Many people associate addiction with alcohol and illegal drugs. More and more, certain therapeutic drugs are often sold illegally and misused to get high. Any substance that causes changes in the brain or body has the potential to be habit-forming.
When the brain chemistry is altered by substances, it starts relying on the drug to maintain the pleasurable effects. As a result, the obsessive desires for the drug can cause you to act impulsively (without regarding your rational thoughts). Sadly, this creates a downward spiral that can affect your health, career, and personal relationships.
Misusing the drug ketamine can cause hallucinations and a feeling of detachment from one’s body. Short and long-term effects can be devastating to a person’s physical and mental health. In addition, the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can make quitting the drug extremely difficult.
What is ketamine? What are the health effects? Is recovery possible? Where can I get ketamine addiction treatment in Scottsdale, Arizona? Pinnacle Peak Recovery understands this drug addiction well, and we have the answers you need in this article.
Select any of the topics below to jump directly to that section:
- What is ketamine?
- How and why is it used?
- What are the symptoms of use and addiction?
- What are the dangers?
- How is this addiction treated?
- Is treatment available in Arizona?
- Call us now to get the help you deserve.
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is a controlled substance known as a “dissociative anesthetic.” This class of drugs distorts the perception of sight and sound. It creates feelings of dissociation and detachment from the self or the environment. It has a similar chemical structure to phencyclidine, otherwise known as PCP.
Doctors generally use this substance as anesthesia. It emerged in the 1960s. As it’s usage increased among medical professionals, it was used to help fallen soldiers battling in the Vietnam War. It gained popularity as a recreational drug in the 1970s. It eventually became a favorite club drug at young adult raves and dance parties.
This drug is also used in veterinary medicine. In fact, a lot of this drug that can be found on the streets is stolen from veterinarian’s offices. It is also sometimes smuggled over the border from Mexico.
In medical settings, this drug is commonly found in the form of an injectable liquid. On the streets, however, it may be diluted into a powder. It can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or added to cigarettes or marijuana joints. It has no detectable odor or taste so it can be added to the drinks of unsuspecting victims; this is how it gained notoriety as a date rape drug.
In addition to the date rape drug, ketamine has many other street names. These include K drug, special K, vitamin K, super acid, ket drug, kit kat, and cat tranquilizers, to name a few. In medicine, it may be known by the brand name Ketalar.
How and why do people use it?
Those who use this drug recreationally often enjoy the relaxing short-term effects and dream-like states it can cause. In smaller doses, it helps relieve pain and can make a person feel calmer. It can also produce a sensation of being detached from the body. Some people experience brief periods of visual and auditory hallucinations. Sometimes these hallucinations are pleasant, but they can be terrifying. In fact, bad trips are often referred to as going down a K-hole.
In addition to the calming and hallucinogenic effects, people may experience slurred speech, dizziness, less response to pain, loss of motor coordination, and vivid dreams.
Those attending raves may seek a ketamine high to feel an out of body experience while dancing and engaging with others. Unfortunately, some people use it to drug unsuspecting victims to put them in a vulnerable position for sexual advances.
What are the symptoms and signs of ketamine use and addiction?
Do you suspect a loved one is abusing ketamine? There are some signs and symptoms that may confirm your suspicions. People who use it may act strangely; they often don’t respond to painful stimuli. They have a depressed mental state so they may seem out of it or be unable to have meaningful interactions. One telltale sign is nystagmus, which refers to uncontrolled, repetitive eye movements.
People who have been abusing the drug for a more extended period of time may have difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. Their memory may be impacted, and they often have generalized feelings of detachment from the real world.
How long do the effects last? Most taking the drug experience the high for a couple of hours. Some effects of the drug, however, such as impaired coordination and judgment, may last much longer than the initial high.
If someone becomes dependent on this drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. Some symptoms mimic a bad case of the flu. If you suspect a loved one is dealing with withdrawal, however, you may notice other psychological effects not often associated with the flu. Here are common withdrawal symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stiff muscles
- Dilated pupils
- Involuntary eye movements
- Mood changes
- Intense cravings
Depending on a person’s history of drug use, the withdrawal symptoms may last for a few days or up to a week. The unpleasant experience causes many to relapse. This is one reason why it is important to get help for your loved one if you suspect their flu-like symptoms may be the result of withdrawal.
In addition to withdrawal symptoms and specific signs of ketamine use, there are certain red flags that are often common to people who are struggling with any type of addiction. Many long-term users develop tolerance to the drug. This means they need more of the drug to get the desired effects. When a substance starts taking over a person’s life, they may show certain signs even if they are hiding their drug use from loved ones. These include:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Associating with a new peer group
- Altering sleep patterns
- Mood swings and irritability
- Losing interest in activities they once loved to do
- Increased absence from work or school
- Disappearing for periods of time
- Presence of drug paraphernalia in their living space. This could include pill packets, needles, or empty medical bottles.
- Making references to the drug or its street names
- Financial difficulties
- Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors while high or to obtain the drug
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, help is available. Addiction is a progressive disease that only gets worse as time goes on. The obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that are often associated with the drug won’t magically clear up on their own. The longer a person waits to seek help, the more likely it is that they will suffer major health issues, interpersonal problems, legal trouble, and emotional difficulties.
Is ketamine dangerous?
Ketamine has some therapeutic purposes in the medical world. However, when it is not taken under the guidance of a doctor, it can be very dangerous. In fact, the long-term effects of abuse can cause major damage to the body. More alarmingly, even short-term use can be deadly.
People who use this drug may experience an altered state of consciousness, which impacts their judgment and perceptions of the world. Because hallucinations are likely, one may experience a “bad trip” and start acting erratically. This can put a person in a vulnerable position, cause them to engage in dangerous behaviors, or lead to trouble with the law. It is an anesthetic so someone who is using it can suffer serious injury without even realizing it.
Can you overdose on ketamine? Yes. Overdose is very dangerous and life-threatening. Even small doses that are injected or snorted can lead to overdose. Using it with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants like Valium or Xanax increases the risk of a dangerous overdose.
Symptoms of overdose include difficulty breathing, extreme confusion, paralysis, seizures, elevated blood pressure, coma, and death. Using the drug also causes changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. Many people who are abusing the drug experience severe abdominal pain. The kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract are also affected. In fact, long-term use can cause ketamine bladder syndrome which is very serious and often irreversible.
In addition to the physical dangers, people can also experience panic attacks, anxiety, aggression, and depression. Memory is often negatively impacted, as well as the ability to learn new information and concentrate.
The risks of using this drug far outweigh the brief periods of physical pleasure. If you’re beginning to realize just how dangerous this drug is to your health and well-being, you may also be wondering how you can finally get clean. Luckily, help is available. In fact, knowledgeable professionals help people struggling with ketamine addiction every day.
What are the options for ketamine addiction treatment?
Lasting recovery doesn’t mean simply detoxing or ending the drug use. This approach often sets someone who is struggling with addiction up for failure. For most people, true recovery is a process of discovering the root causes of their addiction, understanding new ways to interact with their emotions and the outside world, and developing coping skills to use when times get tough.
The first step for a long-term user is usually to detox from the drug. Unfortunately, the withdrawal period can be very uncomfortable. When you have medical professionals supervising your detox, it ensures that you remain safe and medically stable. Often, this type of detox is much more comfortable because of the caring and compassionate staff who are available to help. Medically supervised detox also prevents you from relapsing on the drug if the withdrawal symptoms seem unbearable.
After your body recovers from not having the drug, the real work begins. There is no single approach to ketamine abuse treatment; it often requires a variety of therapies that resonate with a person. What works for some people won’t work for others. This is why it is crucial that you have dedicated professionals that listen to your story, struggles, and preferences at every step of your treatment.
Psychotherapy, sometimes known as talk therapy, can help you work through issues that may cause your addictive behaviors. There are many types of psychotherapy including cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and EMDR.
In addition, a holistic approach with complementary therapies has been proven to be beneficial for many people who are struggling with addiction. Holistic refers to treating the whole person instead of their diagnosis or set of symptoms. By using proven techniques like meditation, yoga therapy, Tai Chi, fitness, experiential therapy, and equine therapy, you can begin to discover a new way of living without the crutch of drugs. Our beautiful Arizona rehab facility offers these therapies and more to help you start living the life you deserve.
Many families also struggle when their loved one deals with addiction. Family therapy provides an opportunity to re-establish relationships and teach loved ones the necessary skills to support a person throughout their recovery.
It’s important to know that successful addiction treatment requires an individualized approach. There are many different factors and circumstances that can lead to addiction, which is why treatments that are catered to the individual are much more successful.
Is ketamine abuse treatment available near me in Arizona?
Do you live in the Scottdale, Arizona area? Are you looking for ketamine addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one? If so, you have access to a passionate team of professionals who want to see you succeed.
Pinnacle Peak Recovery is ready to help. How do we do this? We get to know you. We learn about your struggles, strengths, and personal goals. From there, we create a treatment plan that resonates with you. As you enjoy small victories in your recovery, we continue to adapt your treatment so you can build the skills, support network, and motivation to maintain your sobriety.
Pinnacle Peak Recovery offers men’s and women’s rehab options, dual diagnosis treatment, and a wide variety of programs and therapies that ensure support throughout your recovery. Overcoming addiction requires a complete overhaul of your thoughts, behaviors, and reactions to stress. This is why we focus on holistic services that keep you engaged in treatment and help you develop new interests and life skills.
At our location in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, you will be able to utilize many different types of therapy including outdoor therapy, equine therapy, yoga, individual counseling, and more.
We understand recovery is a process. This is why we offer a continuum of care. From the initial phone call to celebrating recovery milestones, we are with you every step of the way. Why not let Pinnacle Peak Recovery help you regain control of your life?
Start your ketamine addiction recovery today.
Many people struggling with substance abuse or addiction are concerned about getting help. We know that starting recovery is difficult, but people that finally get treatment only have one regret: not taking action sooner. You don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom to get treatment. In fact, early intervention can save you from many serious problems down the road.
A simple call to 866-954-0524 will put you in contact with an admissions professional who will listen to your story and struggles. Together, you can discover the best ways you can finally face your addiction.
Ketamine is dangerous. It destroys many lives. Don’t wait another day to get the help you need. Start living the healthy, happy life you deserve by calling Pinnacle Peak Recovery today.