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
Psychological therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can help manage psychological distress and help individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, cravings, and difficult emotions.
Social support system
Peer-support groups and family therapy can help people stay motivated in recovery, build a supportive network of sober friends, and strengthen relationships with loved ones.
By participating in a medically supervised detox program, individuals can more safely and comfortably get through the withdrawal period without any serious health complications or a relapse episode. After a successful detox, individuals are encouraged to participate in an evidence-based addiction treatment program to address the underlying causes of their substance use disorder and learn how to live a sober life. With the right combination of medical care, psychological support, stress management, and social services, individuals can successfully overcome addiction and transition into lasting recovery.
Before ketamine detox can begin, an assessment of the individual’s medical and psychological status is conducted. This helps determine if detox is appropriate and safe for the individual struggling with addiction. If the person has been using ketamine heavily for an extended time or has other underlying health conditions, then a medically supervised detox is recommended to ensure safety and comfort throughout the process.
- Intense depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Personality disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit disorder (ADHD)
These mental health challenges can exacerbate the symptoms of ketamine withdrawal and increase the risk of relapse if not properly addressed. Therefore, it is important that individuals receive both medical and psychological care during detox.
Additionally, identifying these concerns early in the treatment process can help your treatment team develop a detailed care plan to ensure you have the best chances of recovery. The assessment stage also answers crucial questions relevant to your detox plan, such as when your last use of ketamine was, how much ketamine you’ve been using, and whether you’ve been using other drugs alongside ketamine.
Stabilization during detox
During ketamine detox, individuals are monitored closely by our medical professionals for signs of physical withdrawal symptoms and any underlying behavioral and psychological issues that may need to be addressed. Doing so can help make the detox process more comfortable and successful. In some cases, antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs may be prescribed to help manage withdrawal symptoms.
Our team of medical professionals also monitors vital signs such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure throughout the detox process. This helps ensure that an individual’s physical health is maintained throughout the process.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can help individuals manage psychological distress and develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with cravings, stress, and difficult emotions. There is also a strong emphasis on the importance of social support during ketamine detox to help individuals stay motivated in recovery and build connections with sober peers.
Post-detox planning and transition
After completing medical detox, individuals are encouraged to participate in a long-term, comprehensive ketamine addiction treatment program for sustainable recovery. This generally involves various counseling and mental health services to help individuals address underlying psychological conditions, develop positive coping strategies, and build strong social connections in a supportive community of peers.
While there are various treatment options to overcome addiction, we often encourage clients to participate in inpatient treatment at our treatment center. Doing so helps ensure that individuals remain in a safe and secure environment where they can receive round-the-clock medical care and support in the early stages of recovery. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may also be recommended if the individual struggles with cravings or withdrawal symptoms. MAT involves using FDA-approved medications such as buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone to help people stop using opioid drugs and alcohol. These medications can help in the withdrawal process to reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, reduce the risk of relapse, and increase the likelihood of successful recovery.
Drug Rehab in Los Angeles for Ketamine Addiction
Overcome ketamine abuse by calling our drug rehab in Los Angeles, CA, at (818) 659-9914 to start effective treatment for ketamine addiction. With the right combination of care and addiction medicine, you or your loved one can safely and effectively navigate the challenges of drug addiction and associated mental health disorders and achieve sustainable recovery.
Our rehab center accepts most private health insurance plans and some public health policies. A professional treatment provider on our team is available to work with your health insurance provider to assist you in navigating your insurance coverage to minimize any out-of-pocket expenses. If you don’t have insurance coverage, we can help you learn what treatment options are available to you or your loved one.