What is Ketamine?

Ketamine, known as “Special K” is a dissociative anesthetic used in a variety of medical scenarios for humans and animals, and it is also a common “club drug” like ecstacy. It produces a feeling of dissociation, and can also have sedative and hallucinogenic effects, making it popular in club settings as a drug of abuse. In a medical setting, Ketamine is used as a general anesthetic for surgeries, and can help with pain control in cases where medical providers do not want to use opioids.

Ketamine has a high potential for abuse, given its side effects of hallucinations and dissociation, and is commonly used in conjunction with “rave culture”. Ketamine, given its sedative and dissociative effects,  has also been used as a date-rape drug. It has the effect, essentially, of putting the user in a sort of trance, where they act as a sort of third party to everything that they experience. Ketamine creates out of body experiences, and at high doses, can create what’s called a “K-Hole” (dissociative near-death experience). Prolonged use can lead to a debilitating condition of psychological dependance on the drug, and adverse side effects include drowsiness, delirium, dissociation of identity, agitation, difficulty thinking, involuntary muscle movements, slurred speech, numbness, amnesia, and slowed heart beat.

Ketamine is a controlled substance, and is psychologically addicting. If you believe that your loved one may have a problem with ketamine, they may need professional help, as they are likely psychologically addicted to the drug. There are many forms of help that are available to someone that has a problem with drugs such as ketamine, but the best option is admittance to a program that uses the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a foundation for recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of addiction. Other programs exist that do not use this model, but testimony and statistics show that a 12 Step based program has the highest potential to combat relapse.

A program that is 12 Step based will require a certain amount of willingness to examine the underlying causes of what causes an addict to use, and focuses on the principle of rigorous honesty. A staple in a program such as this is the text commonly referred to as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, which spells out exactly how a person who has struggled with drugs and alcohol can get and stay clean and sober, and live a fulfilling life. It is marketed as a program that is simple, but not easy.

Ketamine, though used in a medical setting on occasion, has the potential to be a very dangerous and addictive substance, and if you believe that someone you know may have a problem with ketamine, it may be necessary to refer them to a higher level of care, so that they may combat this problem. Some research suggests that ketamine may be used to combat depression and PTSD, but as these theories are not approved by the FDA, it is recommended that someone who has addictive tendencies stays away from a powerful drug like ketamine.   

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