Can you get addicted to ketamine?

Yes, you can become addicted to ketamine. Statistics and information about ketamine abuse and addiction here.

3
minute read

Yes. Ketamine is addictive.

While ketamine is a controlled substance, it has legitimate medical uses as a dis-associative anesthetic. But what are the effects of ketamine abuse? How does ketamine affect the brain? We explore these questions here and invite your questions about ketamine at the end of the article.

Ketamine chemistry and use

Ketamine is a tranquilizing medication used most often by veterinarians preparing pet animals for surgery. Ketamine is also marketed as an anesthetic for human use, although this medical use is a little less common.

Ketamine is used both as a liquid and a powder. The liquid form can be injected, consumed, or added to other materials and smoked. The powder is usually dissolved and then injected. In addition to abuse by users wanting to get high, one troubling use for illegal ketamine is to facilitate sexual assault at parties and in clubs.

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Ketamine and the brain

Ketamine affects glutamate receptors in the brain. Ketamine distorts perceptions of sight and sound. Users feel detached from their environment and their body, which is why it works so well in surgery. Low doses result in intoxication, which can impact learning ability, attention, and memory. Higher doses cause dreamlike states and hallucinations, and sometimes even delirium and amnesia. These high doses put users at risk of high blood pressure and respiratory failure.

How do you get addicted to ketamine?

In normal medical use, you won’t get addicted to ketamine. Mainly because ketamine is not administered in repeated doses. As an illegal street drug, however, habitual users can develop a tolerance and physical dependence on the drug. Regular users can develop cravings for the drug, and there are reports of ketamine binging activity similar to that seen in cocaine and amphetamine addicts.

Who gets addicted to ketamine?

Teenagers and young adults represent the majority of ketamine users, and people who use club drugs like XTC (how long does XTC stay in your system?)are more likely to encounter and become addicted to ketamine than others.

What does it mean to be addicted to ketamine?

A ketamine addict will have strong cravings for the drug. They may compulsively seek out the drug, sometimes binging on ketamine. They may experience withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t able to take ketamine. An addict seek out and continue to take the drug despite negative social or health consequences.

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How to avoid ketamine addiction

Ketamine addiction is always a direct result of illegally abusing a prescription medication. While it’s not clear how many ketamine users go on to become addicts, the best way to avoid addiction is to simply avoid the drug. Normal medical use under a doctor’s supervision will not result in a ketamine addiction.

Are you addicted to ketamine?

If you’re addicted to ketamine, you can get help. There’s currently very little scientific information out there about ketamine addiction, but you will be able to find support groups and therapist who have dealt with similar drug addictions. Therapy and the support of friends and family members will be essential in helping you kick your ketamine habit.

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Also, you can learn more in detail about the Ketamine Addiction Treatment Process and Programs to be better prepared for what you can expect. And don’t lose hope! Millions of people are walking tall in addiction recovery. Why not YOU?

Questions about getting addicted to ketamine

If we haven’t answered your question(s) about ketamine, please ask them here. We welcome your comments and experience about ketamine use, as well. We try to answer all legitimate queries with a personal and prompt response.

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Reference sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse: InfoFacts: Club Drugs (GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol)
Drug Enforcement Administration: Ketamine
National Highway Traffic and Safey Administration Drug Fact Sheet on Ketamine
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.

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  1. the drs want me to go on the treatment of 6 series for my anxiety and depression I have had for almost 1 year.I have used Lexapro and Zoloft and have no good results .in the mean time I lost my husband 8 months ago that added to my depression,just now am able to grieve some..Family are afaid I could become addictied to Ketamine. I am 81 years old and in excellent health, do you think I should take the chance or continue on Lexapro 15mg. for a few more weeks.I hve been on15mg for 3 weeks now.

    1. Hi Mary. Many of the patients taking prescription drugs, even those on a long-term therapy, do not get addicted. If you take your medication as prescribed by your doctors, the chances are very small. I suggest you talk to your doctor about your concerns and what you can do to reduce your risk of becoming dependent. Having a trusting relationship with your prescribing doctor is essential.

  2. Well I see this is an old thread but I’ll go ahead and share my experience. A short answer to the question is yes, ketamine can be extremely addictive. I starting using ketamine in college and I became very addicted to it very quickly. I started dealing ketamine to support my habit and that was the worst idea ever. Having lots of ketamine around once I already knew I loved it sent my psychological cravings for the drug out of control. At this point I’d become a daily K user and I used chronically throughout the day. This daily, chronic use lasted for a solid 3 months at which point it started becoming an extremely stressful addiction. The internal conflicts of your logic telling you to stop using yet your addiction always seems to override your own logic becomes psychologically exhausting. I finally made the decision to move to a different city hoping that losing contact with my supplier may help the situation. It worked for about a month before I relapsed. I never did go back to using quite as heavily as I did when I was selling it. But even after moving to a new city I still would go on week long binges, abstain for a week, then repeat that pattern. This pattern lasted for nearly 2 years. I have currently been completely off of ketamine for 9 months, but I still think about doing it at least a few times every single day. It is a truly tormenting psychological addiction for me and I would not wish it upon anyone. The saddest part is, I already know that I will relapse again one day. I was arrested twice during the time I was using ketamine, both were drug sales charges not surprisingly.And the only reason I have stayed off of it this long is because I am currently out on bond and I know I can’t get in more trouble until my case is settled or I will go to prison. So not only is my life a mess because of legal trouble, I still live everyday of my life with a suppressed addiction that I know will overcome my will-power once again someday. I had never even heard of ketamine before when I was first exposed to it and had no idea how dangerously addictive it was. I know I am just an anonymous poster to you guys, but I hope I can influence at least one person to never give in to their curiosity of ever wanting to try this drug.

  3. Hello dfsf. Ketamine use and abuse affects families and friends the same way that any drug use does. Loved ones of a ketamine user can be isolated from and have difficulty communicating or connecting with a ketamine users. Why do you ask? Are you looking for help for yourself or for someone else?

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