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Is ketamine addictive?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic approved by FDA to manage post-surgery pain. These days, IV ketamine therapy is also used to treat depression and anxiety after awareness has been spread about mental health leading to wide research in developing more effective treatments. Ketamine infusions have already proven to be highly effective in managing treatment-resistant depression. However, it can also allow its consumers to have out-of-body experiences and the person will feel detached from the self and the surrounding environment when misused. Ketamine might have adverse effects and addictive properties. Getting to know more about the drug, its addictive pattern and the drug’s use can help people detect misuse of the drug in themselves or the people around them.

How addictive is Ketamine?

Ketamine has been categorized as a Schedule III drug due to the possibility of it being used for addiction or abusive purposes. It has lower chances of dependence as compared to Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. Using Ketamine for a longer time can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal, its psychological addiction is far more concerning. People who consume ketamine for abusive purposes tend to develop tolerance to the drug in the early stages. As a result, they need to take larger and larger doses of ketamine infusions to get the same effects of getting high again. If they fail to do it, they will experience withdrawal symptoms which include insomnia, depression, and flashbacks.

It is quite tough for the users to identify how much of the drug they have consumed precisely. Overdoses alone on ketamine infusions are quite infrequent. However, overdosing does happen. Overdosing normally involves combining the drug with other drugs like alcohol. As the people consuming ketamine usually do not know the number of their consumptions, this risk is true when it is mixed with other drugs. It can be used for abusive purposes in different ways like snorting, taking orally, and through injections. It is usually sold as a fine white powder after it is being converted from a liquid state. It has also been used as a “date rape drug” and slipped into other people’s drinks to sedate them so they couldn’t resist.

Ketamine infusions for recreational purposes involve several side effects. While consuming ketamine, many people may experience breathlessness, falling unconscious or seizures A person may also have a loss of muscle control and dissociation which can result in a high risk of assault or any other harm. Several people at times injured themselves while high on the drugs and they don’t even remember doing it. The chances of an overdose are high when mixing ketamine with alcohol or other drugs. Long term side effects of the overdose include:

Elevated blood pressure

Bladder or kidney issues


Memory impairment



Statistics about ketamine infusion addiction:

The data available on the addiction to ketamine infusion is very low in the United States. This lack of availability of information is mostly because the drug, when used alone, does not cause death or have any severe life-threatening side effects. The available data is mostly combined with other drugs like LSD and PCP. The United States is considered to rank first all over the world in the number of school and college students who use the combination of these drugs.

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