Understanding Ketamine Addiction: A Comprehensive Guide to Impacts, Intervention, and Recovery

Learn more about the dangers of ketamine addiction and how Continuum Outpatient Center can help you heal.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine has evolved from its origins as an anesthetic into a multifaceted drug with many applications. Its addictive nature lies in its ability to alter perception and produce dissociative effects. 

Addiction can feel all-encompassing. The effects of ketamine addiction extend beyond the individual to relationships, professional life, and well-being. It’s essential to fully comprehend the scope of this addiction and seek help.

If you or your loved one are ready to begin recovery, know that our Continuum Outpatient Center team is here to help you heal.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic agent. It was initially developed in the 1960s as a safer alternative to phencyclidine. 

Ketamine primarily interacts with NMDA receptors in the brain, resulting in:

  • Sedation
  • Amnesia 
  • Hallucinations
Unlike other anesthetics, Ketamine is unique for its stimulating effects on the cardiovascular system. 

Ketamine in Medicine and Beyond

In medicine, Ketamine has applications in surgery and for pain management. Additionally, it’s a potential antidepressant. Beyond medical use, it’s known for its recreational use due to its psychoactive effects. Hence, it is a controlled substance in many countries.

Understanding Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine has a potential for addiction. For recreational use, the allure of ketamine’s euphoric effects is a typical draw. People may start relying on this medication to cope with stress or enhance social experiences. This may lead to psychological dependence. 

In cases of heavy and prolonged use, physical dependence may also develop. As tolerance builds, people may increase their dosage, potentially resulting in addiction. 

It’s important to note that some factors play significant roles in ketamine addiction, including: 

  • Genetics 
  • Environment
  • Psychological factors

Prevalence of Ketamine Addiction

The prevalence of ketamine addiction and misuse has varied trends. In 2021, ketamine use among high school seniors was reported at 0.9%. Alarmingly, there was a noted increase in depression risks among these individuals.

The same year, only 0.13% of adults experimented with ketamine. However, reported cases of ketamine poisonings in the U.S. significantly rose by 81% between 2019 and 2021.

The rate of nonmedical use of ketamine also showed an increase in the periods from 2006 to 2014 and 2015 to 2019. Additionally, police seizures of recreational ketamine escalated dramatically from 2000 to 2019. It reached an all-time high in 2019. These figures indicate a concerning trend in ketamine misuse and addiction and the importance of professional support.


Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction

Signs and symptoms of ketamine addiction can be physical, psychological, or behavioral. At Continuum, we emphasize recognizing these signs and symptoms, as early detection is vital to effective treatment. 

Here’s an overview of what to look out for:

Physical Signs

Some physical signs of ketamine addiction include:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, tremors, and restlessness
  • General deterioration in physical appearance
  • Unusual sleep patterns

Psychological Symptoms

Some psychological symptoms may include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Using ketamine to escape from problems or to alter mood
  • Feeling unable to function properly without the drug

Behavioral Symptoms

Behavioral symptoms that may indicate a ketamine addiction include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Spending significant time and resources obtaining and using ketamine
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence
  • Changes in social circles

Short and Long-Term Health Consequences of Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine addiction comes with significant short-term and long-term consequences. At Continuum, we prioritize understanding the full impact of this addiction.

Short-Term Consequences

Some short-term consequences of ketamine misuse may include:

  • Cognitive impairments
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased risk of overdose
  • Disorientation and hallucinations
  • Occurrence of psychological effects such as anxiety and depression

Long-Term Consequences

These may include:

  • Chronic health problems such as severe bladder, kidney, and liver damage
  • The development of or worsening of cardiovascular issues
  • Persistent psychotic symptoms and deteriorating mental health
  • Strained relationships and social withdrawal
  • Increased risk of financial and legal problems

Break Free From Substance Use Disorder!

Call Continuum Outpatient Center today for an individualized treatment plan designed to fit your needs.

Continuum Outpatient Center’s Role in Ketamine Addiction Treatment

Continuum Outpatient Center offers a comprehensive treatment plan using various evidence-based and holistic approaches. We tailor these therapies to tackle the multifaceted nature of this addiction.

Evidence-based Therapies at Continuum Outpatient Center

At Continuum, we pride ourselves on offering evidence-based therapies to treat ketamine addiction. These therapies are rooted in scientific research and are proven effective in treating substance use disorders. 

The following are some of the integrative treatments opportunities our Texas team provides:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a practical approach to addiction treatment. It aims to change patterns of thinking or behavior that can lead to ketamine misuse.

At Continuum, people learn techniques to solve problems relating to ketamine addiction. With CBT, patients move from a ketamine-centric worldview to a more balanced and healthy perspective.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is effective for people who experience intense emotions and impulsive behaviors. Continuum integrates DBT to help clients manage the emotional turmoil that fuels addiction.

DBT helps people to be fully present in the moment. This increases awareness of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations related to their cravings.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Often, addiction is rooted in past trauma. At Continuum, EMDR is a critical component for those whose addiction is intertwined with traumatic experiences. 

Using DBT, patients recall events while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation. The aim is to change the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the traumatic memory.

Group Therapy

Group therapy includes regular sessions where people share their experiences and challenges with addiction. The sessions occur in a supportive, peer-led Continuum environment. 

It provides different viewpoints and coping strategies from various group members. Members can practice new behaviors within the confidentiality of the group.

Family Therapy

At Continuum Outpatient Center, we take a family system approach to recovery. This addresses the impact of addiction on both the individual and their loved ones.

We teach family members effective ways to communicate. We also educate them about addiction and recovery. Family therapy rebuilds trust and helps repair relationships damaged by addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

At Continuum Outpatient Center, our treatment often combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat ketamine use disorders. We use FDA-approved medications like methadone or naltrexone to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing at Continuum helps people resolve ambivalence about treatment. It addresses mixed feelings about giving up ketamine and the lifestyle associated with it. MI helps clients identify their reasons for change and strengthens their commitment to recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Continuum employs dual diagnosis treatment for people who suffer from both abuse and mental health disorders. 

It treats addiction and other conditions at the same time through a combination of:

  • Medication management
  • Psychotherapy
  • Support services

Integrative Healing With Holistic Therapies in Continuum

Continuum Outpatient Center embraces a holistic approach to treating ketamine addiction. We recognize that true healing extends beyond traditional methods. We design our holistic therapies to treat the whole person and complement our more traditional treatment modalities.

By focusing on the entire well-being of our clients, we aim to facilitate a more profound, more sustainable journey.

Yoga and Physical Wellness

Continuum offers specialized yoga classes to address ketamine addiction. We focus on poses and breathing techniques that:

  • Aid in detoxification
  • Enhance physical strength 
  • Promote mental relaxation
Yoga emphasizes the interplay between physical and mental health. It helps patients develop a healthier relationship with their bodies for long-term wellness.

Meditation Practices

At Continuum Outpatient Center, we introduce clients to a variety of meditation styles, including guided visualization and progressive relaxation to help find inner peace. 

Our health professionals design meditation sessions to reduce common triggers for relapse in addiction. We equip clients with skills they can continue to practice even after treatment.

Mindfulness Training

Continuum also provides extensive mindfulness training. Patients learn how to maintain focus on the present moment. This enhances emotional regulation and reduces tendencies toward negative rumination. 

Mindfulness principles are woven into other therapeutic practices at Continuum. This approach augments the effectiveness of the overall treatment plan.

Art Therapy

Our Continuum team also offers art therapy. This holistic treatment opportunity enables people to express emotions and experiences in non-verbal ways. Therefore, they facilitate deep emotional healing and self-discovery. 

Furthermore, art therapy encourages clients to explore and develop new hobbies. These hobbies serve as positive coping mechanisms and sources of personal fulfillment.

What Programs Does Continuum Outpatient Center Offer?

Continuum Outpatient Center stands at the forefront of addiction treatment. We offer a diverse array of programs tailored to meet the unique needs of those battling ketamine addiction. 

Let’s delve into how we implement these therapies:

Outpatient Program (OP)

Continuum’s OP is ideal for people who have completed a more intensive treatment program or have less severe addiction issues. It allows patients to receive treatment while continuing with their daily lives.

The focus is on therapy sessions. It may include individual, group, and family counseling. We also educate patients about substance abuse and relapse prevention strategies.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

A PHP serves as a middle ground between inpatient and outpatient care. Our PHP is suitable for people who need more intensive treatment than outpatient care but can manage without 24-hour supervision.

This program involves attending therapy for several hours a day. Our health professionals focus on both the medical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

An IOP is less demanding than a PHP but more intensive than standard outpatient programs. Continuum designs our IOP for those who need more support than occasional therapy but can maintain their daily responsibilities. 

Treatment often includes:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling 
  • Educational sessions

Virtual IOP

Recognizing the need for flexible treatment options, Continuum offers a virtual IOP for adults in Texas. This program leverages technology to provide treatment through online platforms. It’s ideal for those with transportation issues or who prefer the convenience of receiving treatment at home.

Young Adult Treatment

This program is tailored specifically for young adults struggling with addiction. It addresses the unique challenges faced by this age group. Continuum incorporates elements of:

  • Peer support
  • Family involvement
  • Development of life skills
The program also includes vocational support to help with the transitional phase of this age group.

Aftercare and Alumni Services

Aftercare and alumni services are crucial components in the journey toward long-term recovery. The transition back into daily life after treatment can be challenging. Additionally, maintaining sobriety often requires continuous support and resources. 

Continuum offers weekly alumni meetings virtually or in person every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. These meetings are often facilitated by professionals who can provide guidance and advice. This ensures that alumni continue to have access to expert care. They are also kept up-to-date with the latest information and strategies for maintaining sobriety.

Continuum Outpatient Center’s Core Values and Approach to Healing

Continuum Outpatient Center’s approach to healing is deeply rooted in specific core values. These values define our organization’s identity. They also guide our practices and interactions with clients. 

Here’s a look at each of these values:

Quality Care

At Continuum, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care. We employ the best staff and offer diverse treatment modalities in our safe environment.


Recovery from addiction is a collaborative effort. Continuum emphasizes the importance of teamwork within its staff and in partnership with clients.


Continuum holds itself accountable for the treatment progress of clients. This responsibility is reflected in transparent communication and ethical practices. We make decisions that are in the best interest of those we serve.

Continuous Improvement

The field of addiction treatment is ever-evolving at Continuum. We stay informed about the latest research and regularly review our programs.


Integrity is a cornerstone value for Continuum. This means conducting all operations and treatments with honesty and fairness. We respect the dignity and confidentiality of every client.

Start Your Path to Healing at Continuum Today

Ready to take the first step toward a healthier, addiction-free future? Our team is here to guide you through each stage of your journey. Whether you’re seeking comprehensive treatment options or supportive therapies, we have the resources to help you overcome ketamine addiction. 

Don’t wait any longer to reclaim your life. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and begin your path to lasting wellness and sobriety.

Ketamine is a medication that has been used for over 50 years as a general anesthetic. However, in recent years, it has gained attention for its potential use in treating depression and other mental health conditions. In this article, we will explore the use of ketamine in society, how it is used for mental health treatment, and its effects on mental health.

The Use of Ketamine in Society

Ketamine is a medication that is commonly used in veterinary medicine as a tranquilizer and anesthetic. In humans, it is primarily used as an anesthetic for surgery, but it has also been used in emergency medicine and pain management. Additionally, ketamine has been used recreationally for its dissociative effects, which can cause hallucinations and a sense of detachment from reality.

Ketamine as a Treatment for Mental Health

While ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades, it has gained attention in recent years for its potential use in treating mental health conditions. Specifically, ketamine has been studied as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The mechanism of action for ketamine is different from traditional antidepressants. While most antidepressants target the serotonin or norepinephrine systems in the brain, ketamine targets the glutamate system. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in learning and memory, and ketamine has been shown to increase the production of new synapses, which may be beneficial for individuals with depression and other mental health conditions.

Ketamine is typically administered through an intravenous infusion, but it can also be administered through an intranasal spray. The effects of ketamine are typically felt within minutes, and the treatment session usually lasts around 45 minutes to an hour.

Effects of Ketamine on Mental Health

  1. Rapid Relief of Depression Symptoms

One of the most significant effects of ketamine on mental health is its ability to rapidly relieve depression symptoms. Studies have shown that ketamine can provide relief from depression within hours or days, as opposed to weeks or months with traditional antidepressants.

  1. Relief from Anxiety and PTSD

Ketamine has also been studied as a treatment for anxiety and PTSD. While more research is needed in these areas, early studies suggest that ketamine may be beneficial for individuals with these conditions.

  1. Side Effects

Like any medication, ketamine has potential side effects. The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and dissociation. These side effects are typically mild and resolve quickly after the infusion is complete.

  1. Addiction and Abuse

Another potential concern with ketamine is its potential for addiction and abuse. While ketamine is not considered to be as addictive as other substances, it does have the potential for abuse and can be dangerous when used recreationally.

  1. Long-Term Effects

There is limited research on the long-term effects of ketamine use for mental health treatment. While some studies have suggested that ketamine may have a positive impact on the brain and may even promote the growth of new brain cells, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of ketamine use.

Managing the Impact of Ketamine on Mental Health

  1. Communication with Healthcare Provider

It is important to communicate openly with your healthcare provider about any concerns or side effects related to ketamine use. They can work with you to adjust the dosage or explore alternative treatments if necessary.

  1. Monitoring Doses

It is also important to monitor the dose of ketamine closely. Taking the medication as prescribed and avoiding higher doses can help reduce the risk of side effects and potential abuse.

  1. Practicing Self-Care

Practicing self-care is also important for managing the impact of ketamine on mental health.

Learn more about ketamine and how it metabolizes in this informative article: https://rippleranch.wpengine.com/how-long-does-ketamine-stay-in-your-system/