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Ketamine: Addiction and Withdrawal

Ketamine is a commonly used prescription drug that can be categorised as a kind of dissociative anaesthetic. Ketamine can also be classified as a psychedelic and a hallucinogenic. Ketamine is often used as a numbing device or an anaesthetic before surgery and other procedures. Since it is quite potent, it is used for tranquilising purposes by vets.  Because of these properties and its easy availability, ketamine is subject to abuse and illegal use. Being a hallucinogenic, ketamine, on consumption might distort your senses and cause you to experience unnatural and strange sounds and sights. Regular intake of ketamine would bring about a sense of alienation from your surroundings which can be dangerous in the sense you would be losing track of reality.

Ketamine: Addiction and Withdrawal

In the street, you might find ketamine in the form of clear liquid or a clear white powder. Given that ketamine is manufactured only in labs, it must be acquired by illegal means and then marketed as recreational drugs. Ketamine can be consumed in a number of ways which includes ingested, snorted and injected. Moreover, youngsters and other people wishing to experiment with their drugs, ketamine is combined with other substances like alcohol and marijuana. This is usually done to enhance the effect of the hallucinogenic and generate the “happy high” associated with these drugs.

Ketamine addiction and withdrawal

It has been claimed that ketamine doesn’t come with too many side effects and thus is relatively safer than the other drugs in the same group. Thankfully, ketamine addiction and withdrawal syndrome doesn’t affect an individual physically; however, the psychological side effects are massive. One is bound to experience severe cravings upon quitting.

 

With regular intake of ketamine, your body develops a kind of tolerance to it. Naturally, smaller quantities of ketamine (which you were consuming earlier) cease to have an effect on you. However, the cravings are there and your body needs the substance to function normally. To meet your bodily needs, you begin to consume larger amounts of ketamine. It doesn’t matter if you encounter negative consequences; all that matters is the drug. This, evidently, leads to ketamine addiction and abuse. This may further lead to binging; in this case, you inject or snort more ketamine in shorter spans of time. This act may prove to be deadly as it may lead to overdose.

Scientific research has shown that quitting ketamine would produce the same withdrawal symptoms that cocaine and other such drugs in this category would result in. None of the symptoms are overtly physical, nor are they physically evident. Most of the symptoms are psychological, which is worse because this tends to have a long term effect. Moreover, chances of relapse are higher. Individuals, unable to keep up with the severe cravings, would give in and go back to their old habits.

Scientific research has shown that quitting ketamine would produce the same withdrawal symptoms that cocaine and other such drugs in this category would result in. None of the symptoms are overtly physical, nor are they physically evident. Most of the symptoms are psychological, which is worse because this tends to have a long term effect. Moreover, chances of relapse are higher. Individuals, unable to keep up with the severe cravings, would give in and go back to their old habits.

Managing the withdrawal symptoms

Since ketamine withdrawal doesn’t come with physical symptoms, it is comparatively easier to manage. In most cases of substance abuse, it is recommended that you reduce the dosage gradually to dampen the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. But regular intake of ketamine might lead to problems in the urinary tract; as a result, you might have to give up the drug in its entirety immediately. However, this too causes discomfort. Psychological symptoms would include paranoia, anxiety, agitation, irritability to name a few. All of these symptoms are, nonetheless, ones that can be controlled with the help of medication. This is precisely why it is recommended that you seek medical help before you decide to quit ketamine. Under medical supervision and with the right medicines to help you out, it would be easier to keep a tab on your progress and ensure that you get over you addiction a whole lot smoother.