Author: Gary Jackson

Ketamine Abuse: Addiction, Effects, and Treatment

In 41 chronic ketamine users with a mean use of 2 grams/day for 3.4 years compared to 44 drug-free controls, lower ReHo in the right anterior cingulate cortex and higher ReHo in the left precentral frontal gyrus were found (Liao et al., 2012). The higher ReHo in the left precentral frontal gyrus was negatively correlated with estimated total lifetime ketamine consumption and ketamine craving (Liao et al., 2012). This may suggest that ReHo is initially increased more by ketamine use but that this increase eventually decreases with more prolonged and intensive use, which may alter functional organization in frontal networks. In the same sample, the authors compared smoking chronic ketamine users with non-ketamine smokers and with non-ketamine, non-smokers by performing fMRI.

  • Sensations the user may seek include floating, stimulation and visual effects.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy can assist with changing the thought patterns that play a role in supporting drug use and addiction.
  • Matthew Perry’s death was attributed to the effects of high levels of the anesthetic drug, which is increasingly used to treat depression.

Using diffusion-weighted MRI scans, fractional anisotropy (FA) can be used for estimating white matter fiber density, myelination and axonal diameter. FA reductions were found in bilateral frontal and left temporoparietal white matter in 41 ketamine users with a mean use of 2 grams/day for 3.4 years, in comparison with 44 drug-free controls (Liao et al., 2010). FA in the left and right frontal white matter was negatively correlated with the total lifetime consumption of ketamine. Axial diffusivity is thought to be a measure of axonal density and radial diffusivity is thought to be related to the degree of myelination (Liao et al., 2010).

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While ketamine overdoses are not strongly linked to death, consuming large amounts of this drug can be fatal. Ketamine has a relatively short half-life (the time required for active substances in the body to reduce by half). Within 3 hours, at least half of the active ingredients in ketamine consumed will have left the body. Ketamine addiction also makes it difficult for people to function as they normally do in their daily life and activities. If substance misuse disrupts work, school, and personal relationships, it can indicate a ketamine addiction.

  • Ketamine — also known as Special K — is a dissociative drug that makes people feel out of control or detached from reality.
  • We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
  • One study investigated how long-term ketamine use affected neurotransmitter systems (Narendran et al., 2005).
  • It can exhibit sympathomimetic activity which can lead to rapid heart rate and elevated blood pressure.

Also, they found a correlation between higher sgACC connectivity with the dmPFC and higher depression scores in women, but not in men. Although ketamine has strong short-term antidepressant effects, the current data would suggest that chronic ketamine use may actually induce depression via sex-specific dysregulation of brain networks for positive and negative emotions. It remains unclear whether the altered connectivity patterns found in this study could be a direct result of ketamine. Being under the influence of ketamine was not an exclusion criterion for participation in this study. To date, the safety of prolonged ketamine administration has sparsely been investigated in humans in a prospective manner.

Why is Ketamine Used Medically?

Original studies about recreative ketamine use in which neuroanatomical measurements were performed, either structural or functional, were included. To obtain the articles meeting this inclusion criterion we first excluded all articles that were not about ketamine. Subsequently we excluded articles that were only about brain function and not about neuro-anatomical outcomes (e.g., performance on cognitive tests). Lastly, we excluded papers that were about animals or were no original investigations. Of all remaining articles, full-texts and one congress abstract were read. Finally, we found our complete dataset consisting of 16 studies (see Figure 1) for the inclusion flowchart.

ketamine abuse

It has also joined the ranks of GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) and Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) as a date rape drug. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Binge use, where the user indulges in the drug in excess amounts in a short period of time has been reported, as well. Mr. Perry had publicly acknowledged his long struggle with alcohol and drug use, but the report said he had been sober for 19 months and little was known about his relationship to ketamine.

Ketamine Abuse Treatment

Most people refer to a recreational overdose as a dose that causes excess confusion or stupor. Ketamine is a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, and it blocks HCN1 receptors. However, at higher doses it may also bind to the opioid mu and sigma receptors. Glutamate is involved with learning, memory, emotion, and pain recognition. It can exhibit sympathomimetic activity which can lead to rapid heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Flashbacks to visual hallucinations have been reported after recreational ketamine use, but recurring symptoms are rare.

Ketamine can be dangerous, particularly when combined with other substances. It is largely non-fatal when used alone—there is little on record of a lethal dose of this drug in humans. However, this drug can be fatal because it is usually combined with other substances like alcohol (which also has sedative effects) or hallucinogens like LSD and PCP. As a Schedule III drug, ketamine is available for medicinal use with a prescription.

Ketamine Abuse, Treatment, and Rehab

Ketamine bladder syndrome may also cause blood in the urine and ulcers in the bladder. Compounded drugs are those that have been modified or tailored in a lab for the specific needs of an individual patient. Because of its addictive nature, this drug is more commonly used in veterinary clinics to sedate animals. Ketamine is available as an injectable liquid but is also abused in powder form. Widely known for its medicinal properties, ketamine’s effects have made it a popular addition to the party scene.

  • Also, the ventral striatum (VS) showed lower connectivity with the right superior temporal sulcus (STS) and the left superior frontal gyrus (SFG) which was mediated by higher scores on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) (Hung et al., 2020b).
  • While users report feeling complete bliss on ketamine, consuming high amounts of this drug can produce effects similar to a near-death experience.
  • It can induce euphoria, but in some cases, the hallucinations it causes can become extremely frightening.
  • Also, they found a correlation between higher sgACC connectivity with the dmPFC and higher depression scores in women, but not in men.
  • Adolescent-onset users showed a significantly smaller left precuneus volume than the adult-onset group and the healthy control group.
  • Getting support from friends, family, and professional facilities can assist you in overcoming your addiction and living your life free of substances.