It seems like there is a new drug being abused every year. Prescription drugs that are meant to treat a specific illness end up getting abused or similar ones that produce the same effects, or stronger, but have no medical use; they were made and is used only to get high. Every year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducts the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey provides up-to-date information on tobacco, alcohol and drug use, mental health, and other health-related issues in the country among people ages 12 and over.
Some drugs may be used for quite some time before it reaches this national survey or it could not become found as a dangerous drug due to the scene it is used or its effects are rarely life-threatening. But when any intoxicating substance is used regularly or heavily for an extended period of time, physical addiction becomes more and more likely. Physical addiction occurs when an individual’s body and brain chemistry begin to adjust to the constant presence of the substance. If the drug in question causes the brain to release certain chemicals or neurotransmitters, the brain will often stop producing those on its own.
Such a drug that has a small following, but can be addictive, arrived in the ’80s called Ketamine. It is popular in the nightclub scene and is popular in certain dance cultures, including raves, originally to increase the effects of MDMA (ecstasy).
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine (which is also referred to as K, Special K, Vitamin K, green, and jet) is a tranquilizer (anesthetic) that has some medical use with humans but is more commonly used in veterinary medicine. Ketamine is a “club drug,” a hallucinogen, and a dissociative drug.
When abused for recreational purposes, Ketamine is commonly snorted in powder form or injected in liquid form. It produces a kind of out-of-body experience wherein the user feels detached from themselves and the surrounding environment. The high can be addictive and is very dangerous. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and can make it difficult to move. Ketamine has been classified as a Schedule III controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction. It has been used as a “date rape drug” and slipped into people’s drinks to sedate them to the point that they can hardly move.
You don’t hear much about Ketamine because it is usually kept in the club scenes and only a small age group tends to use this drug. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NCBI), the highest rate of use is among the 18-25 age group at 0.2 percent, with the average rate of use among anyone 12 or older at 0.1 percent.
Treatment for Ketamine Abuse
Ketamine may also have a high potential for abuse among those who are attempting to self-medicate depression or suicidal ideation due to its ability to so quickly stop these states. So while Ketamine doesn’t usually lead to the type of physical addiction that results from the abuse of drugs such as Alcohol and Heroin it does impair a user’s cognitive abilities, and so the ability to just quit may be more difficult than one would think.
When trying to stop using Ketamine, users may experience cognitive, and psychological symptoms that make it difficult for them to stop their use of the drug. Also, if a person’s ketamine abuse resulted from a mental health issue, mood disorder, or behavioral problem, the co-occurring disorder may also preclude stopping without professional treatment.
We Can Help with Your Ketamine Addiction
At Garden State Treatment Center we understand that even though you stopped using drugs that there is an underlying reason for doing so in the first place. Our Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medication along with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and build a strong relapse prevention plan.
In order to overcome drug addiction, it is important to understand what addiction is and its causes. Different people are influenced by different factors that can lead to chronic substance abuse. When drug abuse escalates, it’s usually hard to know where to get help. There are so many treatment programs to choose from, how you do you know if you’re picking the right one? Give us a call today to find out how Garden State Treatment Center can get you on the right path.