Ketamine addiction has the potential to destroy your life or the life of someone you care about. But there are a number of options for treating an addiction to this damaging substance. It is important to choose the center that best meets your needs and individual circumstances.
Ketamine, a drug classified as a dissociative anesthetic, can cause distortions in the user’s perception, dream-like states of delirium, and a feeling of detachment from the body and environment.1 In the past few decades, ketamine has gained popularity as a “club drug” due to its euphoric qualities; however, it also has dangerous side effects and potentially addictive properties.
Some users will binge on ketamine to prolong the effects, which only exacerbates the addictive qualities. Ketamine users may experience tolerance to the drug’s effects with continued use, and may furthermore develop cravings when drug use slows or stops.1 High doses of ketamine can cause problems with motor functioning, high blood pressure, and lethal respiratory issues.1
If ketamine addiction is affecting you or someone you care about, getting into an addiction treatment program can help.
What Is Inpatient Treatment?
Inpatient facilities guide you through treatment so you can be a stronger, healthier version of yourself in recovery.
Research has shown that both inpatient and outpatient programs can be effective at treating substance abuse and promoting lasting sobriety.2 People who have a strong support network or minimal temptation to use drugs in their daily lives often do well with outpatient treatment programs; however, those who have a longer history of ketamine or other substance abuse, physiological dependence, withdrawal symptoms, peers who continue to use, or other temptations in their daily lives may have more success at an inpatient center. During inpatient treatment for ketamine addiction, you will reside at the rehab facility with supervision and access to personalized care from trained medical staff 24 hours per day. Inpatient rehab facilities often incorporate detox, guiding you all the way from initial withdrawal through therapy so you can be a stronger, healthier version of yourself in recovery. Inpatient treatment programs offer:
- Help identifying and treating any underlying medical or mental health issues that may have contributed to your addiction.
- Support and medical care while you complete the detox process in a safe, comfortable environment.
- When appropriate, supportive medications to minimize some of the uncomfortable symptoms encountered during ketamine withdrawal.
- A safe place to focus on your treatment and recovery away from the pressures of home, work, and family life.
- Individualized care designed to meet your needs and help you at whatever point you are at in your recovery.
- Specialized therapies such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that have been proven effective with a wide number of mental health and substance use disorders.
- Comprehensive aftercare planning and help transitioning back to life outside of rehab to promote long-term recovery.
Battling addiction is a difficult challenge, but with the right help, you can be successful. Inpatient treatment facilities are dedicated to helping patients achieve long-term recovery and will will work to accommodate any needs you may have.
What Happens During Rehab?
Before entering a treatment program, the process may seem scary or uncertain. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more comfortable taking the first step toward recovery. Most rehab programs will follow a 4-step process, with customized care based on your changing needs at each stage.
- Intake and assessment — When you first begin ketamine rehab, you will spend some time getting to know the medical staff and therapists. During this stage, staff members will ask for a detailed history of your substance use. Your honest responses will help the intake staff customize your care based on your needs. For example, if you have a history of polysubstance use (using multiple drugs at the same time), the staff may prescribe medication to help you through difficult withdrawal symptoms. Or if you have experienced depression or anxiety, your treatment will target those issues in addition to your substance abuse. It is in your best interest to be completely upfront about your substance use, mental health, and medical histories.
- Detox — During the detox phase, addiction specialists and medical professionals will help you clear the last traces of ketamine from your system and keep a close watch on your medical condition to ensure your safety throughout the process.3 The amount of time needed to detox from ketamine, and the withdrawal symptoms experienced, varies from person to person.4 Depending on your specific symptoms, you may be prescribed medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms. For example, patients with insomnia may be prescribed a mild sleep aid to help the body rest and recover.
- Treatment — Rehab lasts a minimum of 30 days, and can last up to 180 days depending on your needs and progress. A successful treatment program will address any underlying medical conditions, psychological conditions, or emotional issues. Substance abuse often stems from deep-seated problems that permeate many areas of life. Your program will help identify those challenges and work through them at a safe, comfortable pace with the support of caring professionals.
- Aftercare — The final stage of ketamine addiction treatment is aftercare and recovery, a process that will continue throughout your life. To give you the best chance of successful recovery when you leave rehab, staff members will work with you to put together a customized aftercare plan, which may include support groups, individual and group counseling, ongoing medical care, and access to other resources that you may need.
Is Rehab Right For You?
The journey to a healthy, sober life is not a quick and easy one. It is a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work. The rewards gained from transforming a life of addiction into a life of recovery, however, are immeasurable and well worth the effort. Read More
Do I Need Help?
If you show any of the signs or symptoms of ketamine abuse, dependence, or addiction, you may likely benefit from ktreatment. According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are several signs of a substance use disorder that you should watch out for, including:5
- Experiencing significant impairment in day-to-day functioning, or significant distress as a result of ketamine use.
- Taking ketamine in larger and larger doses over a period of time, or using ketamine for longer periods of time than you originally intended.
- Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from ketamine use.
- Experiencing cravings for or a strong desire to use ketamine.
- Failing to fulfill responsibilities due to using ketamine.
- Continuing to use ketamine even when use of the drug is causing problems in your social relationships, at work, at school, or in other areas of your life.
- Giving up relationships or hobbies to continue using ketamine.
- Using ketamine in situations where it is dangerous, such as while driving.
- Continuing to use ketamine after developing health problems as a direct result of your drug use.
- Developing a tolerance for ketamine over time (such as needing to use more of the drug to achieve the same effect).
What Kind of Center Should I Choose?
Many rehab centers that offer treatment for ketamine addiction also offer specialized programs to meet unique patient needs. For example, you may feel more comfortable attending a facility that is specific to your gender or sexual preference. Perhaps you want a private room, or treatment that focuses on religion as the path to recovery.
If you are a high-level business professional, an executive rehab center can provide options to help you keep up with the office during your treatment. Or if a 5-star resort is more your style, consider luxury rehab as a place to pamper your senses and treat your substance use disorder. If you have a specific need, there is a program that is right for you.
When scoping out programs, have your insurance information handy that you can discuss your coverage. You may also call your insurance provider ahead of time to discuss covered programs.
Can Addiction Be Cured?
Unfortunately, there is no absolute cure for ketamine addiction. Addiction is a chronic condition that requires dedication and professional help to manage. At a rehab center, you will receive the expert medical care, therapeutic treatment, and a plan for specialized aftercare to help you attain sobriety and maintain it in the long term.
Because addiction is a chronic condition, relapses are common and it takes an unending focus on staying sober to maintain your recovery. If you've tried treatment before and relapsed, don't give up. Relapse is absolutely normal for people suffering and attempting to recover from an addiction. You may need to adjust your treatment plan, learning from what worked for you (and what didn't) in the past.
Ketamine addiction is a challenging problem to face, but there is help available. You do not have to go through this process alone.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2010). Club Drugs (GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol).
- Mojtabai, R. & Zivin, J. G. (2003). Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness of Four Treatment Modalities for Substance Disorders: A Propensity Score Analysis. Health Services Research, 38(1), 233–259.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2013). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment: A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 45).
- University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research. (2013). Ketamine.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.