Effects of Ketamine Addiction. Ketamine Drug Overdose and Addiction Treatment

Programs, services, and treatments vary. We Level Up FL is a primary mental health center offering co-occurring treatments. We treat the entirety of behavioral health disorders including their secondary corresponding illnesses to improve long-term recovery outcomes. Get a free mental health assessment and find out what treatment options are most suitable for you. We Level Up Florida can help with inpatient primary mental health therapy. Depending on the extent of secondary behavioral disorders such as addiction we can first help assess your condition and thereafter guide you to suitable treatment options.

What is Ketamine Drug?

Ketamine drug (brand name: Ketalar) is a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects. It distorts perceptions of sound and sight and makes the user feel not in control and disconnected. It is an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in animals and humans. Ketamine drug is referred to as a “dissociative anesthetic” because it makes the person feel detached from their pain and environment.

In 1999, ketamine, including its derivatives became a Schedule III non-narcotic substance under the Controlled Substances Act. However, it currently has accepted medical uses for short-term sedation and anesthesia. Moreover, in 2019, the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approved the S(+) enantiomer of ketamine (esketamine) nasal spray version (Spravato) for treatment-resistant depression that is only available at a certified doctor’s office or clinic.  This is according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) [1].

Ketamine drug got its origin in Belgium in the 1960s as an anesthesia drug for animals. The FDA approved it as an anesthetic for people in 1970. It was used in treating wounded soldiers on the battlefields in the Vietnam War. Unlike other anesthetics, ketamine doesn’t slow heart rate or breathing, so patients don’t need to be on a ventilator to receive it.

Most people who take white or light brown powder ketamine will snort it. Users often talk of taking a ‘bump’, meaning they snort a small amount of ketamine. Ketamine drug is also available in a clear liquid form for intravenous injection or as a nasal spray.  It is abused for its ability to produce hallucinations and dissociative sensations. It is tasteless and odorless, so it can be added to drinks without being detected, and it causes amnesia. Because it has been used to commit sexual assaults due to its ability to incapacitate sedate and innocent victims, ketamine is also considered to be a “date rape” drug.

Common Or Street Names

  • K
  • Special K
  • K2
  • Vitamin K
  • Super K, Super C
  • Lady K
  • Ket
  • Kit Kat
  • Ketaset
  • Jet
  • Super Acid
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Mauve
  • Super Acid
  • Special LA Coke
  • Cat Tranquilizers
  • Cat Valium

Addiction To Ketamine

Prolonged use of this drug can cause dependence. People who take ketamine regularly can develop a tolerance to it. As a result, it could lead them to take even more to get the effects they’re looking for. Quitting can lead to withdrawal symptoms and show signs like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and flashbacks. However, there are no physical withdrawal symptoms with ketamine, so ketamine drug addiction is sometimes called psychological dependence.

Chronic users of this drug have been known to “binge” their ketamine use in an attempt to experience the dissociative, euphoric effects of their early first use again. When misused, it is often sourced via the illegal diversion of prescription products, but analogs may be found on the streets. People who become addicted to ketamine will keep taking it, whether they’re aware of the health risks or not. Others will attend drug treatment services to help them stop.

Ketamine Drug is a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects.
I think when someone gets to rock bottom and they need a way out of that hole, the only way to get out is to surrender and ask for help.

Effects Of Ketamine Drug Addiction

Ketamine drug causes users to have distorted perceptions of sight and sound and to feel disconnected and out of control. In addition, the use of the drug can impair an individual’s senses, judgment, and coordination for up to 24 hours after the drug is taken even though the drug’s hallucinogenic effects usually last for only 45 to 90 minutes.

The use of ketamine has been associated with severe problems–both mental and physical. Ketamine can cause:

  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Delirium
  • Amnesia
  • Impaired motor function
  • Ulcers and pain in the bladder
  • Kidney problems
  • Unconsciousness
  • High blood pressure
  • Potentially fatal respiratory problems

A couple of minutes after taking the drug, the user may experience increased heart rate and blood pressure that gradually decreases over the next 10 to 20 minutes. Ketamine drugs can make users unresponsive to stimuli. When in this state, users experience:

  • Involuntarily rapid eye movement
  • Dilated pupils
  • Salivation
  • Tear secretions
  • Stiffening of the muscles
  • Nausea

In addition to the risks associated with ketamine itself, individuals who use the drug may put themselves at risk of sexual assault. Sexual predators reportedly have used ketamine to hurt their intended victims, either by lacing innocent victims’ drinks with the drug or by offering ketamine to victims who consume the drug without understanding the effects it will produce.

Common Drug Combinations

Polydrug use is a term for the use of more than one drug or type of drug at the same time, or one after another. Polydrug use can involve both illicit drugs and legal substances, such as alcohol and medications.  The effects of taking ketamine with other drugs, which include over-the-counter or prescribed medications, can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Ketamine Drug + Alcohol Or Opiates

Combining Ketamine with other Depressants may lead to a serious reduction in heart rate and respiratory function, and this can result in death.

Ketamine Drug + Amphetamines, Ecstasy (MDMA) And Cocaine

It can cause enormous strain on the body, as it can cause high blood pressure.

Ketamine Drug Addiction Overdose

The risk of overdose using this drug is high because, for a recreational user, there is only a slight difference in dosage between obtaining the drug’s desired effects and an overdose. An overdose can cause unconsciousness and dangerously slowed breathing. It can happen after a small dose of this drug, especially after alcohol or other drug have also been ingested. Snorting ketamine in large amounts at once can also send the drug rapidly into the bloodstream and raise the risk of overdose. Respiratory failure is the leading cause of death from a ketamine drug overdose.

Ketamine Drug
Ketamine drug overdose can be fatal

Ketamine Drug Addiction Treatment

Medically-Assisted Detox

With so many psychological side effects, cutting out on this drug can dramatically improve a person’s quality of life. But before anyone can begin the recovery process, they have to stop using ketamine and allow the substance to exit their body completely. Only then can the body begin to heal itself. Once the drug detox is done and removed from the body, the person can start to reap the benefits of a life free from the adverse side effects of this drug.

Following detox, most clients will receive recommendations to continue with their addiction treatment. Any addiction treatment program for ketamine drug addiction should be integrated with individual or group therapy, mixed with non-addictive medications as needed, to reduce anxiety and depression.

Behavioral Therapies

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can improve individuals’ behavior. CBT targets negative and maladaptive thought patterns as it promotes positive emotions and beliefs, while DBT helps individuals address conflicting impulses so they can make healthy choices. Both therapies treat substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and other mood issues. Therapy also empowers clients to identify, avoid and mitigate cues that trigger drug cravings.

Individual And Group Counseling

Addiction and mental health counseling occur in both individual and group settings. One-on-one treatment sessions may address unresolved trauma, unconscious conflicts, and specific struggles, while group sessions often involve training in life skills, stress management, conflict resolution, and social connections. Group counseling also gives individuals the chance to share their thoughts and experiences to develop social support, which is important for lasting recovery.

Find The Right Mental Health Treatment with Co-occuring Addiction Diagnosis

Ketamine drug
Ketamine drug addiction treatment program at We Level Up Florida

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up West Palm Beach Rehab. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox and or addiction rehab may be required first.  If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.


[1] DEA – https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Ketamine-2020.pdf

[2] Ketamine DrugWe Level Up