Ketamine is a fast-acting drug approved as a general anaesthetic in human and veterinary medicine. It brings pain relief and amnesia (short-term memory loss) to a medical procedure. This drug stops the brain from interpreting pain signals and is also being considered for use for depression and suicidal ideation.
Ketamine is also used as a recreational drug for its dissociative effects. This means it causes numbness and distortion of sights, sounds, and colours. Its hallucinogenic properties also make users feel detached from their environment and self. This feeling is known as “falling into a K-hole.”
Illegally obtained ketamine usually comes as a grainy white powder that is snorted, injected, mixed with drinks, or smoked with tobacco or cannabis. Its popularity as a club drug has increased, especially among teens and young adults. Ketamine and alcohol abuse has become a common but dangerous feature of party scenes. It is sometimes sold as ecstasy and used to spike drinks as a rape drug. A 2011 survey of Ontario students in grades seven to 12 showed that 0.9% had used the drug at least once in the past year.
Ketamine abuse causes a pleasurable sensation different from other drugs of abuse. However, its actions on the mind can lead to physical dependence and addiction. The Canadian Centre for Addiction offers ketamine addiction treatment and rehab in Ontario.
Getting Help for Ketamine Addiction
If you or a loved one is dealing with ketamine abuse or addiction, the Canadian Centre for Addiction can help. At CCFA, we offer the most sophisticated treatment for ketamine addiction in an environment that inspires lasting change. We also help people understand their addictions and the healthier coping strategies available to them by engaging them in one-on-one counselling with certified counsellors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. Call 1-855-499-9446 to learn more about how we treat ketamine addiction.
How We Treat Ketamine Addiction and What to Expect
At CCFA, we understand that the ideal addiction treatment is one designed to meet the individual’s specific needs. We tailor our treatment strategies to meet the unique symptoms of the client. Our visitors can expect a full range of quality services that provide flexible therapy and counselling for addiction. We also know that addiction can negatively impact every aspect of your life, so our specialists will assess you to provide an individualized, client-centred approach to treatment.
Our addiction treatment centres offer inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, individual and group counselling, intervention counselling, and lifetime aftercare, all designed to give you the best chance at recovery.
When to Seek Help for Ketamine Addiction
Ketamine use causes a feeling of happiness and relaxation, but it can also lead to unwanted physical and mental health consequences. Ideally, you should not use ketamine unless you have a prescription. You know that it’s time to seek help for you or a loved one if you notice any of these ketamine abuse signs:
- Repeatedly trying and failing to stop using ketamine
- Using ketamine in higher amounts than intended
- Having intense cravings for ketamine
- Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, and recovering the effects of ketamine
- Diminished productivity at work or school due to ketamine use
- Experiencing adverse effects on your health, relationships, and finances due to ketamine use
- Developing ketamine tolerance – needing more of the drug to get the same effect
- Becoming ketamine dependent – being unable to function without using ketamine
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using ketamine
Why Should You Choose the Canadian Centre for Addictions?
Ketamine addiction can be tough to overcome, and you need professional management to handle the situation effectively. The stigma associated with addiction also makes it challenging to speak up or determine the right place to seek help. Addiction disrupts your life and disconnects you from the things that matter. At CCFA, we offer a patient-centric approach that keeps you connected to your life and responsibilities outside so your transition to regular life is as smooth as possible.
We take our work seriously because we understand that our clients are at a vulnerable point in their life. We are open, honest, and communicative about what we deliver and take the first step towards building the trust needed to form strong bonds with those who need our help.
We also understand that addiction affects not only the individual but others close to them. So, our therapists and staff extend their care to helping families cope with addiction while treating their loved ones. We not only help people overcome their addictions, but we also help them navigate the hurdles that addiction creates for those who care about them.
Treatment at CCFA doesn’t end but evolves when you leave. We offer a place where people can return to if things get challenging. Our combination of quality inpatient care and the sense of community from our aftercare services provide a balance you can rely on year after year.
The Canadian Centre for Addictions Success Stories
At CCFA, we have recorded tremendous success in treating people dealing with various types of addictions. Here are testimonials from some of our satisfied clients:
“The highly competent staff is able to provide emotional and physical support as well as effective addiction therapy. With an open mind, I found I was able to draw healing from each of the well balanced and skillfully presented meetings and activities. During my stay at CCFA, I learned how to regain control of my life. I left with skills I require to keep moving forward in my recovery. The facility is spacious, comfortable and clean and the community is exceptional. The fitness and activities, as well as the delicious meals, are outstanding. By far, this was the most productive 30 days of my life. A gift from me to me!”
“I came in with a broken soul, full of self-pity, not liking who I was, full of fear and low self-esteem. During my stay, I learned so many valuable lifelong lessons. The counsellors challenged me to feel again; to think and understand those feelings, to express my feelings and thoughts. They have taught me the strategies and tools that I must apply to my new life going forward. For the first time in my life, I feel calm, relaxed, strong with the new me, and most importantly, HAPPY. Thank You.”
“My involvement with CCFA has been an absolute lifesaver for me. The entire program and one-on-one sessions have given me the look and strategies to leave with and have a clean and sober life going forward. A very warm, welcoming, home-like environment.”
“The CCFA has showed me a new way of life. The counsellors here are amazing, love working with all of them. I had a great stay and can’t wait to continue my road to recovery with the tools I have learned. Thank you.”
Types of Treatment for Ketamine Addiction
CCFA offers multiple treatment options for ketamine addiction. Our treatment programs are designed to address the client’s specific needs and include the following:
Detox is the first step in ketamine addiction recovery. It is the process of getting every trace of an addictive substance out of the client’s system. Ketamine addiction is best stopped “cold turkey,” and this can make detox very unpleasant. Medications may be administered to minimize the effects and cravings during detox. Our experts will also monitor the client’s respiration, heart rate, and other vital functions to ensure their safety during detox.
Ketamine addiction is challenging to overcome and often requires residential treatment. In many cases, co-occurring disorders or multiple drug dependencies are present. Inpatient rehab is an intensive treatment with round-the-clock monitoring for addiction cases. CCFA provides a sober and secure environment for treatment and recovery. Our treatment centres utilize patient-oriented protocols to set our clients on the path to complete healing. We employ a holistic approach that combines medical treatment with other relevant treatment options.
In outpatient treatment, the individual lives at home but attends scheduled appointments and meetings. Outpatient treatment is ideal for clients with manageable symptoms and sufficient motivation to get better. Clients who have completed residential treatment can also continue their treatment on an outpatient basis. It often requires a reliable support network of friends and family to encourage and help the patient stay on the path to full recovery.
Addictions arise from negative thinking patterns that fuel harmful behaviour. Finding and modifying the root cause of these thought patterns is often crucial to overcoming addiction. Our addiction counselling programs involve individual or group sessions that help participants identify and change these thought patterns and behaviours. It also helps to spot and resolve past trauma that may be promoting addictive behaviour. CCFA’s counselling and intervention programs help addicts develop positive attitudes and skills, which they’ll use as they begin their journey to sobriety.
Addiction recovery does not end with treatment. Recovering addicts require continuous aftercare services to prevent relapse when they face challenges. Our relapse prevention programs equip patients with the tools and coping mechanisms to remain sober when they inevitably encounter triggers. An aftercare treatment plan depends on an individual’s situation and may include outpatient treatment, counselling, and 12-step programs.
What to Expect in Ketamine Addiction Treatment
When you come to CCFA for ketamine addiction treatment, you can expect treatment in an environment that inspires lasting change. The first thing we’ll do when you come in for treatment is to evaluate and understand your situation so that we can design a specialized recovery plan. We will assess your medical history to determine whether you’re combining ketamine with other drugs.
You’ll be screened for co-occurring mental health disorders and tested to determine how much ketamine is in your system. We will start your treatment with detox to rid your body of every trace of the drug. If your situation is severe, you will be admitted to our facility so our staff can safely monitor and manage your withdrawal symptoms. Otherwise, you’ll be allowed to go home and return for scheduled appointments.
We offer individual and group counselling sessions to help our clients identify and change thought patterns that may fuel substance use and addiction. Our holistic treatment programs incorporate activities like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga to help our clients stay grounded. You may also be encouraged to join a support group where you connect and interact with others at different stages of recovery.
Your treatment does not end when you leave our centre. At CCFA, we provide aftercare and relapse prevention services as part of our treatment program. We teach our clients to identify their triggers and design strategies to avoid or get through them. We also offer bi-weekly in-person aftercare visits and teleconferencing options to ensure long-term recovery.
Ketamine Addiction Treatment Stages
The stages involved in treating ketamine addiction are:
- Inpatient/Outpatient treatment
Understanding Ketamine Addiction
Ketamine is a fast-acting drug that causes feelings of euphoria and detachment from reality. Its use is safe in clinical settings, but abuse can cause addiction and multiple physical and psychological problems. Ketamine addiction occurs due to its actions on the brain’s reward system. It causes the brain to release large amounts of dopamine – the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and motivation. These euphoric sensations prompt repeated substance use, which can alter brain structure and function with time.
Repeated use will also lead to tolerance – the user needs increased amounts of the substance to achieve the same high. Continued use will lead to physical and psychological dependence, where the user needs the drugs for normal functioning. They will also experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop using the drug. All of these factors will see the user develop ketamine addiction.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Ketamine
Ketamine withdrawal symptoms occur when a person stops or reduces their ketamine use after they’ve become dependent on the drug. The withdrawal symptoms of ketamine are mostly psychological but could also be physical. A person undergoing ketamine withdrawal may become emotionally unstable and need close monitoring. These symptoms last between 24 and 72 hours and include:
- Loss of motor skills
- Diminished cardiac and respiratory functions
- Cognitive impairment
- Loss of hearing
Ketamine Addiction Symptoms
Ketamine addiction symptoms may be physical or behavioural.
Physical symptoms include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular sleeping patterns or difficulty falling asleep
- Increased propensity for distraction
- Diminished ability to feel pain
- Skin redness
- Changes in sights, sounds, and shape processing
- Distorted perception of time and space
Behavioural symptoms include:
- Social withdrawal
- Mixing ketamine with other drugs for a better high
- Avoiding contact with loved ones leading to social isolation
- Stealing or borrowing to purchase ketamine
- Being secretive about ketamine use
- Aggressive or reckless behaviour
- Intense cravings for ketamine
- Slurred speech
- Poor memory
- Loss of focus
- Feeling detached from one’s environment or self
What are the Causes of Ketamine Addiction?
Ketamine typically begins when someone experiments with the drug before losing control over their use. Some factors that may increase an individual’s chances of becoming addicted to the drug include:
Some people may be able to use ketamine recreationally without problems, but others will struggle to control their use once they start. This loss of impulse control could be due to genetic factors. Individuals with a family history of addiction are more likely to abuse and become addicted to ketamine and other narcotics.
Environmental Factors and Peer Pressure
Frequent exposure to drug use can increase one’s risk of using ketamine recreationally. Peer pressure can also cause teens and young adults to experiment, increasing their chances of developing an addiction.
Emotional or Psychological Factors
Individuals going through stressful situations or dealing with mental health issues may turn to ketamine as a coping mechanism. Repeated drug use in this manner can lead to dependence and addiction.
Changes in Brain Chemistry
Using ketamine and other drugs can rewire the areas of the brain that regulate impulse control and motivation, making the user prone to impulsive behaviour that can lead to addiction.
Long-term Effects of Ketamine Addiction
Ketamine addiction can lead to a series of long-term health effects, such as:
- Respiratory arrest
- Liver damage
- Permanent brain damage
- Heart attacks
- Abdominal cramps
- Kidney problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Abscesses at the injection site
- Severe bladder and urinary tract issues, which may lead to surgical removal of the bladder
- Mental health conditions such as psychosis and schizophrenia
Frequently Asked Question
Ketamine is approved for use as a general anaesthetic for surgical procedures. The drug has also shown great promise for treating neuropathic pain conditions and mood disorders like depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation.
Most antidepressant and antipsychotic medications interact well with ketamine. However, drugs like lamotrigine, benzodiazepines, clozapine, haloperidol, and risperidone can interfere with the effectiveness of ketamine.
Yes. Ketamine acts on the brain’s reward system to provide a euphoric sensation which could lead to addiction if abused. A person addicted to ketamine will also experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop or reduce their use.
The effects of ketamine can last between 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the quantity administered, with higher doses lasting for longer. Other factors like route of administration and metabolic rate can also affect how long the effects last.
Ketamine has a half-life of around 2.5 to three hours, but the drug can remain in the blood for up to three days and up to 14 days in the urine. Traces of ketamine can be found in the hair and hair follicles for up to four months after the last use.
No. Ketamine is a synthetic drug used primarily for its anaesthetic and analgesic properties. Opioids are a class of drugs produced from the opium plant and used for moderate to severe pain relief. Examples include heroin, morphine, codeine, and synthetic opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl. Ketamine and opioids are habit-forming and are often abused for their euphoric effects.
Yes. Studies suggest that ketamine use may be associated with psychosis-like symptoms among healthy individuals.
Give Us a Call and Let Us Guide You
Call CCFA today at 1 (844) 214-8393 if you or a loved one is battling with drug addiction. Our Toronto rehab institutes in Ontario, Canada offer treatment, counselling, and support for people dealing with addiction.