Using Ketamine has been described as a mental lure that is equal only to that of cocaine. For many people with Ketamine addiction stories, introduction to this drug often occurs in a nightclub or other social setting. After a while however, the pull of Ketamine can lead to increased frequency of use that eventually occur more and more in isolation. This is the way it happened for one recovering addict who said he began with a small amount of Ketamine while clubbing with friends. However, before long he found himself using the drug alone in his bedroom. Eventually his dependence on the drug increased to the point that he started walking around with the drug hidden in his sock while at work to use as needed.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Ketamine is a dissociative or hallucinogenic substance that is used legally in strictly controlled environments such as in preparation for surgery or for patients in intensive care. It is also used as an anesthetic in veterinary practice. Ketamine has also become increasingly popular as a recreational drug that is referenced by various names in social settings such as Cat Valium, K, Special K and Vitamin K to name a few. Beyond the dangers of addiction to Ketamine, substance abusers often experience problems with focus, learning, and memory.
Studies indicate that the drug is also capable of producing dreamlike states, hallucinations, speech impairment, immobility, spikes in blood pressure, unconsciousness and respiratory depression that can result in death. Sadly, just being at the wrong place at the wrong time can begin a pattern of drug use that steal years from an individual’s life.
In Mark’s addiction story, he was first introduced to drugs on one of his visits to see his girlfriend. Although his initial reaction was to walk away when he saw her using drugs, he was encouraged to stay and then convinced that the drug would help him to study at school and be more productive at work. This unexpected exposure led to a thirteen-year addiction, drug substitutions, homelessness and self-hatred. Luckily for Mark, he was able through a treatment program to find his way out of an addiction lifestyle. “I never believed I would lose the desire to use drugs but by asking for help and following suggestions, I know in my heart that just for today, I never have to use again. I am grateful to be an addict in recovery” Mark said. Psychological addiction to Ketamine can occur quickly with regular use. As such, withdrawal symptoms typically associated with halting drug use are usually emotional and include depression, irritability and insomnia.
Binge behavior may also occur in some individuals who relapse after a period of abstinence. In addition to the typical signs of drug abuse, symptoms of Ketamine addiction may include:
Seeking help for addiction to Ketamine as soon as possible is important to prevent long term psychological effects. Although Ketamine addiction is a chronic disease that will take time to heal, there are various treatment options available. The duration and specific treatment model is determined by the unique needs of each patients and whether there is poly drug use or other underlying issues that need to be addressed during the rehabilitation process. Recovery is therefore based on an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s physical and psychological health and a comprehensive continuum of care that provide the tools and techniques to achieve recovery and the ability to maintain long term sobriety.
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