Ketamine is a drug used for a variety of treatments for different conditions. It is seen to be helpful and effective, but it is still a drug that has adverse side effects and can lead to addiction when misused. The fact that it can lead to addiction has made it a controversial treatment drug.
If you start experiencing symptoms of ketamine addiction or have questions about using it in general, especially with a history of a substance use disorder, treatment at Spero Recovery can help you regain control of your life.
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative drug that blocks certain neurotransmitters. An article published in Behavioural Brain Research discusses the development of Ketamine to be used in a variety of medical capacities. It states in 1962 it started to be used as an anesthetic and psychedelic agent. In 1970 Ketamine was starting to be evaluated as an antidepressant, and in 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a derivative of Ketamine to be used as a nasal spray antidepressant.
What Is It Used For?
Ketamine is used to treat several conditions and reasons, such as:
Ketamine affects the glutamate system by blocking inhibitors and creating more receptors. Glutamate helps with brain communication and is vital in the mood, memory, and learning areas of the brain.
Ketamine is used in short-term procedures because it doesn’t affect the skeletal muscles and allows the body to continue to breathe.
Ketamine blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors which means that the pain signal doesn’t reach the brain.
Ketamine’s common recreational name is Special K. It causes hallucinations, pain relief, and stress reduction.
Side Effects of Ketamine
Adverse side effects of Ketamine use include:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Feeling like you are not in control of your body
- Unresponsiveness to stimuli
- Increased tolerance
Alternatives to Using Ketamine
Ketamine targets NMDA receptors, which means alternatives should have the same or similar effects on these receptors. Some of these alternatives can include:
- CP-101 and CP-606
- Nitrous oxide
Alternatives that work on other receptors but still provide similar effects include:
- (R)-enantiomer (2R,6R)-HNK: Works on the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor
What Is the Controversy Surrounding Ketamine?
Long-term use of Ketamine can cause cognitive impairments, such as visual recognition, disrupted learning, and both spatial and working memory. Prolonged use can also lead to addiction.
How Can It Lead to Addiction?
When treating depression, Ketamine is a self-administered effect, which can lead to someone taking too much or using it too often. This can lead to tolerance, withdrawal symptoms if you try to take less or stop altogether, and addiction.
Ketamine is used as a recreational drug. It is similar to other street drugs like LSD and PCP. Ketamine causes feelings and effects that make people want to continue using it to experience them again. This leads to repeated use, which increases the chance of addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction
- Heart palpitations
- Mood Swings
Signs of Overdose
Signs of a Ketamine overdose include:
- Breathing problems
- Ulcerative cystitis
First would be to go through detox, then to find an appropriate recovery facility to meet your needs. There is no universal treatment for ketamine addiction at this time.
How Can Spero Recovery Help With My Ketamine Addiction?
Spero Recovery runs an affordable and effective 12-Step based residential program. They have separate programs for men and women because they understand there are unique needs that must be met for men versus women. Spero uses sponsors to help you work through the steps of your recovery and act as a support system.
They understand that men and women have different stigmas and mentalities when it comes to mental health, and they work to bypass those to make sure everyone is getting the help they need. For example, the men’s program emphasizes teaching its participants that breaking the stigma around “being a man” is necessary for effective recovery. This means taking away the thought process that they aren’t allowed to show emotion and providing them with a safe environment to do so.
Spero Recovery uses peer-led experiential therapy as part of its recovery programs. This allows alumni of the program to give back to their community. It also helps you see that recovery is a possibility and connect with people that have gone through a similar situation as you. Peer-led programs also give you the chance to interact in a nonjudgmental and relatable environment while working to recover.
Experiential therapy is the use of activities to process emotions, cope with situations, and work on your behavior and thought processes. Some of the activities they use are:
- Cooking classes
Ketamine is a controversial mental health treatment method that can be effective at treating major depressive disorder. However, it can lead to addiction if poorly managed or misused. Finding alternative methods that don’t involve the use of substances to treat addiction and mental illness is the best option when available. Trying different kinds of therapies and programs can help with your mental health condition. These programs can include things such as group therapy, 12-Step programs, cognitive-behavior therapy, and art therapy. If you feel like you are struggling with depression and/or Ketamine use, please reach out to Spero Recovery at (303) 351-7888 for more information today. We want to help you in any way we can.