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Ketamine Addiction: Symptoms, Treatment & Rehab

Woman holding hand over face

What Is Ketamine Addiction?

Ketamine is a fast-acting anaesthetic and painkiller used primarily in veterinary surgery. It is also used, to a lesser extent, in human medicine.

Ketamine can produce vivid dreams or hallucinations, and make the user feel as though the mind is separated from the body. This effect is called “dissociation,” which is also the effect of the related drug PCP.

When Ketamine is given to humans for medical reasons, it is often given in combination with another drug that prevents hallucinations.

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Ketamine Street Names

Special K, K, Ket, Vitamin K, Cat Tranquilizers

Ketamine effects take two different forms: physical and mental. Ketamine effects are most detrimental to the mental aspect of the user and can be devastating. In fact, the same reasons that cause the Ketamine effects to be destructive are the same reasons why they are so seductive.

Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic and ketamine detox is needed at Addiction Treatment clinics. This means that the drug allows a person to disassociate themselves from their own consciousness. This is what is known as the ‘near-death feeling’ or “k-hole” in slang terms. This is the desired Ketamine effect and if used, regular ketamine rehab is needed.

Who Uses Ketamine?

Ketamine is only available legally to veterinarians and medical doctors and has been used for its veterinary properties for nearly 30 years. However, it is then stolen or diverted and sold illegally on the street or in clubs for recreational use.

There has been a recent increase in the popularity of the drug among young people, which may be linked to its accessibility as a “club drug” at parties and “raves.” Ketamine dissolves in liquid, allowing it to be slipped into drinks, and its sedative effects have been used to prevent victims from resisting sexual assault. For this reason, Ketamine has been commonly referred to in the media as a “date rape” drug. Hence it is advisable to take caution at parties and bars and watch your drink.

How Does Ketamine Make You Feel?

The way Ketamine – or any other drug – affects you depends on many factors: age and body weight, how much you take and how often you take it, how long you’ve been taking it, the method you use to take the drug, whether or not you have certain pre-existing medical or psychiatric conditions, and if you’ve taken any alcohol or other drugs (illicit, prescription, over-the-counter, herbal or otherwise).

The effects of Ketamine are usually felt between one and ten minutes after taking the drug. Users report a drunken and dizzy feeling and a quick numbness in the body. The range of visual experiences is reported to include blurred vision, seeing “trails,” “astral travel” and intense and terrifying hallucinations. Some report feelings of weightlessness, and “out-of-body” or “near-death” experiences.

When Ketamine is taken in lower doses, users may feel sleepy, distracted and withdrawn. They may find it difficult to think clearly or feel confused, having a distorted perception of time and their body. At higher doses a Ketamine user may babble, stumble (if they try to walk), have an increased heart rate, find it difficult to breathe and most likely not remember who or where they are . Too high a dose of Ketamine causes loss of consciousness.

The mildest effect of Ketamine is an increase in heart rate along with a slight euphoric feeling. This feeling of euphoria can be deceiving; when something is truly wrong the user may not know it. Furthermore, If their body is being affected in a fatal way the euphoria will not draw their attention to the problem. This can lead to more use and can sometimes lead to death.

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How Long Do The Effects Of Ketamine Last?

The effects of Ketamine usually last about an hour. Some users may feel low or anxious or even have some memory loss. In some cases, the user can experience flashbacks of their drug experience long after the effects of the drug have worn off.

The Dangers Of Ketamine

Users of Ketamine put themselves at risk a number of ways.

Like all anaesthetics, Ketamine prevents the user from feeling pain. This means that if an injury occurs, the user may not know it. Depending on the amount of drug taken, those under its effects may have difficulty standing up or speaking, resulting in an increased risk of injury.

As with other anaesthetics, Ketamine may cause vomiting. Eating or drinking before taking the drug increases the risk of choking on vomit.

When taken in higher doses, Ketamine may depress the central nervous system. This can reduce the level of oxygen that gets to the brain, heart and other muscles, and may even cause death. If you feel the need to take higher doses, you should seek help. We offer several treatment options for Ketamine addiction.

The Ketamine sold at clubs may be mixed with other drugs, which in combination could make it even more dangerous. Combining Ketamine with alcohol or other sedatives can be fatal.

Driving or operating machinery while under the influence of Ketamine Addiction, or any drug increases the risk of physical injury to the user and increases the risk of injury to others.

Is Ketamine Addictive?

If Ketamine is used regularly, the user becomes more tolerant to the effects of the drug; meaning more and more is needed to achieve the same initial effect. However, there have been no reports of typical symptoms of drug withdrawal when users stop taking Ketamine.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Using Ketamine?

Since there has been little research about the long-term, non-medical use of Ketamine, the long-term effects are not known. Of all the Ketamine effects, the most sought after is this feeling of disassociation.

If the user continues using to the point of “k-hole” (see above) they can begin to do irreparable damage. The perforation in their consciousness can become permanent. This then creates a neurosis that is inescapable, which leads to periodic episodes of complete consciousness perforation. If this continues the person can become insane beyond psychological assistance.

Get Help With A Ketamine Detox Or Rehab Treatment

Is ketamine a problem for you? Are you considering drug rehab or drug detox to help overcome your problem? Drug addiction can cause long term damage to physical health, mental health and relationships.

Get in touch with one of our drug councillors who will be happy to assist you in making the right decision. Call today on 0800 234 3825

We understand that taking the decision to commit to rehab can be difficult, you can schedule a tour of one your local rehab centres to see the available facilities, resources and environment. This can help you with taking the first steps towards your rehabilitation.


  • Continuously taking drugs that are no longer needed for a health problem
  • Building up a tolerance against the drugs
  • Feel shaky, depressed, stomachaches, intense sweating, headaches and more intense symptoms when the drugs wear off
  • Even when drug addiction is hurting your loved ones, you still can’t stop
  • You spend time thinking about how to get drugs, when to take it, how good it feels.
  • Having a hard time giving yourself limitations to drug use
  • Losing interest in extracurricular or social activities that don’t involve drugs
  • Losing priority over personal & professional responsibilities
  • You borrow or steal money to pay for drugs
  • Having trouble to get along with loved ones and colleagues. They complain about your actions or how you’ve changed.
  • Sleeping and eating too much or too little
  • Drug addiction reflects on your physical appearance. Bloodshot eyes, bad breath, tremors, blood nose, or you may have gained or lost weight.
  • You have a new set of friends with whom you do drugs and go to different places to use the drugs.
  • Drug inpatient detox
  • Drug home detox
  • Drug rehab
  • Intervention
  • Counselling
  • Group Therapy
  • Rehab facilities

We have rehab and detox clinics all across the UK to help you on your journey to recovery. Click here to find rehab centres & facilities near you.

For more information on how much drug addiction treatment costs, please click here.

The best way to get started is to give us a call at 0800 118 2892 for free advice and assessment. Let us help you or your loved one figure out the best treatment plan for your alcohol addiction so you can get started on your journey to recovery.

  • Keep track of the volume of your drug use to have a better understanding of the role of drug addiction in your life.
  • Consider the impact of your drug use to the things that matter most to you, such as your partner, your children, your career and your health.
  • Consider getting advice from a person you trust about your drug use.
  • Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to change for the better.
  • Analyse your attempts at recovery. What worked and what didn’t?
  • Set specific, measurable goals, such as time and limitations you’ve made to recover from drug addiction.
  • Consider to open up to your loved ones that you’re committing to recovery and seek for their support.