Ketamine Addiction Treatment

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Ketamine is drug used for anesthetic and pain management by both doctors and veterinarians. It was originally created as an alternative to PCP, but due to its powerful side effects, the drug was regulated for use in animals.

People who illegally use ketamine inject it, drink it, ingest it as a pill, snort it, or lace it in joints and cigarettes. It’s also used as a date-rape drug. The drug goes by many names, including “K,” “Special K,” or “Vitamin K.”

When people take it, ketamine can have a number of effects, including euphoria, hallucinations and temporary paralysis, and a dreamlike, out-of-body experience. The hallucinations it produces are similar to those who use LSD. It also blocks people from feeling pain, and may make their movements slower and speech slurred. Other short-term effects include disorientation, confusion, drowsiness, increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. While on ketamine, people can seriously injure themselves without realizing it, due to its anesthetic effects. Since ketamine can cause temporary paralysis, a paralyzed person may be unable to clear their airway, meaning they could die of aspiration.

Though it is a short-acting drug, ketamine can have some serious long-term effects on the body, especially for those who use it frequently. Side effects of ketamine abuse include:

  • Confusion, impaired judgment, delirium or amnesia
  • Changes in perceptions of color or sound
  • Flashbacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty thinking or learning
  • Bloody, cloudy pee, trouble peeing or needing to pee often
  • Pale or bluish lips, fingernails or skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Chest pain, discomfort, or tightness
  • Convulsions
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Hives, skin irritation
  • Puffy or swollen face, eyelids, lips or tongue
  • Sweating
  • Feeling too excited, nervous, or restless
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Involuntary muscle movements and slurred speech
  • Insensitivity to pain
  • Numbness
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Aggression
  • Bladder disease called ketamine-induced ulcerative cystitis

It is very easy to overdose on ketamine. Combined with other drugs, such as heroin, the risk of overdose increases. Symptoms of ketamine overdose include:

  • Labored or shallow breathing, respiratory depression which can result in brain damage and death
  • Muscle twitching
  • Cognitive decline
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired vision
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Ketamine Treatment

Ketamine treatment should normally begin with a medically assited detox process and then lead the individual through therapeutic treatment methods to allow them to address the reasons for their addiction.

The withdrawal symptoms make it hard to those dealing with ketamine addiction to quit. Long-term ketamine abuse can make people dependent on the drug meaning that they will struggle their bodies relearn how to live without the drug.

Ketamine withdrawal symptoms have been described as similar to the flu, and include

  • Chills
  • Cravings
  • Tiredness
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stiff muscles
  • Involuntary eye movements

For those who do seek medical detox, it should be done under the supervision of a physician or at ketamine treatment centers, where medical professionals can treat withdrawal symptoms.

Counseling and therapy are also a critical part of ketamine addiction. Therapy can help address the reasons a person abused ketamine, and give them the tools and skills they need to regain control of their lives and health.

Therapy and counseling may be needed to treat any co-occurring disorders as well. A person who has a co-occurring disorder has two illnesses at once, such as ketamine addiction and depression. The co-occurring illness can affect a person’s recovery and make them relapse. It needs to be treated at the same time in order to ensure recovery.

Ketamine Treatment at Sovereign Health of Florida

Sovereign Health of Florida offers ketamine addiction recovery at both our Fort Myers and Pompano Beach location. The first step in ketamine addiction treatment is to first determine if there are any underlying issues, such as a mental health disorder, that could be contributing to the addiction. We start with an intensive physical and psychological evaluation that not only looks at primary symptoms but any underlying ones as well.

We create customized ketamine treatment plans that work to help an individual regain control of their life and health. We provide effective treatment at both our Pompano Beach location and our Fort Myers location. However only Fort Myers provides detox and residential treatment options for those that need them. Both locations provide effective therapy options as part of the individual’s ketamine treatment plan. This can include individual therapy, group therapy, process groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) along with holistic therapies like yoga or art therapy.

For more information about our ketamine treatment at Sovereign Health, please contact our 24/7 helpline.

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