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Ketamine addiction : The high risk ‘party high’

Sometimes referred to as ‘the horse tranquilliser’, ketamine is commonly used as an anaesthetic by vets and doctors, and is an easy drug to abuse.

In 2019, a leading UK broadsheet reported that fears were growing about the rise of ketamine use by young people. Seizures of the drug had increased by 30% during the previous year, while a 2017-18 crime survey for England and Wales showed a marked increase in the number of people using the drug from the previous year. In a separate article a ketamine user talks about ketamine delivering ‘…a drunk-like feeling’ that could block out anxiety and depression, whilst recognising dangers such long-term use leading to complications with the bladder and kidneys.

Ketamine misuse can cause psychological addiction, with users needing ever-increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired ‘high’. Withdrawal symptoms can be so unpleasant that the user turns back to ketamine to alleviate the negative effects.

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Why do people abuse Ketamine?

Studies have shown that addiction to ketamine is not physical but purely psychological. It is most often used to alleviate feelings of anxiety or depression. It induces a trance-like state whilst providing sedation and pain relief. When injected, effects usually take hold within five minutes and last up to half an hour.

What are the effects?

The most noticeable effects of taking ketamine include tachycardia, where the heart rate exceeds the normal resting rate, general unsteadiness and loss of balance, feelings of nausea and anxiety, and a propensity to forget things. Users often enter a dissociative state, with some heavy users reporting cloudy or bloody urine and pain when going to the toilet.

The dangers of mixing it.

When mixed with other substances ketamine can become more hazardous. Its anaesthetic qualities make it dangerous to use alongside alcohol or opiates, increasing the chances of the user fainting or experiencing breathing difficulties. Increased levels of anxiety and severe palpitations can result.

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What is the best treatment for Ketamine addiction?

Experienced professionals, such as those at Delamere, will carry out in-depth initial assessments as to the causes of your personal addiction before structuring a personalised programme of recovery which could typically entail detox, therapy, counselling and extensive aftercare. The full detox programme could last up to 7 days, after which you will be introduced to various short and long-term coping strategies with a view to preventing any relapse.

“I know one ket user who had to have his bladder used due to ongoing overuse. In my case it ultimately led to me becoming homeless.” – Ketamine user

If you are worried that ketamine addiction has become a problem in your life, or in the life of someone you care about call our team today for help and support.

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