While ketamine does not cause a physical dependence (many addictive drugs do not), it does cause a psychological dependence in those who use the drug repeatedly. The dissociation from consciousness that a ketamine user experiences can be seductive in nature and can result in a tremendous psychological dependence. Regular ketamine abuse will lead to a rapid growth in tolerance, meaning that a ketamine addict will need to constantly increase their dose of the drug to reach the desired effects, which can be very dangerous to the user.
Long-Term Health Effects of Ketamine Addiction
Most commonly used for anesthetic purposes in hospitals of veterinarian clinics, ketamine use over long periods of time can result in serious health problems including the following:
- Ketamine addiction
- Impaired motor function
- Memory loss
- High blood pressure
- Fatal respiratory problems
- Severe confusion
- Severe dissociation
- Loss of consciousness
- Depression of heart rate
- Depression of respiration
Dangers of Ketamine Addiction
As ketamine abuse and addiction is most commonly found in the club drug scene, it is important to note that it is often mixed with alcohol, cocaine, meth, ecstasy and heroin which can create lethal mixtures. Large doses of ketamine on its own can cause cardiac arrest, and chances of this happening increases significantly when mixed with alcohol and other drugs.
Ketamine Addiction Treatment Options
Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment are feasible options for the treatment of ketamine addiction. However, it's the severity of the addiction that will often determine which of those options is most suitable.
Outpatient addiction treatment is reserved for those ketamine addicts who are still able to function somewhat normally in their day to day lives while attending counselling sessions a few times per week for addiction treatment.
For more severe ketamine addictions, or for those who have the opportunity to take the time away from work and family obligations, residential rehab is recommended.
What are the Benefits of Residential Rehab?
There are many benefits of attending residential rehab facilities for those suffering from ketamine which are as follows:
- Ability to focus on recovery.
The only thing anyone in residential rehab needs to worry about is getting better and treating their addiction. Meals are cooked, rooms are cleaned, laundry is done and activities are scheduled. This leaves clients free to truly focus on their own recovery.
- Far from people, places or events that trigger ketamine use.
In many cases, quitting substance use without changing environments is incredibly difficult if not impossible. Residential rehab allows ketamine addicts the opportunity to be far from the people, places and events that trigger ketamine use in their daily lives.
- Group and one-on-one-counselling.
Both types of counselling are integral to successful ketamine addiction, and both will be a large part of the daily routines and activities at an inpatient treatment center.
- Integration of several therapeutic methods into the daily schedule.
Staying at the addiction treatment center 24 hours a day means there is more opportunity to incorporate several types of therapies which addicts in outpatient treatment would have to make time for on their own (if at all). These therapies include art therapy, drama therapy, yoga and physical fitness among others which work well together to speed up the process of addiction recovery and secure long-lasting results.
- Confidential treatment.
All treatment at an inpatient addiction treatment facility is completely confidential.