Does Ketamine Have Withdrawal Symptoms?

Ketamine was developed for and is primarily used as a medical anesthetic, which can be administered in either powder or liquid form. Due to its sedative pain-relieving properties, including producing euphoria, ketamine has a high potential for abuse. Recreationally, ketamine is popular in the club scene and often referred to as a “club drug.” Ketamine can be abused in a variety of ways including snorting the powdered form of the drug or by intravenous injection of the liquid form. In 1999, due to its widespread abuse, Ketamine was added to the list of controlled substances in the United States.

The history of Ketamine can be traced back to phencyclidine, a compound synthesized in 1956 by a team of chemists at Parke Davis Company. The drug rose to prominence after two University professors, Dr. Edward Domino & Dr. Guenter Corssen, conducted the first human trials of the drug. The doctors found that ketamine was extremely effective as an anesthetic with minimal side effects, and thus concluded it to be safe for clinical use. Ketamine was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1970.

After its introduction via the medical world, ketamine also gained popularity as a recreational drug. In higher doses, outside of its original purpose, ketamine can have psychedelic effects. The user feels a sense of euphoria as well as a feeling of being detached from oneself. In combination with MDMA, ketamine became popular in the dance club scene, becoming the drug of choice for party-goers in the 1980s. The effects of ketamine vary depending on the dose. Lower doses of the drug have more various effects than higher doses of the drug. The effects typically begin within 5-30 minutes depending on how it is administered. The psychedelic effects of the drug usually only last for less than one hour, however, residual effects can last up to 24 hours.

Does Ketamine Have Withdrawal Symptoms?

Ketamine Addiction Overview

Due to its potency, ketamine has much potential for abuse and addiction. One of the most dangerous effects is its ability to cause the user to dissociate from themselves. This can cause confusion, anxiety, and helplessness, accompanied by respiratory depression, dizziness, and vomiting. The drug can also cause effects similar to that of alcohol including lack of balance and impaired vision. Taken in high doses, ketamine can distort perceptions of sight and sound and people might even believe they are having a near-death experience. This is usually accompanied by amnesia.

A slang term for this out of body experience is “falling into a k-hole”. The user takes a high enough dose to the point where they lose awareness of the world around them as well as control over their own body. A person can become so impaired that they are unable to interact with others or their environment. For these reasons, ketamine is also known to be used as a “date rape” drug, in which a person unknowingly is given the drug and then assaulted. Because ketamine can cause dependence and can endanger the user, it was classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in 1999.

Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Ketamine withdrawal leads to a variety of unpleasant symptoms and detoxing can be very difficult. The initial physical withdrawal symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, sweating, tremors, restlessness, nightmares, rapid or irregular heartbeat and chills. The physical withdrawal from ketamine begins 24 to 48 hours after the last use and lasts for 4 to 6 days. These intense symptoms make quitting on one’s own very difficult, and the user frequently seeks out the drug again as a quick remedy, and the cycle continues.

The psychological aspect of the withdrawal is considered by experts to be the most dangerous. Due to the way ketamine affects the user’s brain chemistry, severe depression, as well as suicidal ideation, can be triggered after ceasing prolonged use. Withdrawal symptoms from ketamine can last several weeks, with the most unpleasant symptoms lasting up to 72 hours. It is highly recommended that anyone with a dependence on ketamine should only attempt to detox in a safe, medically supervised facility under a doctor’s care.

Allure Detox is Here to Help with Ketamine Addiction

If you or a loved one need help to detox from ketamine should seek professional assistance in an inpatient treatment center followed by a plan for long term recovery. Allure Detox provides a safe and comfortable environment for the addict to safely withdraw from ketamine and other drugs under medical supervision. Allure’s staff is available 24 / 7 during the detox process and ensures a plan for long term recovery once the drug is out of the addict’s system. We are here to help restore the addict to mental and physical health. If you or a loved one are suffering from ketamine dependence and want to quit, please reach out to us at Allure Detox. We will provide a medically supervised detoxification process as well as compassionate personalized care.