While it has medical uses, ketamine has also gained a reputation as a recreational drug due to its dissociative and hallucinogenic effects. But what is ketamine exactly, and how does it work in the brain?
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to ketamine or any other substance, Northpoint Washington can help you on your journey to recovery. Call us at 425.437.3298 to learn more about our ketamine addiction treatment program.
What Is Ketamine?
“What is ketamine?” is a common question that refers to a powerful medication used primarily as an anesthetic but also for treating depression, chronic pain, and other medical conditions.
Also known as “Special K,” this is a powerful anesthetic drug that has been used for several decades to induce anesthesia in both humans and animals. It was first approved by the FDA in 1970 and is listed as a Schedule III controlled substance. Ketamine is typically used in medical settings as a sedative for surgical procedures or as an anesthetic for veterinary procedures. However, it has also gained a reputation for its use as a recreational drug due to its dissociative and hallucinogenic effects.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, which means that it can cause the user to feel detached from their body and surroundings. This feeling is often described as an out-of-body experience or a sense of detachment from reality. This dissociative effect is one of the reasons why ketamine is sometimes used as a recreational drug, particularly among younger adults.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine works by blocking a specific type of glutamate receptor in the brain known as the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. This receptor is involved in several processes in the brain, including learning, memory, and pain perception. By blocking this receptor, ketamine can cause a temporary disruption of the brain’s normal functioning, leading to a dissociative state.
In addition to its effects on the NMDA receptor, ketamine also affects other neurotransmitter systems in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are involved in regulating mood and emotion, which may help explain some of the drug’s hallucinogenic and euphoric effects.
Side Effects of Ketamine
While ketamine can be an effective anesthetic in a medical setting, its use as a recreational drug can lead to several negative side effects. Some of the most common side effects of ketamine use include:
- Hallucinations and distorted perceptions of reality
- Feelings of detachment from the body or surroundings
- Impaired cognitive function, including difficulty with memory and decision-making
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle rigidity and spasms
- Respiratory depression
These side effects can be particularly dangerous if the drug is used in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids. Combining ketamine with other drugs can increase the risk of overdose and can also lead to dangerous interactions between different substances.
Ketamine Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Washington
At Northpoint Washington, we understand the complex nature of addiction and the unique challenges that individuals face in their recovery journey. That’s why we offer a range of evidence-based treatments and therapies to help patients overcome their addiction to ketamine and other substances.
Our inpatient treatment program provides a safe and supportive environment where patients can focus on their recovery without distractions or triggers from the outside world. We offer a range of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, and strength-based therapy, to help patients develop the skills and strategies they need to maintain their sobriety.
In addition to traditional therapies, we also offer a range of holistic treatments, such as yoga, music, and art therapy. These therapies can help patients manage stress and anxiety, reduce cravings, and promote overall well-being.
Our medical detox program is designed to help patients safely and comfortably withdraw from ketamine and other substances. We offer 24-hour medical supervision to ensure that patients receive the care and support they need during this critical stage of their recovery.
At Northpoint Washington, we are committed to providing high-quality, compassionate care to every patient who comes through our doors. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to ketamine or any other substance, please contact us today at 425.437.3298 to learn more about our programs and services. We are here to help you on your journey to recovery and to support you every step of the way.