Ketamine Addiction in Maryland

Table of Contents
  1. Ketamine Addiction in Maryland
  2. What is Ketamine Addiction
  3. What Ketamine is called on the street, how it looks and what it’s used for
  4. How does Ketamine work
  5. Ketamine Addiction Withdrawal
  6. Withdrawal Symptoms
  7. Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction
  8. Combining Ketamine with other substances
  9. Ketamine Addiction Treatment
  10. Getting help at Avenues Recovery Maryland

Ketamine addiction is a condition that requires immediate medical help. The substances typically produce a feeling that makes individuals feel detached from themselves—consumption of ketamine results in a distortion in the perception of sound and sight. Ultimately, individuals experiencing ketamine use disorder may face movement difficulties. High doses of the substance may also result in death.

The use of ketamine is significant in Maryland and other states in the U.S. According to a study, individuals typically develop a tolerance for the substance after experiencing physical or psychological dependence. It’s imperative to understand the dangers of Ketamine addiction, how the substance functions, signs and symptoms of addiction, and possible treatments.

Ketamine Addiction in Maryland

Ketamine addiction is significantly prevalent in Maryland. The drug constitutes an increased threat to the state. According to law enforcement sources, young adults and teenagers are the principal individuals experiencing ketamine use disorder. According to the Drug Early Warning System, the intake of ketamine was on the rise from November 2000 in Maryland.

In Maryland, there were also two seizures of ketamine reported by EPIC in 2000. Note that package delivery services were responsible for the transportation of the drugs in both cases. More recent details from the Maryland Department of Health prove over 2,000 unintentional substance-related deaths in 2018.

What is Ketamine Addiction?

Consistent use of ketamine in wrong doses affects a change in the brain’s normal system of functioning. During addiction, individuals may experience loss of consciousness. Most individuals develop an addiction to ketamine due to its relaxing effects. Apart from brain relaxation, individuals also experience addiction due to its dissociative and tranquilizing effects.

When an individual becomes addicted to the substance, they may develop a detachment from their environment. For this reason, it becomes difficult to follow up with normal life or remain productive. Ketamine addiction may also cause people to spend excessive amounts of money on the substance and neglect family, friends, and other loved ones.

Addiction to ketamine ultimately results in overdose, which may result in unconsciousness or reduced breathing. Note that low doses of the substance may create tolerance high with hallucinations and numbness. Other effects of ketamine use disorder may include nausea, dilated pupils, tears, and stiffened muscles.

What Ketamine is called on the street, how it looks, and what its used for

Ketamine is a medication that functions as a dissociative injected anesthetic. Similar to other dissociative substances, ketamine also results in color, sight, sound, and self-distortions. Other dissociative anesthetics include phencyclidine (PCP), dextromethorphan (DXM), and nitrous oxide.  Forms of the substance include liquid or off-white powder for a nasal spray or intravenous injection.

Other names for the substance include Special K, Super K, Kit Kat, and Vitamin K. It’s a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist that blocks HCN1 receptors in the brain. The substance is a class III scheduled substance approved for medical use.

There are several uses for ketamine. A study showed that ketamine infusion reduced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in over forty patients facing a different trauma.

Scientists constantly lookout for the potential uses of the substance, especially in terms of treatment-resistant depression and substance use disorders. Note that ketamine use may result in a wide range of effects, including nausea, agitation, drowsiness, and slurred speech.

How Does Ketamine Work?

After individuals consume ketamine, it acts by triggering glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain’s frontal cortex. It also permits synapses, which allow information to flow into the brain. Individuals who consume ketamine smoke, snort, or inject the substance.

The effects of the drug start quickly after the intake. In most cases, the individual begins to experience a fast heart rate and reduced blood pressure. Different ketamine doses result in varying levels of “highs.” The drug causes individuals to have impaired vision, muscle spasms, and balance difficulty in very high doses. Ketamine may cause cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal, and respiratory conditions.

Ketamine Addiction Withdrawal

Chronic and extended use of ketamine causes withdrawal. Before withdrawal occurs, individuals experience physical addiction. Note that physical addiction is when the body and brain chemistry starts to adjust to the constant presence of the drug in the bloodstream. If the substance causes the brain to release specific neurotransmitters, it may stop its production.

When an individual stops consuming substances like ketamine after the brain doesn’t produce its chemicals, withdrawal symptoms may occur. One of the major causes of the withdrawal symptoms is a deficit in the natural chemicals from the brain. Withdrawal symptoms for ketamine typically extend within four to six days, starting a day or three after the last dose.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of ketamine typically occur because the substance alters the brain’s opioid receptors. Both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms are dangerous and may result in loss of life. Here are the significant symptoms of Ketamine withdrawal to note:

  • Agitation
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Rage
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Psychosis
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Hearing loss

Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction

Prolonged use of the substance typically results in dependence and tolerance, which have noticeable signs. Note that the symptoms of ketamine addiction range from mild to severe. Significant signs of ketamine addiction include:

  • Time spent to get the drug: When an individual obtains ketamine, it’s an evident symptom of addiction. These individuals are unable to continue with the day’s activities without access to the drug. If the individual is unable to get the substance, it may result in evident withdrawal symptoms. After getting access to the drug, they become calm.
  • Relationship problems: Ketamine addiction may cause relationship problems with a partner or the family. Note that there are several possible causes of relationship problems, but an addiction problem typically poses a challenge. Substance use disorder may cause secrecy, trust issues, anger, and abuse. All of those problems typically damage relationships.
  • Increased cravings: When individuals experience increased cravings for ketamine, it depicts a symptom of addiction to the substance. The reason for increased cravings in these individuals is due to the triggering of the pleasure sensors of the human brain. Individuals experiencing ketamine use disorder typically feel stressed or worried when there’s no access to the drugs.
  • Ignoring responsibilities: Due to the cravings for the substance, addiction may result in loss of focus or the ignorance of responsibilities. Individuals may feel the inability to start or continue a task without the use of drugs. For this reason, ignoring responsibilities is highly prevalent in those experiencing ketamine use disorder.
  • Desire to reduce or stop intake: Some individuals may have strong desires to quit ketamine but face significant challenges. The awareness of the negative effects of the substance may be the sole cause of the desire to cut down on intake. For certain individuals, relapse occurs after a series of attempts to stop ketamine intake. For this reason, the help of a medical expert is imperative.
  • Lack of control over use: Individuals experiencing ketamine use disorder typically have challenges with controlling drug use. Continuous use of ketamine impairs self-control against the drug. For this reason, a lack of control requires medical help for proper treatment.

Combining Ketamine with Other Substances

Addiction to ketamine results in certain negative effects, especially when combined with other substances. Combining ketamine with alcohol or depressants may result in dangerous side effects because ketamine is also a depressant. Other substances like MDMA are also dangerous when mixed with ketamine as a depressant.

Several trusted studies and toxicology reports show that combining ketamine with other substances increases the risk of overdose deaths.

Ketamine Addiction Treatment

Constant intake of ketamine puts individuals at a high risk of physical and psychological harm. Hence, it’s imperative to consult medical professionals for help. Here are the significant treatment options:

  • Detox: In this process, medical experts need to supervise. It involves removing ketamine from the body to manage the withdrawal symptoms of the substance safely. Detoxification at home can be deadly. In some cases, it results in severe dehydration or seizures. There are three major stages of detox, which all need medical supervision.
  • Medications: Doctors typically prescribe certain treatment meds for substance use disorder. In most cases, the drugs help in calming the symptoms of addiction or withdrawal. Note that it’s imperative to avoid self-medication. Using drugs should be with a doctor’s prescription.
  • Behavioral therapy: With these therapies, individuals can stay motivated to participate in the treatment procedure for addiction. Behavioral therapies also help these individuals improve relationships and communication. A significant example is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps in preventing relapse.
  • Support groups: Individuals can benefit from support groups or group therapy due to social reinforcement. With the help of support groups, patients get encouraged to maintain a non-drug-using lifestyle.

Getting Help for Ketamine Addiction at Avenues Recovery Maryland

Addiction to ketamine and other harmful substances are closely similar. It affects the typical life of the individual and may stump both academic and career growth. In Maryland, Avenues Recovery has locations in Cambridge and Prince Frederick. You can seek help for addiction to ketamine and other substances. Begin a new chapter in your life with personalized treatment in a warm community environment. We are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Reach out, find hope and get a second chance at Avenues!

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Brooke Abner,

Motivational Coach