What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a synthesized drug used as an anesthetic agent in both humans and animals since the 1970’s. It comes in tablet, powder, or liquid form. Ketamine acts as a stimulant, it affects people and animals differently. Those using ketamine for recreational purposes report that they feel detached from their body, experience hallucinations, and euphoria. The effects of Ketamine are not all desired, it also causes the user to be fearful and paranoid, and confused, the users sense are dulled.
Regardless to its desired stimulating effects, Ketamine also can depress the central nervous system, which causes it to function at a slower rate than it normally would. Long term use of Ketamine can result in memory loss, impaired vision or numbness in the limbs or other parts of the body due to the depression of the central nervous system. It is common for long term Ketamine users to experience flashbacks and hallucinations long after stopping the use of the drug.
Ketamine Medical Drug Use
Since the 1970’s Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic drug in both humans and animals. It is also used to prevent pain and discomfort during certain medical tests or procedures. Ketamine is commonly used in human medicine for pediatric burn cases, experimental psychotherapy and in dentistry. In veterinary medicine it is commonly used as an tranquilizer, in surgical procedures to sedate the patient and prevent pain. It is a schedule II drug with a high abuse potential. Other than for medical purposes the distribution and use of Ketamine is illegal.
While Ketamine was designed for medical treatment that is not its only use today. An increasing number of teens and young adults are using Ketamine as a “club drug” at parties and raves. Its stimulating effects produce a sense of euphoria, an outer body experience and hallucinations. It has many street names, most commonly: Special K, Super Acid, K-Hole and God. Ketamine often appears on the streets after hospitals and veterinary practices have been robbed. It is a highly addictive and dangerous drug.
The effects of Ketamine begin within 30 minutes of its use and commonly result in: Raised pulse and blood pressure; elevated body temperature; Pain blocked; Seizures; Vomiting; Delirium; Violent or bizarre behavior; Confusion and disorientation; Slurred speech; and Blurred vision.
Signs of Ketamine Abuse
Ketamine abusers will show rug seeking behaviors. Their mind will be clouded by the need to use more Ketamine and when they are unable to they will experience symptoms of withdrawal, some becoming violent. The following are common signs a person in abusing Ketamine:
- Change in behavior
- Lack of interest in usual activities
- Trouble at school or work
- Difficulties in personal relationships
- Violent and erratic behaviors
- Visiting multiple Doctors offices in search of Ketamine
- Legal Troubles
Symptoms of Ketamine Withdrawal
Ketamine withdrawal typically begins within 24 hours of the users last dose. They reach a peak within 3 to 4 days and subside within one week. Katamine addiction is largely psychological, requiring addiction treatment to overcome safely without relapse. The following are common symptoms of Ketamine withdrawal:
- poor attention span
- flash backs
- agressive behavior
Ketamine Addiction Treatment
Ketamine addicts are not just addicted to the drug itself but the life style that goes along with it. Most addicts require an inpatient treatment program to remove them from temptation and provide them with the psychotherapy needed to over come their addiction.
When entering into a treatment facility the patient will begin with a medical detoxification process to cleanse their body of the chemicals and toxins associated with Ketamine abuse. This will allow them to overcome the physical addiction and to begin focusing on the psychological addiction.
Cognitive therapy will allow the patient to recognize the behaviors, routines and dysfunctional thoughts associated with Ketamine abuse. They will learn how to change them and create new behaviors, routines and thoughts that promote sober living. They will be able to develop the key tools they will need when returning home to prevent relapse and stay sober.
n human medicine for pediatric burn cases, dentistry, and in experimental psychotherapy.