About Ketamine: What the Drug Actually Is

Ketamine is a particular and very popular drug that has actually traditionally been used as an anesthetic in veterinary medicine practices.  It has also been used in pediatric medicine for this purpose too, but not as often and not as widespread as its veterinary uses.  Not only can Ketamine relieve pain, but Special K has powerful hallucinogenic qualities too.  The ketamine available on the streets, in questionable businesses, and in clubs are most likely procured by theft from a veterinary hospital or clinic somewhere nearby.

Ketamine isn’t useless.  When ketamine is used as an anesthetic for actual medical reasons, it is injected or given intravenously though an IV or a syringe.  This is a drug that can essentially be converted into a powder too though by allowing the liquid in the injectable form to evaporate. The white substance is usually snorted, but some users choose to inject it too.  One way or the other, there is no good way to abuse Ketamine and all methods are dangerous, unhealthy, risky, and addictive.

When ketamine is injected straight into the user’s veins, the user starts to feel its effects within a few seconds actually.  Snorting the drug means there is a lag time of between 5-15 minutes before the drug starts to take effect, but it will still take effect and it will last longer if it is done this way.

Contrary to most popular belief and consideration, Ketamine is not actually physically addictive at all, but, psychologically, there is a completely different situation there.  Because of the effects that this drug has it can be incredibly mentally addicting and it can be extremely habit forming too. There is now clear evidence of tolerance and dependence without any question at all.

First and foremost, Ketamine is a psychedelic drug.  Psychedelic drug use tends to magnify and increase the emotional state of the user to many different levels and areas relatively easily and simply.  That is to say that, if one were to take these kinds of drugs when one was feeling happy and content means that one is more likely to have a good trip from it.  The other unfortunate flip side of the equation too however is that if one uses ketamine or one of the other drugs that causes hallucinations when one is feeling anxious or depressed, its effect can magnify those feelings.  A bad trip is similar to a nightmare actually, except much more real, in that one may see disturbing or even frightening things.

Ketamine abuse is very unhealthy.  Even though it is not chemically addicting, one can still overdose on it and die from it too.  This drug creates powerful mental and psychological addictions which will cause an individual to keep taking it no matter how badly he or she tries to stop taking it.

Addiction to Ketamine and its Effects: What this Would Look Like to a Casual Observer

If one is concerned that a family member or loved one might be abusing Ketamine, then one must be able to spot the telltale signs of such a use.  There are multiple side effects and additional phenomena that occur as a result of abusing ketamine, and they deal with the mental and physical characteristics of each individual person, though some are almost always extant in everyone who abuses the drug.  The longevity of a ketamine trip is approximately two hours long all in all, but the intensity of the trip is based on the dosage consumed.  If one takes very, very, very little, he or she might not feel anything, whereas if one took too much he or she could overdose and go into an emergency condition.  Some of the side effects of Ketamine abuse and addiction are listed below:

• Delirium
• Amnesia
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Euphoria
• Schizophrenia type behavior
• Amnesia
• Confusion
• Hallucinations
• Speech impairment
• Urinary tract infections
• Bladder problems
• Immobilization
• Sensory distortions
• Analgesia (inability to feel pain)
• Illogical speech
• Memory loss
• Blurred vision
• Respiratory failure
• Nausea
• High blood pressure
• Anxiety
• Speech difficulty
• Erythema (redness of the skin)
• Depression
• Rapid eye movement
• Feelings of being invulnerable

Facts and Statistics: What is Really Going On with Ketamine Use and Abuse

To get a better idea of just how serious Ketamine addiction really is, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), and the Trust for American Health, (TAH), have all worked together to study, survey, examine, extrapolate, and analyze the drug problem in the United States as best as possible.  To provide the reader with context as to just how serious of an issue this really is, some facts and statistics have been included below:

• According to a study conducted and brought about by the University of Michigan, prevalence rates of ketamine abuse among American secondary school students, (grades 8, 10, and 12), have actually varied between 0.8-2.5% since 1999, with recent rates at the higher end of this unfortunate range.

• The 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH) reported to the general populace that there was a rate of 0.1% of use and abuse for persons ages 12 or older with the highest rate, (0.2%), in the age bracket of 18-25.
• An estimated and full 2.3 million persons of the ages of 12 or older used ketamine in their lifetime, and 203,000 were past year users and abusers of the drug too.

• Past-year use of ketamine was reported at 1.0 percent of 8th-graders, 1.3 percent of 10th-graders, and 1.7 percent of 12th-graders in the year of 2009.

• People between the ages of 12 and 25 years of age accounted for 74 percent of ketamine-related emergency room visits. Approximately three percent of high school seniors admitted to using this drug at least once.

• An estimated and saddening 2.3 million teens and adults aged 12 or older used ketamine in their lifetime and 203,000 were past year users.

• In the year 2007 the Drug Enforcement Agency, (DEA), laboratories reported 377 ketamine items while only 181 items in 2008.

• According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System, (NFLIS), law enforcement officials submitted 2,319 ketamine items to state and local laboratories in 2007 and 1,538 items in 2008.  Seizure of this drug is now over 3,000 a year.

Rehabilitation: How to Win the Battle Against Ketamine Abuse and Addiction Once and for All

For those addicted to Ketamine, there is a way out.  No one should have to be addicted to anything for any length of time at all.  If one is addicted to anything at all, Ketamine included, then the answer to their dilemma lies in them taking a course through an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment center, detox facility, rehab program, recovery organization, and assessment center.

Such a program and center can effectively detox one down off of his or her Ketamine addiction, no matter how much of the drug he or she has been talking, how often he or she has been taking it, or for how long.  Anyone can get detoxed at an inpatient rehab center.  Once detox is completed, rehab begins.  In this stage of the process one will have access to all of he counseling, therapy, group sessions, electives, life skills, and relapse prevention needed to get him or her to a point where he or she can effectively and permanently be able to be free from drug and alcohol addiction for good.  This process works just as well for those addicted to Ketamine.  A Ketamine addiction is a tough habit to have, but with the help of a good, inpatient rehab center anyone can beat it.