Ketamine: What is it?

Ketamine ‘K’ or ketamine hydrochloride falls into a category of drugs known as ‘dissociative anaesthetics’ because it produces, in the user, a feeling of detachment from self and environment and distorts the perception of sight and sound. It can be used in powder or liquid forms and can be injected, snorted or smoked. Frequently when it is bought in powder form it has been mixed with other things including drain cleaner and talcum powder.

Legally and most commonly this drug is used as an anaesthetic or painkiller in veterinary medicine. It is sometimes used in specific cases by doctors for humans but usually avoided because of its hallucinatory effects. There are comparisons made between the bizarre states of mind caused briefly by ketamine and the experiences of people suffering from schizophrenia. The effects that this drug produces in the short term can vary a lot depending on the amount consumed by the user. This can range from feeling like you are walking on air to suffering what users call a ‘K hole’ which is a sort of out of body experience. Also because of the way it is known to physically disable the user it has been used in some cases of date rape.

What are the Effects of Ketamine Addiction?

This drug is often seen as a sort of recreational drug for use at parties and on the dance scene but while many people use it without getting addicted there are those who develop a dependence and use the drug regularly with numerous negative consequences. Additionally regular users can develop cravings for more of the substance and a tolerance so they need more of the drug to create the same effects. These are both characteristics of addiction. Furthermore this drug can impair the ability of the user to make healthy decisions and simply stopping is not as easy as it sounds.

Long term use causes a variety of effects to almost every area of the body including:

  • Damage to the Bladder and the Urinary Tract

  • Risk of Blood Borne Diseases if the Drug is Injected

  • Cardiovascular Problems

  • Damage to the Central Nervous System

  • Brain Damage

  • Psychosis Paranoia and Anxiety

  • Speech Difficulty

  • Erythema (Redness of the Skin)

  • Depression

  • Rapid Eye Movement

  • Feelings of Being Invulnerable

  • Loss of Family

  • Loss of Career and Financial Consequences

Co-occurring disorders such as severe depression, anxiety, or eating disorders can worsen the effect of the drug and its addictive qualities, making it harder for the user to stop without professional addiction treatment.

Withdrawal at Seasons Bali

Ketamine does not induce physical dependency the same way that alcohol or heroin does although users who stop abruptly may have some physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and diarrhoea. Usually with this drug, the emphasis is on the mental state of the user and during detox clients can suffer from schizophrenic behaviour, depression, and anxiety. Typically, the detox process can last between 24 hours and 2 weeks and our well trained case managers provide intensive support during this period.

During the lead up to admission our addiction specialists will gather as much information as possible about the length of time and how much the client has been using because these facts will effect this stage of treatment. Once clients arrive, they are then fully assessed by our capable and experienced medical team and any detox regime confirmed. Often this drug does not require a medicated detox but whether medication is used or not, both the clinical and medical staff keep close watch over the clients symptoms.

Ketamine Addiction Treatment at Seasons Bali

Once the withdrawal period is over clients are better equipped to focus on the holistic program of addiction treatment that is delivered by our excellent team of staff. This recovery focused schedule treats the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social nature of the client’s problem through a combination of different types of therapy including group work, one on one counselling sessions, art therapy, drama therapy, yoga, beach exercise and educational groups.

This balanced and varied approach to the problem of ketamine addiction takes place in a therapeutic community and provides tools for the addict to achieve long term, sustainable recovery. This program is based on extensive research and the combined experience of the team here and at the Hader Clinic in Melbourne. We recommend that clients complete a full 90 day program but we also offer 28 day and 60 day stays.

The Seasons Bali primary program is run by a clinical team who are all in recovery themselves giving them added insight and an unparalleled ability to help and understand what is going on for the clients. Our staff provide an example that living long term drug free lives is entirely possible.

All of this takes place in the wonderful location of tropical Bali which certainly aids the healing process. Seasons want clients to spend their time here focusing on their program of recovery so a domestic team will take care of all the usual daily requirements of living and Komang, our chef, will provide a selection of fantastic in-house meals.

Seeking Immediate Help?

Speak to Seasons Bali today to receive immediate and experienced advice.

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