What Is Ketamine Drug

Ketamine drug is a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects.  It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel detached and not in control.  This drug is an injectable, short-acting sedative for use in humans and animals.  It is a “dissociative anesthetic” because it makes patients or users disconnected from their pain and environment.

Ketamine can provoke a state of sedation to make someone feel calm and relaxed, immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia; having no memory of events while under the influence of the drug.

It is misused or abused for its capacity to produce dissociative sensations and hallucinations.  Ketamine has also been used to facilitate sexual assault. [1]

Dissociative ketamine is also referred to as Special K and Vitamin K.

Anesthetic Ketamine Drug

Ketamine is a potent drug that is likely the most commonly used anesthetic.  In addition, it is categorized as an essential drug, which means that adequate quantities should be available at all times to meet healthcare needs.

 In 1985, ketamine drug was added to the WHO (World Health Organization) Model List of Essential Medicines and the Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.
In 1985, ketamine drug was added to the WHO (World Health Organization) Model List of Essential Medicines and the Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.

The substance is also suitable for pain relief.  It is perhaps the most common sedative in veterinary surgery.  In addition, drug abuse and maltreatment have been the researching targets involving substance use for anxiety disorders and epilepsy ketamine abuse in recent years.

Those who abuse dissociative drugs sense themselves differently and perceive their surroundings differently because of ketamine abuse.  Therefore, it is not regarded as a narcotic or barbiturate, even though it is listed as Schedule III on the federally regulated substance list.

Use and Abuse of Ketamine Drug

A typical use of ketamine during a surgical procedure is to produce a sedative effect, which is reasonably effective in relieving the sensation of pain.  However, apart from sedating the body, the drug interferes with normal motor functions, and one cannot move.  Therefore, the risk of overdosing always exists when abused.

Most ketamine exists in powder form, which is snorted or swallowed.  It may also be dissolvable to be injected.  The drug, which came in tablet form, has fallen out of favor with the clubbers since its early days.  Unfortunately, though, many still mix the tablets with other stimulants, usually caffeinated ones.  A Pharmacopoeia drug is a liquid sedative form for medics & vets’ use.

Signs of Addiction

The other name of the drug is “K-hole.”  Because it stops pain receptors while on it.  For instance, people get injuries while on the drug, but they do not realize it.  Moreover, ketamine abuse or dependency can manifest in many ways.  Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Slurred Speech
  • Moving is difficult for some people
  • Depression
  • Tolerance
  • Getting preoccupied with the drug
  • Skin Flushing or Redness
  • Overcoming withdrawal symptoms by continuing its use
  • Anxiousness
  • Having a strong urge for it
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop taking the drug
  • There’s a craving to the drug during sociable time

Health Effects & Hazards Associated with Ketamine

Short-Term:

  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Slowed Breathing
  • Paranoia
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Grogginess
  • Disorientation

Long-Term:

  • Blister Ulcers
  • Kidney Problems
  • Stomachache
  • Depression
  • Poor mental judgment

Limitations and Warnings

According to National Center for Biotechnology Information [2], here are the warnings for using ketamine:

  • The increase in muscle tone produced by ketamine makes it unsuitable for operations where muscle relaxation is needed.
  • It is not indicated in conditions like hypertension, schizophrenia, and raised intraocular pressure
  • Though this drug well maintains the airway, some form of airway compromise needing manipulation can occur
  • The increase in salivation produced by ketamine can be troublesome and may produce laryngospasm in children. Premedication with an antisialogogue may be advisable.
  • It produces dose-dependent psychological manifestations like emergence reactions, dreams, hallucinations, and long-term psychotomimetic effects.
  • Ketamine is popular as a “vet medicine,” and many people consider this as a stigma.
  • Ketamine has the potential to cause addiction.
  • Ulcerative cystitis, secondary renal damage, and hepatic failure can occur with high doses of oral ketamine.
  • Frequent ketamine abuse can cause long-standing memory impairment.
  • Anesthetic concentrations of ketamine could exert negative actions on both μ and k opioid receptors, and hence high doses of ketamine may not be an appropriate addition to opioids.
  • Epidural and spinal routes of administration of the drug are generally not recommendable due to unclear toxicity issues.
  • High-dose of the drug emphasizes apoptosis in the newborn brain of animals. The release of neurotoxic mediators may cause neuronal apoptosis and consequent neuronal damage in humans.

The Ketamine Comedown

Even after using the drug for a short period, there is a high possibility that a user will undergo a “comedown.”  This comedown is a drug-induced equivalent to a hangover and can be intense and dangerous.  Since ketamine is a sedative, it is very apparent for users to experience extreme confusion and delirium when the initial feeling of being “high” disappears.

These individuals may also experience physical and muscle weakness, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.  They also may encounter numbness, impaired vision, and severe confusion that often leads to aggressive behavior, amnesia, and delirium.  In addition, these symptoms are more likely to happen at higher doses of the drug, with frequent use over too many hours, or combining the drug with alcohol or other illicit drugs.

The Dangers of Ketamine

The drug is a schedule III substance, making it illegal for recreational use.  Schedule III drugs are likely to cause psychological dependence and may cause physical dependence.  When someone uses the drug recreationally, they may experience severe side effects, such as:

  • Disorientation
  • Respiratory Distress
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Psychotic Episodes and Hallucinations
  • Slowed Movement
  • Impaired Cognitive Function
  • Numbness
  • Elevated Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Slurred Speech
  • Impaired Judgment
  • Impaired Motor Function
  • Distorted perceptions of sight and sound

Bladder impairment is common in ketamine addicts.  Twenty-five percent of ketamine users report pain related to emptying their bladder, the urine often containing blood.  Even users who only take Ketamine hardly report the sensation of “ket cramps,” or pain while urinating due to the harsh nature of the chemicals passing through their kidneys and urinary tract.  Given that, in only months of heavy use, it will impair the bladder.

To emphasize, when you abuse Ketamine for a long period, these side effects can last well over a year.  Brain damage and impaired cognitive function can be permanent, such as kidney damage.  In addition, respiratory failure and increased heart rate can result in death.

Rehab for Drug Addiction

Someone who has abused this drug over a long period may experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.  Because drug addiction is primarily psychological, the withdrawal symptoms are mainly present too in discontinuation.  In addition, common symptoms include paranoia, depression, and emotional imbalance.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Hearing Loss
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Loss of Motor Skills
  • Double Vision
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Rapid Breathing
What is Ketamine Drug
Addiction Rehab Detox Center

Although these withdrawal symptoms can be distressing, most doctors don’t suggest a taper-down method.  Most detox programs use a cold turkey approach, but this is advisable in a medically supervised setting due to the unpredictable nature of the ketamine withdrawal symptoms.  Some medications can help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms.

Furthermore, inpatient treatment for ketamine dependence is often effective and includes group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and usually a 12-step program.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a ketamine addiction, get in touch with us today, and we will answer any of your questions on how you may begin with treatment.

Sources:

[1] Ketamine 2020 – Drug Enforcement Administration
[2]  Ketamine: Current applications in anesthesia, pain, and critical care – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine