Ketamine has been a safe substance in the medical world for years. However, like many other substances that are meant for beneficial purposes, it is often abused. When used in a non-medical setting, Ketamine is a powerful and dangerous drug that can lead to a life altering addiction.
Ketamine is often abused because many people are seduced by its hallucinogenic effects. Users snort or swallow the drug as a powder, inject it as a liquid intramuscularly, smoke it on tobacco or marijuana, or swallow it as a pill in ecstasy tablets.
Those using Ketamine experience hallucinations, euphoria, confusion, lost sense of time, numbness in the extremities, float-y feeling, and amplified sense of touch and vision. The most extreme effect, known as entering a “K-hole,” is described as a near death experience characterized by rising above the body and moving towards “the light.”
Ketamine causes a psychological addiction in users who become dependent on the feeling of being dissociated from the world. Frequent use of the drug can build up a tolerance, causing users to take more and more to produce the desired results.
Ketamine addiction is common in the rave and night club scene, as it is often paired with ecstasy and used as a “dance drug.” Although addiction to Ketamine is psychological, the condition is serious and can have damaging effects in an addict's life.
Consequences of Ketamine Use
Common side effects of Ketamine abuse include delirium, amnesia, panic, rage, paranoia, feeling paralyzed, impaired motor skills and potentially fatal respiratory problems.
Long term Ketamine use can cause damage to memory and eyesight, as well as reducing attention span. It has also been reported that Ketamine users can experience flashbacks in which they experience the effects of the drug without warning. The biggest consequence of Ketamine addiction is the effect it can have on an individual’s personal relationships. Drug addiction is notorious for tearing families apart.
Ketamine withdrawal affects the addict both mentally and physically. It would be in the best interest of any individual seeking rehabilitation to call on the help of a professional. Withdrawal can cause a loss of mental stability and lead to neurotic behavior that should only occur under careful supervision. An addict with an overwhelmingly strong addiction could relapse into using the drug again; this is most common in individuals who attempt to rehabilitate without seeking any professional help. With every relapse, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop using.
Although the dissociative effects of Ketamine may be alluring, the consequences of using this drug far out-weigh the benefits. Ketamine should stay in the medical world where it belongs - to be used as an anesthetic, not as an escape from reality. Anyone who abuses Ketamine risks falling prey to a destructive addiction.